Lawrence Brownlee (born 1972) is an American operatictenor particularly associated with the bel canto repertoire. Describing his voice, Speight Jenkins, general director of the Seattle Opera, said: "There are other singers that sing this repertory very well, but I don't think anyone else has quite as beautiful a sound and as rounded a tone," and praise his "incredible top notes", adding about his high F (F5) in "Credeasi, misera": "With him it's not a scream, it's a beautiful sound."Mezzo-sopranoJoyce DiDonato adds: "He is always in service of the music. His natural instrument is just incredibly beautiful. The word 'honey' comes to mind. He also has technical prowess and agility."
Brownlee was born in Youngstown, Ohio. He grew up without much exposure to classical music, but had an extremely musical childhood, playing trumpet, guitar and drums, and singing Gospel music in church. His first gigs were at an amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, singing pop and show tunes. Brownlee attended Anderson University in Indiana for his undergraduate degree and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music for graduate studies. He studied with soprano Costanza Cuccaro, David Starkey, and Fritz Robertson. While a graduate student, he became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, his desire to become a member was due in large part to his association with members of its Alpha chapter, founded at Indiana University Bloomington in January 1911. He was officially initiated into the Indianapolis Alumni Chapter in the fall of 1999, but considers himself close to the founding chapter and was involved in many of its activities while a student. He became a life member in 2008.
Brownlee lives in Atlanta with his wife, Kendra, and their two children. He is a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He also likes photography and playing table tennis, and is an avid salsa dancer. He sang the national anthem at Heinz Field on November 15, 2015 when the Steelers played the Cleveland Browns.
Italian Songs (Schubert, Verdi, Donizetti, Bellini, and Rossini) – Lawrence Brownlee (tenor), Martin Katz (piano). Label EMI Classics CD 86503
Mayr: Medea in Corinto – Elzbieta Szmytka, Evelyn Pollock, Lawrence Brownlee, Mark Milhofer, Wojtek Gierlach; Figerete Ymeraj, Andrés de Castillo, Carlos Petruzziello; Chorus and Orchestra of the Theater St. Gallen; David Stern (conductor). Label: OEHMS Classics OC 933
Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia – Elīna Garanča, Lawrence Brownlee, Giovanna Donadini, Nathan Gunn, Roberto Accurso, Bruno de Simone, Kristinn Sigmundsson; Münchner Rundfunkorchester; Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks; Miguel Gómez-Martínez (conductor). Label: Sony/BMG 822876 80429 2
Rossini: La Cenerentola – Rachelle Durkin, Elīna Garanča, Lawrence Brownlee, Patricia Risley, Simone Alberghini, Alessandro Corbelli, John Relyea; Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera; Maurizio Benini (conductor). Label: Deutsche Grammophon DVD 073 4577
Rossini: L'italiana in Algeri– Ruth Gonzalez, Marianna Pizzolato, Elsa Giannoulidou, Lawrence Brownlee, Bruno de Simone, Lorenzo Regazzo, Giulio Mastrototaro; Rossini in Wildbad Festival, Virtuosi Brunensis; Transylvania State Philharmonic Choir; Alberto Zedda (conductor). Label: Naxos 8.660284-85
Operngala 16, Festliche Operagala für die AIDS-Stiftung – Simone Kermes, Ailyn Pérez, Petra-Maria Schnitzer, Lawrence Brownlee, Ketevan Kemoklidze, Renata Pokupić, Peter Seiffert, Michael Volle; Chorus and Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Andriy Yurkevych (conductor). Label: Naxos 8.551233
Colbran, The Muse – Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano), Lawrence Brownlee (tenor); Orchestra e Coro dell'Accademia Nazionale de Santa Cecilia; Edoardo Müller (conductor). Label: Virgin Classics 945790 6