Conductor - Teacher - Performer
They say that music is the language of the soul, and nothing could be truer for inspiring musician, Patti Graetz. She has earned her reputation as a talented conductor and skillful performer. From the operatic stage to the conductor's podium to the teaching studio, Patti Graetz continues to delight audiences around the world with distinctive programs and passionate performing. Explore the site and check out a few of her live performances below.
A Passionate Performer, Teacher and Conductor
Music has the power to transport us to another time and place. For more than thirty years, Patti Graetz has harnessed that power with a broad audience of fellow music lovers and passionate musicians alike.
She is an accomplished operatic soprano, voice and piano teacher and choral and orchestral conductor.
She is the newly appointed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for ProMusica Arizona Chorale and Orchestra and teaches voice, piano and guitar in her home studio.
Ever since a young age, Patti found great joy and satisfaction in making music
and sharing it with people all over the world.
Since she was four, she knew she wanted to be a singer. She made her debut at the age of five singing "White Christmas" in the school Christmas program. When she was seven, she started piano lessons and began a rigorous regimen of piano practice and the study of music theory.
By the time she was in 7th grade, she played well enough to become the choir accompanist at school, but singing was her passion. She taught herself to play guitar and played flute in band from 6th grade all the way through college. She started voice lessons in high school and, going through an intense multi-audition process, earned a place in the Texas All-State Choir for 3 years - quite an accomplishment.
Her high school choir director and mentor, Coloma Lafferty, was the inspiration that led her to pursue a career in music and attend Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where she sang in the famed Concordia Choir under the legendary direction of Paul J. Christiansen. Patti loved choral singing and conducting, but her passion was to have a career on the operatic stage.
After Concordia, her performing career began in community theater and as a professional soloist in major works. She had supporting and leading roles in numerous musicals and operettas, including Pirates of Penzance, The Music Man and Desert Song. She was the soprano soloist in performances of Brahm's Ein Deutsches Requiem, Poulenc's Gloria, Handel's Messiah, Mozart's Requiem and
Vesperae solennes de confessore. She won the graduate doctoral division of
Minnesota National Teachers of Singing competition even though
she did not pursue advanced degrees.
As a recitalist, she loves presenting diverse programs of classical vocal repertoire, but it is singing 20th Century repertoire where she excells. Compositions by Samuel Barber, Vincent Persichetti, Igor Stravinsky, John Corigliano, Lee Hoiby, Richard Hundley and Craig Bohmler are second-nature to her.
She returned to Texas and auditioned for Houston Grand Opera where she sang in 21 operas in three seasons. She shared the stage with famous singers such as Dame Joan Sutherland, Eva Marton, Mirella Freni, Placido Domingo and numerous others.
It was there that she met her accompanist, coach and mentor, composer, pianist, Craig Bohmler. She knew immediately upon hearing his compositions that he was a world-class composer, not to mention a brilliant pianist. Craig and Patti have collaborated on numerous recitals and she has premiered
almost everything he has written for the soprano voice.
She was selected to participate in a summer opera program through The Musicians Club of America and had the great fortune of receiving instruction from the staff of the Metropolitan Opera. She learned foreign-language diction from Nico Castel, was coached by Joan Dornemann, stage directed by Mignon Dunn and Janet Bookspan. This experience led her to move to New York to continue her studies and career pursuits.
Patti toured nationally with Texas Opera Theater before moving to Arizona to be near her coach-accompanist Craig Bohmler. Craig is also a well-known composer and Patti has premiered many of his works for soprano. An enthusiastic advocate for Craig's music, she produced his opera "The Achilles Heel" for Showcase Concerts, which was awarded a $10,000 grant. Under her direction for ProMusica Arizona, "Mountain Days: The John Muir Musical" was also awarded a $10,000 grant
for its production in March of 2019.
Craig also introduced her to her teacher of more than thirty years, Lois Alba. This cherished teacher taught Patti to sing with beauty, freedom, expression and flexibility using the techniques of the Italian school of "bel canto" singing - a technique Patti has shared with students the world over.
Patti won the Arizona district Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions two years in a row, as well as being a finalist for the San Francisco Opera's Merola Young Artist program.
As her career blossomed, she sang leading roles with Arizona Opera, Opera Ft. Collins (Colorado)
and was a soloist with the Phoenix Symphony, Scottsdale Philharmonic and West Valley Symphony.
Her favorite role is Tosca, which she debuted with Opera Ft. Collins.
Other favorite roles include Mimi in La Bohéme and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni.
For more than a decade, she was the featured soprano with professional ensembles Opera-tunity and the Royal Renaissance Singers and sang over 1,000 performances to more than 100,000 audience members.
She also has enjoyed teaching numerous workshops and master classes on vocal technique
to aspiring young opera singers, as well as school and community choirs.
Throughout her career, conducting has played an important role in addition to her singing.
She has conducted school, church, community and semi-professional choral ensembles,
as well as community orchestras.
Patti was vocal department chair for the Arizona School for the Arts
and the Arizona Conservatory for Arts and Academics in Phoenix in the late 90's/early-2000s.
She is married to Australian husband, Trevor, and lived in Australia for eight years. Her career "found" her in Australia and her singing career was re-ignited. Patti was the featured soprano soloist for Australian Music Events' Opera in the Market and Opera in the Alps. In addition, she was the primary voice coach for Opera Scholars Australia young artist program for eleven seasons.
While in Australia, Patti was the conductor for the Murray Conservatorium Choir
and had a full studio of private voice students, in addition to her teaching for Australian Music Events.
She returned to the States in 2012 and founded The Music Bus, a high-tech, mobile piano lab,
in a converted RV. The Music Bus provides group piano lessons on location
to schools, organizations and neighborhoods.
She joined ProMusica Arizona as Assistant Conductor and Conductor of Women in Song in 2015.
She was appointed Interim Artistic Director in April of 2018. In March of 2019, she was appointed the permanent Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for ProMusica Arizona.
She teaches private voice and piano at home, and has recently sold the Music Bus
to devote more time to ProMusica Arizona.