Just in: Chicago mourns opera producer, 45

Just in: Chicago mourns opera producer, 45


norman lebrecht

March 04, 2020

Patricia Barretto, President and CEO of the Harris Theater since 2017, has died of breast cancer, aged 45.

Among the productions she booked were Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi 450, the US debut of English National Ballet in Akram Khan’s Giselle, Bangarra Dance Theatre Australia, and more. This week Gardiner returned with Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique for a week-long Beethoven Festival. In May the Theater will present the Chicago debut of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch.

Barretto, Mumbai born, was previously Executive Director of Toronto’s Opera Atelier.

She is survived by her husband, son, parents and brother.

Our thoughts are with her grieving family.



  • Jeff Alexander says:

    The most gracious, creative, supportive colleague one could ever ask for. We have lost a true gem, with a great passion for the performing arts and the joy and enrichment all art forms bring to society. Condolences to her family and to everyone at the Harris Theater. We will miss her.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Absolutely terrible: 45 years. Life has only started to become seriously rewarding at that age. I’m sorry to read this.

  • A says:

    I will always remember the time we shared together growing up. You singing, your smile and laughter . You were more than a star. Your memory will live with us forever. You were strong and beautiful, now you will forever be beautifully eternal. Thank you for the memories my friend . Stay safe and until we all meet again . So long traveller.