Having begun her career as a mezzo-soprano, Miss Schuman had the good fortune to work with Peter Brook, as Carmen in his production of La Tragedie de Carmen in Paris, New York, and in a world tour. When she stepped in as Elena for a dress rehearsal of La Donna del Lago, singing opposite Marilyn Horne, Schuman was invited by Miss Horne to sing and record the role Ruggiero in Tancredi in the revival at Teatro La Fenice. At the advice of Miss Horne, Patricia switched to the soprano repertoire with much success.
Enjoying a career at the highest international level, Patricia Schuman began her career specializing in the Mozart repertoire, singing Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera with James Levine conducting; Ilia in Idomeneo at La Scala with Riccardo Muti; and Ilia and Pamina at 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 much critical and popular acclaim. Since then, she has repeated the role at Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, Madrid, and Lyon.
In a continually expanding repertoire, Miss Schuman debuted the role of Alice Ford in Verdi’s 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 Les Dialogues des Carmélites with Rome Opera and Seattle Opera; Madeleine in Strauss’ Capriccio in Toulouse and the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier at the Pittsburgh Opera. She has sung the Puccini roles Liù in Turandot and Mimi in La Bohème in Zurich; the title role in Handel’s Agrippina in Cologne, the title role in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di 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, Schuman returned to the opera stage to sing opposite her husband, David Pittsinger, as Carlotta and Eugene O’Neill in the world premiere of Blizzard on Marblehead Neck by Jeanine Tesori, and libretto by Tony Kushner, at the Glimmerglass Festival. Also in that season, she appeared as Estelle Oglethorpe in John Musto’s Later the same evening.
Following those performances, Miss Schuman made another role debut, with two weeks notice, as The Duchess of Argyll in Thomas Ades’ Powder her Face with the Opera Philadelphia, to great critical acclaim. In oratorio, Schuman sang the role of Delia in the world premiere of Letter from Italy by Sarah Meneely-Kyder, libretto by Sheila Garvin with Greater Middletown Chorale. Returning to Opera Philadelphia in 2016, Schuman sang the role of The Mother in Missy Mazzoli’s opera world premiere, Breaking the Waves. Recently, Miss Schuman sang and recorded the role of Grandma Mills in the world premiere The House Without a Christmas Tree by Ricky Gordon, with the Houston Grand Opera.
At the Ivoryton Playhouse, Miss 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 will return in the spring of 2018 in a version of The Fantasticks, in which the two fathers are now two mothers.The 2019 season takes Schuman to Opera Theater of Saint Louis for her role debut as Arnalta in L'Incoronazione di Poppea.
Miss Schuman made her debut with the Houston Grand Opera in the title role of Florencia en el Amazonas by Daniel Catàn, which she also recorded for 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 Ruggiero in Rossini’s Tancredi with Marilyn Horne (Sony). She can be seen on video as Poppea (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) from the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, and Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) from Madrid Opera, and as Delia in Letter from Italy.
Over the last few years, Miss Schuman has appeared in many recitals, concerts, and in chamber music, with husband David Pittsinger, harpist Megan Sesma, jazz pianist Jeff Barnhart, pianist Mihae Lee, and others.