Lawrence Brownlee (born 1972) is an American operatic tenor 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-soprano Joyce 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."
Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.
Tenor is a male voice type in classical music whose vocal range lies between the countertenor and baritone. The tenor's vocal range extends up to C5. The low extreme for tenors is roughly A♭2 (two A♭s below middle C). At the highest extreme, some tenors can sing up to the second F above middle C (F5). The tenor voice type is generally divided into the leggero tenor, lyric tenor, spinto tenor, dramatic tenor, heldentenor, and tenor buffo or spieltenor.
Bel canto —with several similar constructions —is a term with several meanings that relate to Italian singing.
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.
Youngstown is a city in and the county seat of Mahoning County in the U.S. state of Ohio, with small portions extending into Trumbull County. According to the 2010 Census, Youngstown had a city proper population of 66,982, while the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area it anchors contained 565,773 people in Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio, and Mercer County in Pennsylvania.
Sandusky is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Erie County. Situated in northern Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie, Sandusky is midway between Toledo to the west and Cleveland to the east.
Anderson University is an private Christian liberal arts university in Anderson, Indiana. The college is affiliated with the Church of God. Anderson University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and the Independent Colleges of Indiana society. The university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors, as well as graduate programs in business, music, and theology.
Brownlee participated in young artist programs at the Seattle Opera and the Wolf Trap Opera Company.
Seattle Opera is an opera company located in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 1963 by Glynn Ross, who served as the company's first general director through 1983, Seattle Opera's season runs from August to late May, with five or six operas offered and with eight to ten performances each, often with double casts in major roles to allow for successive evening presentations.
The Wolf Trap Opera Company was founded in 1971 as part of the program of the Wolf Trap Foundation located near the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Fairfax County, Virginia. The company is a residency program for aspiring opera professionals, with its major production being a summer opera festival.
Brownlee's professional stage debut took place in 2002 as Almaviva in Rossini's The Barber of Seville with Virginia Opera.Brownlee made his Metropolitan Opera debut in a new production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia in 2007. The role has since become one of his most recognizable and famous. He has subsequently appeared in Il Barbiere in Vienna, Milan, Berlin, Madrid, Dresden, Munich, Baden-Baden, Hamburg, Tokyo, New York, Washington, San Diego, Seattle, and Boston. Brownlee's career highlights include performances of The Barber of Seville at the Vienna State Opera, the Boston Lyric Opera and Madrid's Teatro Real. He has appeared in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri and La Cenerentola at Milan's La Scala, as Belfiore in Rossini's Il viaggio a Reims in Brussels, and as Tonio in Donizetti's La fille du régiment at the Cincinnati Opera. He has also received acclaim in Rossini's Armida , alongside Renée Fleming, in the famously challenging role of Tonio in La fille du régiment, and as Arturo in I puritani at the Metropolitan Opera. In 2014 Brownlee, Juan Diego Flórez, and Javier Camarena were called "The Three Tenors," and said to "represent a new golden age in high male voices and in the singular thrill of their top notes."
The Barber of Seville, or The Useless Precaution is an opera buffa in two acts by Gioachino Rossini with an Italian libretto by Cesare Sterbini. The libretto was based on Pierre Beaumarchais's French comedy Le Barbier de Séville (1775). The première of Rossini's opera took place on 20 February 1816 at the Teatro Argentina, Rome, with designs by Angelo Toselli.
Virginia Opera is an opera company based in the Commonwealth of Virginia which was first organized in 1974 by a group of Norfolk, Virginia community volunteers.
The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company based in New York City, resident at the Metropolitan Opera House at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager. As of 2018, the company's current music director is Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
In concert, Brownlee has performed in Handel's Messiah with the Houston Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony. He has given recitals under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation, and was featured in one of that Foundation's Gala Concerts at Lincoln Center.In May 2010, Brownlee performed a concert with mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves in the United States Supreme Court Building for the Supreme Court justices. He also gives recitals with selections from his Spiritual Sketches album with Damien Sneed, new arrangements of traditional music, including for an NPR "Tiny Desk Concert".
Messiah is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the Coverdale Psalter, the version of the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer. It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742 and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.
The Houston Symphony is a Grammy Award winning orchestra based in Houston, Texas. Since 1966, it has performed at the Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts in downtown Houston.
The San Francisco Symphony (SFS), founded in 1911, is an American orchestra based in San Francisco, California. Since 1980, the orchestra is resident at the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall in the City's Hayes Valley neighborhood. The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus (1972) are part of the organization. Since 1995, Michael Tilson Thomas has been the orchestra's music director. Tilson Thomas is scheduled to conclude his tenure as the orchestra's music director in 2020, when Esa-Pekka Salonen is scheduled to become the orchestra's next music director.
In a departure from his usual repertoire, he created the role of Syme in Lorin Maazel's opera 1984 in its world premiere at London's Royal Opera House on May 3, 2005. In 2015 he will play Charlie Parker in the premiere of Daniel Schnyder's opera Yardbird at Opera Philadelphia.
Lorin Varencove Maazel was an American conductor, violinist and composer. Making his debut at the conducting podium at the age of eight, he embarked on his career in earnest in 1953, establishing a reputation in European concert halls by 1960 but, by comparison, his career in the U.S. progressed far more slowly. However, he would later be appointed music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic, among other posts. Maazel was well-regarded in baton technique and possessed a photographic memory for scores. Described as mercurial and forbidding in rehearsal, he mellowed in old age.
