From: Riverside, California. LA Opera: Bess's Mother in Breaking the Waves (2021, LAO On Now).
Enjoying a career at the highest international level, Patricia Schuman began her career specializing in the Mozartean repertoire, singing Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera with James Levine conducting; Ilia in Idomeneo at La Scala with Riccardo Muti; and Ilia and Pamina in The Magic Flute at the Vienna State Opera, under the baton of Nikolaus Harnencourt. She made her debut at the Salzburg Festival as Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito, to great critical and popular acclaim. She repeated the role at Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, Madrid, and Lyon.
In a continually expanding repertoire, Ms. Schuman debuted the role of Alice Ford in Falstaff at Covent Garden with Bernard Haitink conducting; Rezia in Weber’s Oberon with Marc Minkowski at the Flemish Opera; the title role in Schumann’s Genoveva with the Edinburgh Festival and Opera North; Blanche in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites with Rome Opera and Seattle Opera; Madeleine in Strauss’s Capriccio in Toulouse and the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier at Pittsburgh Opera. She has sung Liu in Turandot and Mimi in La Boheme in Zurich; Poppea in Cologne and Bologna; and the role of the Commander in the world premiere of Philip Glass’ The Voyage at the Metropolitan Opera.
After the birth of twins, Miss Schuman made the decision to stay home and raise her children, once they began school. After almost a decade, she returned to the opera stage to sing opposite her husband, bass-baritone David Pittsinger, as Carlotta and Eugene O’Neill in the world premiere of Blizzard on Marblehead Neck by Jeanine Tesori at the Glimmerglass Festival. Also, in that season, she appeared as Estelle Oglethorpe in John Musto’s Later the same evening. She returned to Glimmerglass to sing Elvira Griffiths in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy. Soon thereafter, she made her role debut as the Duchess of Argyll in Thomas Ades’ Powder her Face with Opera Philadelphia, to great acclaim. Returning there in 2016, she sang the role of the Mother in Missy Mazzoli’s world premiere opera, Breaking the Waves.
At the Ivoryton Playhouse, Schuman made her first professional foray into musical theater, as Bloody Mary in South Pacific, for which she received a Critic’s Circle nomination. She also sang the world premiere oratorio Letter from Italy by composer Sarah Meneely-Kyder, singing the role of Delia.
This season, Miss Schuman sang and recorded the role of Grandma Mills in Ricky Ian Gordon’s world premiere The House without a Christmas Tree at Houston Grand Opera before returning to the Ivoryton Playhouse for The Fantasticks. Schuman is returning to Opera Theater of St. Louis, after many years, to debut the role of Arnalta in The Coronation of Poppea, alongside her husband, David Pittsinger, as Seneca. Following her appearance there, she will return to the Glimmerglass Festival to sing the Countess in a newly realized version of The Queen of Spades.
On recording, Miss Schuman can be heard in the title role of Florencia en el Amazonas by Daniel Catan, which she recorded live at Houston Grand Opera (Albany records). She has also recorded the soprano solo in Handel’s Messiah (Koch) and the Bertoni mass Veni Creator (Erato) under the baton of Claudio Scimone, and the role of Ruggiero in Rossini’s Tancredi with Marilyn Horne (Sony). She can be seen on video as Poppea (Schwetzingen Fetstival), Donna Elvira (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), Countess Almaviva (Madrid Opera), and in Letter from Italy. Recently released is Ricky Gordon’s House without a Christmas Tree on Pentatone.
Learn more at PatriciaSchuman.com.