Goodness me. Look what a few minutes of strategic Googling netted me today.
"This summer she returns to the San Francisco Opera for Marguerite, and next season she returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Leonora in Il Trovatore, Opera Australia as the title role in Madama Butterfly, the Los Angeles Opera as the Governess in The Turn of the Screw, and the Washington National Opera as the title role in Iphigénie en Tauride." [emphasis mine, obviously]
And who is "she"? Why, Patricia Racette, of course. Wait. Let me re-punctuate that. Patricia Racette! Back at Opera Australia! I knew she'd sung Marguerite here some years ago but never imagined we'd be able to get her back. I'm thrilled to have been proven wrong. Patricia Racette! This makes me very happy. I love her, I have done for years, and it's not often (these days) that OA imports stars of her magnitude. So my hat is off to them, and to her, for making it happen; long may such importation continue.
My question now is whether this means a new production. After all, it will only be two years since our last Butterfly; and publicity then did make reference to "one final season". I can't help hoping so. I mean, I love Moffatt Oxenbould's Butterfly. It's one of my favourite stagings of anything ever. But I think the splash of Patricia Racette, back in Australia and singing her signature role, demands the splash of a new show. I also, somewhat less rationally, think I might have trouble coping with one Butterfly I Love in a production so closely linked to another. Moffatt's Butterfly began as Cheryl's Butterfly and should depart as such; Patricia's should be as absolutely hers as possible.
That's all detail though. Mostly I'm just excited and impressed. This is very good news. Patricia Racette!