1984 is an opera by the American conductor and composer Lorin Maazel, with a libretto by J. D. McClatchy and Thomas Meehan. The opera is based on George Orwell's novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. It premiered on 3 May 2005 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in a production directed by Robert Lepage.
The Royal Opera House (ROH) is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London. The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Originally called the Theatre Royal, it served primarily as a playhouse for the first hundred years of its history. In 1734, the first ballet was presented. A year later, Handel's first season of operas began. Many of his operas and oratorios were specifically written for Covent Garden and had their premieres there.
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.
Cecilia Bartoli, Cavaliere OMRI is an Italian coloratura mezzo-soprano opera singer and recitalist. She is best known for her interpretations of the music of Bellini, Mozart and Rossini, as well as for her performances of lesser-known Baroque and Classical music. She is known for having the versatility to sing soprano and mezzo roles.
Juan Diego Flórez is a Peruvian operatic tenor, particularly known for his roles in bel canto operas. On June 4, 2007, he received his country's highest decoration, the Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Sun of Peru.
Vivica Genaux is an American coloratura mezzo-soprano. She was born in Fairbanks, Alaska. She has sung in major operas such as The Barber of Seville at the Metropolitan Opera, L'italiana in Algeri at Opéra National de Paris, and La Cenerentola with Dallas Opera and the Bayerische Staatsoper.
Marco Lazzara is an Italian countertenor who sings a wide-ranging repertoire from baroque composers to those of the 20th century and has performed in a number of notable premieres and revivals of rarely performed operas. He has recorded widely on the Bongiovanni, Ricordi, Nuova Era, Forlane, Opera Rara and Dynamic labels.
Lorenzo Regazzo, is an opera singer. His voice can be categorised as bass, bass-baritone or basso cantante. He is especially well known for interpreting Baroque, Classical, and bel canto repertoire. Among the qualities frequently noted by the critical press are his virtuosic coloratura technique, sumptuous tone, and vivid stage presence.
Jennifer Larmore is an American mezzo-soprano opera singer, particularly noted for her performances in coloratura and bel canto roles which she has performed in the world's major opera houses.
Joyce DiDonato is an American operatic lyric-coloratura mezzo-soprano notable for her interpretations of the works of Handel, Mozart, and Rossini.
William L. Lewis is an American operatic tenor and academic.
Marcello Giordani is an Italian operatic tenor who has sung leading roles in opera houses throughout Europe and the United States. He has had a distinguished association with the New York Metropolitan Opera, where he has sung in over 200 performances since his debut there in 1993.
Barry Banks is an English lyric tenor who, after a long association with The Metropolitan Opera and English National Opera, has achieved acclaim as one of finest interpreters of the Italian bel canto repertoire.
Stabat Mater is a work by Gioachino Rossini based on the traditional structure of the Stabat Mater for chorus and soloists. Initially he used his own librettos and compositions for a portion of the work and, eventually, the remainder by Giovanni Tadolini, who composed six additional movements. Rossini presented the completed work to Varela as his own. It was composed late in his career after retiring from the composition of opera. He began the work in 1831 but did not complete it until 1841.
Alberto Zedda was an Italian conductor and musicologist whose specialty was the 19th-century Italian repertoire.
Maxim Vyacheslavovich Mironov, is a Russian tenor, best known for his interpretation of the bel canto repertoire. He began his studies in Moscow Gnessin State Musical College in class of Professor D. Vdovin. In 2001 he joined the Helikon Opera Theatre in Moscow where he made his operatic debut in opera of André Grétry Pierre le Grand. Mironov's international career was launched by his winning the competition Neue Stimmen in Germany in 2003.
Lena Belkina is a Ukrainian mezzo-soprano.
Mezzo-soprano Maite Beaumont is a native of Pamplona (Spain), where she studied voice and violin at the Pablo Sarasate Conservatory and sociology at the University of Navarra. She completed her studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg with Hanna Schwarz. She won numerous awards, including the "Voice with the best future".
Riccardo Frizza is an Italian conductor, particularly known for his work in the Italian operatic repertoire. After making his professional conducting debut in 2001 with Rossini's Stabat Mater at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, he went on to conduct in the leading opera houses of Europe and the United States, including La Scala, La Fenice. the Paris Opera, and New York's Metropolitan Opera.
Ugo Benelli is an Italian operatic tenor. Born in Genoa and trained at La Scala, Benelli had an international career singing leading tenore di grazia roles from the early 1960s through the 1980s. In his later years he sang character roles and began a career as a singing teacher. He retired from the stage in 2004.
Michele Mariotti, born in 1979 in Urbino, near Pesaro, is an Italian conductor, the direttore musicale since 2014 of Teatro Comunale di Bologna. A graduate in composition of Pesaro's Conservatorio Rossini, where he also studied orchestral conducting, he made his professional opera debut with Il barbiere di Siviglia in Salerno on Oct. 12, 2005. As of April 2017, his repertory included nine Rossini and eight Verdi operas, an extraordinary achievement, as well as symphonies of Beethoven, Bruckner and Schubert, the Rossini Stabat mater, the Mozart Requiem and the Verdi Requiem.
Simone Alberghini is an Italian operatic baritone, known especially for his interpretations of belcanto operas of Mozart and Rossini.