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» 25 May 2010 » 19:30 » St John's, Smith Square » £20, £15, £10 (Concessions £10)
Programme to be confirmed
Lawrence Brownlee has proven himself to be one of the most prominent bel canto tenors on the international scene. He is lauded for the beauty of his voice, his technical agility, and his dynamic and engaging dramatic skills. His schedule regularly comprises an array of debuts and return engagements at renowned music centres for appearances with the world’s pre-eminent opera companies and orchestras.
The remarkable Lawrence Brownlee has proven himself to be one of the most prominent bel canto tenors on the international scene. He is lauded continually for the beauty of his voice, his seemingly effortless technical agility, and his dynamic and engaging dramatic skills. His schedule regularly comprises a varied array of debuts and return engagements at renowned music centers for appearances with the world’s pre-eminent opera companies, orchestras and presenting organizations.
Mr. Brownlee’s 2008-09 season finds him firmly ensconced in the bel canto music for which he is so admired, adding a trio of new characters to his repertoire: two by Rossini and one by Donizetti. His first engagements are performing what has become his calling-card role, Il Conte Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, in three of Germany’s leading houses: Dresden’s Sächsische Staatsoper, the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin (Unter den Linden), and for his first time at the Festspiele Baden-Baden. He joins a starry roster at the Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s Annual Lincoln Center Gala, followed by a re-engagement with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, where he appears as Lindoro in L’italiana in Algeri, conducted by one of his mentors, Company Music Director Corrado Rovaris.
The tenor starts off the new year with three recitals, all accompanied by his long-time collaborator, pianist Martin Katz: his first time on the Spivey Hall Series at Clayton State University (outside of Atlanta, Georgia); a joint-recital with soprano Sarah Coburn at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, as part of the Vocal Arts Society’s series; and with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In Europe, Mr. Brownlee sings another trio of Barbieres for his return to the Wiener Staatsoper, and reprise runs at the Unter den Linden and the Staatsoper Hamburg. A role debut follows, Giannetto in Rossini’s La gazza ladra, for his re-engagement at Bologna’s Teatro Comunale. He is heard at the Metropolitan Opera, site of his spectacular 2007 debut in Barbiere, this time appearing as Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola, reuniting him with his debut conductor, Maurizio Benini and Elīna Garanča, his Rosina on the Sony recording of Barbiere. The tenor rejoins the Teatro Verdi in Trieste for Lindoro in L’italiana in Algeri, led by Bruno Campanella. He repeats a run of Barbieres in Hamburg before concluding the season in the U.S., first with triple debuts: his first booking at the Caramoor Festival in New York, where he is heard in two new roles, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore and Idreno in Semiramide, both helmed by bel canto specialist Will Crutchfield. His 2008-09 calendar’s final date celebrates his premier collaboration with the Boston Symphony, at their Tanglewood summer home, in Orff’s Carmina burana with Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos on the podium.
Among the highlights of his 2007-08 season were operatic engagements as: Arturo in Bellini’s I puritani, first for Washington Concert Opera, then later fully-staged at the Seattle Opera; Osiride in Rossini’s Mosé in Egitto/Teatro dell’Opera di Roma; Tonio in La fille du régiment/Staatsoper Hamburg; Narciso in Il turco in Italia, for Toulouse’s Théâtre du Capitole and in Berlin at the Staatsoper; and Lindoro in L’italiana in Algeri at Germany’s Rossini in Wildbad Festival. Other appearances included: Rossini Stabat Maters with Rome’s Accademia di Santa Cecilia, conducted by Antonio Pappano, as well as with the Madison Symphony; concerts at Valencia’s Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía led by Lorin Maazel; Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen; Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Filarmonica della Scala; and recitals in San Antonio, Texas; Akron, Ohio; the University of Delaware/Newark; Rockville, Maryland; and at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro.
Mr. Brownlee’s professional stage debut took place in 2002 as Almaviva in Barbiere with Virginia Opera, a role he subsequently performed in: Vienna, Milan, Madrid, Munich, Tokyo, San Diego and Boston. Among his other memorable engagements have been: Cenerentola in Milan, Dresden, Trieste, Houston and Philadelphia; L’italiana in Milan, Dresden, Boston and Seattle; Tancredi with the Detroit Symphony and on 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; Don Pasquale in Detroit; La fille du régiment in Cincinnati; Salieri’s Axur, re d’Ormus in Zurich; the da Ponte pasticcio L’ape musicale in Vienna; Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas in Seattle; and the world premiere of Lorin Maazel’s 1984 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 Lausanne; Carmina Burana in Berlin, Los Angeles, Washington and Toulouse; and highlights from Porgy and Bess with the New York Philharmonic (including a “Live From Lincoln Center” telecast) and the Accademia di Santa Cecilia. Among Mr. Brownlee’s many recitals have been ones offered at the Kennedy Center, in Tokyo, and others around the United States under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation.
The 2008-09 season sees the release of two of Mr. Brownlee’s most recently completed CDs, both on labels new for the tenor and centered around the works of Rossini: on Naxos, L’italiana in Algeri conducted by Alberto Zedda, live performances at the Rossini in Wildbad Festival; and, on Opera Rara, an exploration of the composer’s song output, where he is joined by colleagues Mireille Delunsch, Jennifer Larmore, Catharine Wyn-Rogers, Mark Wilde and Brindley Sherratt, with Malcolm Martineau at the piano. Among Mr. Brownlee’s earlier CD releases are a live recording of Carmina Burana with Sir Simon Rattle leading the Berliner Philharmoniker, released by EMI Classics, with colleagues Sally Matthews and Christian Gerhaher. EMI also issued his first solo disc featuring Italian songs by Schubert, Verdi, Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini, accompanied by pianist Martin Katz. A live Il 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’s 1984.
Mr. Brownlee, most recently named the Seattle Opera’s 2008 Artist of the Year, and Opera Company of Philadelphia’s 2007 Alter Award for Artistic Excellence, 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, a Master of Music degree from Indiana University and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
A prominent pianist and an award-winning BBC Radio 3 broadcaster, Iain Burnside collaborates in concert and on CD with singers such as Ailish Tynan, Lisa Milne, Rebecca Evans, Joan Rodgers, Susan Gritton, Yvonne Kenny, Susan Bickley, Ann Murray, Sarah Connolly, John Mark Ainsley, Mark Padmore, Andrew kennedy, Roderick Williams, Christopher Maltram and Bryn Terfel, and with actors such as Fiona Shaw and Simon Russell Beale.