Lawrence Brownlee, tenor
The most in-demand American tenor in the world in the bel canto repertoire, Lawrence Brownlee continues to stupefy audiences with the power and agility of his instrument. From firmly American roots, Brownlee has become a star on the international scene, performing opposite the leading ladies of contemporary opera, and lauded continually for the seemingly effortless beauty of his voice.
Brownlee began his 2012-13 season with a solo recital program at the Wigmore Hall in London. He then debuted at Grand Théâtre de Genève in a production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia. His season also featured Carnegie Hall recital and Santa Fe Opera debuts. Additionally, Brownlee performed at Houston Grand Opera in L’italiana in Algeri and Le Comte Ory with Cecilia Bartoli at the Theater an der Wien, and a performance of Carmina Burana in Russia. The season ended with engagements in La fille du regiment and L’elisir d’amore at the Hamburgische Staatsoper. This marks the first time Brownlee appeared as Nemorino in a fully staged performance. Recently, Brownlee had the honor of opening the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York with Louis Langrée and the Mostly Mozart Orchestra. Last season, Brownlee’s high Cs were on display when he was Tonio in La fille du régiment at the Metropolitan Opera, where he is rapidly becoming a house favorite. Brownlee recently performed in South Africa for the first time, giving a recital as part of Cape Town Opera’s season.
Lawrence Brownlee has been featured in nearly every major theater in the world and enjoys a relationship with many premiere conductors and symphony orchestras. Among his other memorable engagements are: Cenerentola in Milan, Houston, Philadelphia, and the Met; L’italiana in Algeri in Milan, Dresden, Boston, and Seattle; I puritani in Washington and Seattle; Mosé in Egitto in Rome; Il turco in Italia in Toulouse and Berlin; Tancredi with the Detroit Symphony and on an eight-city European tour with the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées; La donna del lago in Washington; Semiramide and L’elisir d’amore, both at the Caramoor Festival; Armida at the Metropolitan Opera; La Fille du régiment in Hamburg, Cincinnati, and at the Metropolitan Opera; Salieri’s Axur, re d’Ormus in Zurich; L’ape musicale in Vienna; and the world premiere of Lorin Maazel’s 1984 at Covent Garden. In the orchestral arena, he has been heard in: Bach’s Magnificat in Cincinnati; Messiah in Houston, San Francisco, Detroit, Baltimore, and Indianapolis; Israel in Egypt in Cleveland; the Mozart Mass in C minor in Chicago and Baltimore; Carmina Burana with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood; and highlights from Porgy and Bess with the New York Philharmonic (including a “Live From Lincoln Center” telecast). Brownlee has performed recitals at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, in Atlanta, Tokyo, on London’s Rosenblatt Series, and others around the United States under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation.
Brownlee’s discography/videography continues to grow impressively. The 2010-11 season saw the EMI Classics CD release of Rossini’s Stabat Mater, featuring Anna Netrebko, Joyce DiDonato, and Ildebrando d’Arcangelo, with Antonio Pappano leading the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, as well as a pair of DVDs: the Met Opera’s 2010 HD relay of Armida on Decca and Carmina Burana with Sir Simon Rattle leading the Berliner Philharmoniker on EuroArts/Opus Arte. (A CD version of this performance already exists on EMI Classics.) Other releases include three CD sets: on Opera Rara, an exploration of Rossini songs, and on Naxos, L’italiana in Algeri conducted by Alberto Zedda. A live recording of Mayr’s Medea in Corinto from St. Gallen was released by Oehms Classics. Additionally, Deutsche Grammophon released a DVD of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2009 production of La Cenerentola, with Elīna Garanča as Angelina. Among his earlier CD releases is his first solo disc (EMI Classics) featuring Italian songs by Schubert, Verdi, Donizetti, Bellini, and Rossini, accompanied by Martin Katz. Sony has released a live Il barbiere di Siviglia, featuring Brownlee alongside Elīna Garanča, Giovanna Donadini, and Nathan Gunn. Decca has released a DVD of a performance from the Covent Garden world premiere run of Lorin Maazel’s 1984, in which Brownlee took on the role of Syme.
Lawrence Brownlee was named the Seattle Opera’s 2008 Artist of the Year, received the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s 2007 Alter Award for Artistic Excellence, and was the winner of both the 2006 Marian Anderson and Richard Tucker Awards, a feat never before achieved by any artist in the same year. He participated in young artist programs at both the Seattle and Wolf Trap Operas. The Ohio-born Brownlee received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Anderson University and a Master of Music degree from Indiana University. He is a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.
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