Lawrence Brownlee: August 2011 finds the Ohio-born tenor in the Washington, DC-area taking part in a gala concert commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the Wolf Trap Opera, where he was a Young Artist in 2001. Then, later that month, he sings a recital for his first appearance at the Quincena Musical de San Sebastián (Spain). For his Russian debut, he joins forces with soprano Sarah Coburn and the Russian National Orchestra in Moscow for an operatic concert conducted by another noted tenor, Giuseppe Sabbatini (September). He returns to the Houston Grand Opera in his bel canto calling card role, Conte Almaviva, in a new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia (October/November). At the Metropolitan Opera he shows off his high-Cs as Tonio in La fille du régiment (December/January), repeating the characterization heard by Met audiences on a single occasion in 2010, when Mr. Brownlee filled in for an ailing colleague on just a few hours’ notice. For his premier engagement at Florence’s Maggio Musicale he presents his credentials as Il Conte di Libenskof in Il viaggio a Reims (January). Marking his Carnegie Hall debut, the tenor performs Carmina Burana with David Robertson leading the Orchestra of St. Luke’s (February). At the Wiener Staatsoper he sings Elvino inLa sonnambula (February), followed by Narciso in a new production of Il turco in Italia for his first time with De Nederlandse Opera (April). A pair of May recitals follow: one as part of the Cleveland (OH) Chamber Music Society series, accompanied by his long-time pianistic collaborator, Martin Katz; the other signifying the tenor’s initial time performing in Africa, as part of Cape Town Opera’s season. For his introduction to the Bayerische Staatsoper he plays Don Ramiro in the classic Jean-Pierre PonnelleCenerentola (May/June). A concert appearance in Bratislava represents his first Slovak booking (June). Audiences at Germany’s Rheingau Festival hear him in Carmina Burana, led by Paavo Järvi with the hr-Sinfonieorchester (June). Returning to the Tivoli Festival, scene of his spectacular 2010 debut, Mr. Brownlee essays the role of Nadir inLes pêcheurs de perles for the first time (in concert - July). Bringing his season to a close, the tenor journeys back to Bavaria for two final performances of Cenerentola, this time under the aegis of the Staatsoper’s Münchner Opernfestspiele (July).
Among Lawrence Brownlee's highlights of his 2010-11 season were his Opéra National de Paris debut as Lindoro in L’italiana in Algeri, his first Sonnambulas at the Theater St. Gallen, additional L’italianas at the Opéra de Lausanne,Barbiere for Seattle Opera, Rinaldo in Rossini’sArmida at the Met (reuniting him with Renée Fleming and many other members of the original 2010 cast),Cenerentola for his first time with the Canadian Opera Company, more Barbieres, this time at Berlin’s Deutsche Staatsoper, and L’italiana at La Scala. Additionally, he served as Guest Artist on the Grand Finals Concert of the Met National Council Auditions, was Tenor Soloist inElijah (conducted by James Conlon) for his first Cincinnati May Festival; sang bel canto arias for his Tivoli Festival debut; and offered master classes in Como.
Lawrence Brownlee’s professional stage debut took place in 2002 as Almaviva in Barbiere with Virginia Opera, a role he subsequently performed in: Vienna, Milan, Berlin, Madrid, Berlin, Dresden, Munich, Baden-Baden, Hamburg, Tokyo, New York, Washington, San Diego and Boston. Among his other memorable engagements have been: Cenerentola in Milan, Dresden, Pesaro, Trieste, Houston, Philadelphia and the Met; L’italiana 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; Il viaggio a Reims in Genoa (Cavaliere Belfiore) and in Brussels (Conte di Libenskof); Le Comte Ory in Bologna and Reggio Emilia; La donna del lago in Washington; La gazza ladra in Bologna; Semiramide and L’elisir d’amore, both at the Caramoor Festival; Armida at the Met; the Rossini cantata Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo for Pesaro; Don Pasquale in Detroit; Fille du régiment in Hamburg, Cincinnati and at the Met; Salieri’s Axur, re d’Ormus in Zurich; the da Ponte pasticcio, L’ape musicale in Vienna; Mayr’s Medea in Corinto in St. Gallen; Daniel Catán’sFlorencia en el Amazonas in Seattle; and the world premiere of Lorin Maazel’s1984 at Covent Garden. In the orchestral arena, he has been heard in: the Bach 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; the Rossini Stabat Mater in Rome and Lausanne; Carmina Burana with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, in Berlin, Los Angeles, Washington, Toulouse and Cincinnati; highlights from Porgy and Bess with the New York Philharmonic (including a “Live From Lincoln Center” telecast) and with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, a duo-concert with Eglise Gutiérrez in San Juan; and two Berlin galas for the German AIDS Foundation. Among the tenor’s many recitals are several heard at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, for the Harriman-Jewell series in Kansas City, in Atlanta, Cleveland, Dayton, Tokyo, on London’s Rosenblatt Series, and others around the United States under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation.
Lawrence Brownlee’s discography/videography continues to grow impressively. The 2010-11 season saw the EMI Classics CD release of the Rossini Stabat Mater, also 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 recent releases include three CD sets, all on labels new for the tenor, with two centered around the works of Rossini: on Opera Rara, an exploration of the composer’s song output, for which the tenor was joined by Mireille Delunsch, Jennifer Larmore, Catharine Wyn-Rogers, Mark Wilde and Brindley Sherratt, with Malcolm Martineau at the piano; and on Naxos,L’italiana in Algeri conducted by Alberto Zedda, taken from live performances at the 2008 Rossini in Wildbad Festival. 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 and Mr. Brownlee as her Prince. Among his earlier CD releases is his first solo disc (EMI Classics) featuring Italian songs by Schubert, Verdi, Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini, accompanied by pianist Martin Katz. A liveIl barbiere di Siviglia co-starring Elīna Garanča and Nathan Gunn, with Miguel Gómez-Martínez leading the musical forces of the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, appeared on Sony. The summer of 2008 saw the DVD release by Decca of a performance from the Covent Garden world premiere run of Lorin Maazel’s1984.
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. Previously, he was honored with a 2003 ARIA Award, a 2003 Richard Tucker Music Foundation Career Grant and was a 2001 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He participated in young artist programs at both the Seattle and Wolf Trap Operas. The Ohio-born Mr. Brownlee received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Anderson University and a Master of Music degree from Indiana University.