SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2024 · 7:30 PM
LAWRENCE BROWNLEE, tenor
THE BAKER-BAUM CONCERT HALL
Co-produced with San Diego Opera
Prelude Lecture · 6:30 PM
TICKETS ON SALE SOON
A star of the Metropolitan Opera, Lawrence Brownlee is a leading figure in opera, both as a singer on the world’s top stages and as a voice for activism and diversity in the industry. Captivating audiences and critics around the globe, he has been hailed as “an international star in the bel canto operatic repertory” (The New York Times) and “one of the world’s leading bel canto stars” (The Guardian).
With an ever-increasing presence in opera, recital, and concerts, Lawrence Brownlee has cemented his place as one of the top artists in classical music. He is a regular guest at the world’s most important opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera House – Covent Garden, Bayerische Staatsoper, Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opéra national de Paris, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Teatro Real, Opernhaus Zürich, and Wiener Staatsoper. He is a fixture at the world’s top recital venues including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, and The Kennedy Center. His concert performances include collaborations with The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The San Francisco Symphony, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and the festivals of Baden-Baden and Salzburg.
In the 2022–23 season, Brownlee performed a program with longtime friend, collaborator, and fellow Rossini expert Michael Spyres titled “Amici e Rivali” at the Theatre des Champs-Élysées in January 2023, in addition to the premiere of an exciting new program titled “Rising” which will feature Brownlee and pianist Kevin J. Miller performing newly commissioned songs by composers Shawn Okpebholo, Damien Sneed, Joel Thompson, and others with texts drawn from James Weldon Johnson and other great Black writers of the Harlem Renaissance. “Rising” will be performed at venues across the U.S. including Carnegie Hall, the Kimmel Center, Calderwood Studio at GBH Boston, and the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts at Emory University.
Brownlee made his role debut as Rodrigo in Rossini’s Otello at Opera Philadelphia in 2022. He returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago for the title role of Le comte Ory, and as Elvino in Bellini’s La Sonnambula at Teatro Real in Madrid, followed by performing one of his signature Rossini roles as Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in February 2023. Last season ended with his return to the Metropolitan Opera as Tamino in a new production of Die Zauberflöte.
In spring 2021, Brownlee joined The Juilliard School as a Distinguished Visiting Faculty Member. He serves as artistic advisor for Opera Philadelphia, where his responsibilities include increasing and expanding audience diversity, advocating for new works, and liaising with the General Director from the perspective of a performing artist. Brownlee also serves as an Ambassador for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lyric Unlimited, and is an Ambassador for Opera for Peace.
Highlights of Brownlee’s most recent past seasons include his role debut in the title role of Rameau’s Platée with Opéra National de Paris, to great acclaim. Brownlee also participated in Washington National Opera’s “Come Home: A Celebration of a Return” concert to open The Kennedy Center’s 50th Anniversary Season and marking a return to live performance. In Fall 2021 Brownlee released a holiday mixtape with neo-classical pianist BLKBOK called “Angels Watching Over Me.” He made his role debut as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor at New National Theatre Tokyo.
Amidst the challenges of COVID-19, Brownlee emerged as a pivotal voice in classical music’s shift toward digital programming and the resurgence of conversations around racial justice.
A passionate advocate for diversity initiatives, Mr. Brownlee works with companies and engages civic organizations in the cities he visits to create programs and experiences seeking to expand opera audiences. His critically-acclaimed solo recital program Cycles of My Being, a song cycle that centers on the black male experience in America today, has toured extensively, including performances at Opera Philadelphia, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and virtual broadcasts throughout 2020. Following the successful Lawrence Brownlee and Friends concert at Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2019, Brownlee performed Giving Voice at Houston Grand Opera, a concert created to celebrate Houston’s diverse community, and reprised his concert at Lyric with the virtual performance of Lawrence Brownlee and Friends: The Next Chapter in July 2020.
“One of the most impeccable stylists on the opera scene”
– Alex Ross, The New Yorker