Lawrence Brownlee Expands Repertoire in 2008-09 Season

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. At Dresden’s S‰chsische Staatsoper (August 28, 30 &
September 8) he courts and slyly plans his elopement with the lovely Rosina
(Carmen Oprisanu), joined on stage by Fabio Maria Capitanucci (as the
enterprising Figaro), Michael Eder (as the overprotective and slightly
lecherous Don Bartolo), and Kurt Rydl and Georg Zeppenfeld (sharing the
honors as the oily Don Basilio); the production is by Grischa Asagaroff and
Riccardo Frizza conducts. For the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin (Unter den
Linden) he appears in the Company’s classic Ruth Berghaus production
(September 16, 20, 26 & 30), donning various disguises in an attempt to
fool his love’s guardian, in the company of Katharina Kammerloher,
Alfredo Daza, Bruno de Simone and Alexander Vinogradov, with Julien Salemkour
leading from the pit. For Mr. Brownlee’s first time at the Festspiele
Baden-Baden (October 3 & 5) he treads the boards in the same Bartlett
Sher Barbiere production in which he made his spectacular 2007
Metropolitan Opera debut. Here his colleagues are: Anna Bonitatibus, Franco
Vassallo, Maurizio Muraro & Reinhard Dorn, all conducted by Thomas
Hengelbrock. He participates in the Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s
Annual Lincoln Center Gala (October 26) where he joins a starry roster that,
as of this writing, includes: Maria Guleghina, Hei-Kyung Hong, Marcello
Giordani, Željko Lučić and Paulo Szot, with Patrick Summers
at the helm. (Mr. Brownlee’s has twice been recognized by the RTMF: in
2003, when he was the winner of a Career Grant, and in 2006, at which time he
was the Foundation’s Award winner.) With the Opera Company of
Philadelphia he appears as Lindoro in a Stefano Vizioli production of
L’italiana in Algeri, conducted by one of his mentors, Company
Music Director Corrado Rovaris (November 14, 16m, 19, 21, & 23m). Mr.
Brownlee’s Lindoro ultimately escapes confinement and is reunited with
his lady-love, the enterprising Isabella (Ruxandra Donose); Daniel Belcher
(Taddeo) and Kevin Glavin (Mustaf‡) play Mr. Brownlee’s foiled rivals
for the Italian lady’s affections. (His first OCP engagement was in
November 2006 in Cenerentola.)

The tenor starts off the new year with a guest stint on a gala tribute to
Pl·cido Domingo offered by the New Orleans Opera (January 17). Following that
are three recitals, all accompanied by his long-time collaborator, pianist
Martin Katz. January 24 marks his first time on the Spivey Hall Series at
Clayton State University, outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Next is a
joint-recital with soprano Sarah Coburn at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace
Theater (January 31) as part of the Vocal Arts Society’s series.
(Washington has played an important part in the tenor’s career, having
witnessed his artistry in: four recitals, including one as the recipient of
the Marian Anderson Award; Carmina Burana with the National
Symphony; as well as in three projects with Washington Concert Opera, La
donna del lago
, Tancredi & I Puritani). The final
recital is for the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan
(February 7), site of his 2006 Tancredi with the Detroit Symphony.
In Europe, Mr. Brownlee does another trio of Barbieres: for his
return to the Wiener Staatsoper (February 12 & 15) in the venerable and
much-loved G¸nther Rennert production with Michaela Selinger, Carlos Alvarez,
Wolfgang Bankl & Janusz Monarcha, conducted by Marc Piollet. (His
introduction to the Viennese public was in this same role in 2006); for a
reprise run at the Unter den Linden (February 17 & 20), in which he joins
forces with Katharina Kammerloher, Alfredo Daza, Renato Girolami & TBA,
all led by Asher Fisch; and finally in a Gilbert Deflo production at the
Staatsoper Hamburg (February 28) with Maria-Christina Damian, George Petean,
Renato Girolami & Wilhelm Schwinghammer, with Alexander Winterson
marshalling the musical forces. (The tenor’s Hamburg debut was in
La fille du rÈgiment in 2006, which he subsequently repeated in
2007). A new role follows, as Giannetto in La gazza ladra, for
Bologna’s Teatro Comunale, March 22 – 31. (His initial time with
the Company was in 2004 as Comte Ory). He performs this Rossini rarity with:
Mariola Cantarero/Paula Almerales, Silvia TrÚ Santafe/JosÈ Maria Lo Monaco;
Simone Alberghini/Luca Tittoto, and Alex Esposito/TBA; the director is
Damiano Michieletto teaming up with conductor Michele Mariotti. Mr. Brownlee
returns to the Metropolitan Opera, this time as a Prince, Don Ramiro in
La Cenerentola (May 1, 6 & 9), reuniting him with his Met-debut
conductor, Maurizio Benini, and Elīna Garanča as the
rags-to-riches Angelina, his Rosina on their Sony recording of
Barbiere. The remainder of the ensemble includes: Simone Alberghini
(Dandini), Alessandro Corbelli (Don Magnifico) and John Relyea (Alidoro) in a
production by Cesare Lievi. The last of these performances is part of the
Met’s series of high definition transmissions to movie theaters around
the world. Previously heard and seen in Trieste’s Teatro Verdi in
Cenerentola, the tenor now brings his L’italiana
Lindoro there, led by Bruno Campanella (May 29, 31; June 3, 9 [10]). He
repeats a run of Barbieres in Hamburg (June 7, 20, 23 & 25) with
a slightly different cast (Silvia Tro SantafÈ, Oleg Romashyn, Renato Girolami
& Tigran Martirossian), before concluding his season in the U.S. with
triple debuts: his introductory booking at the Caramoor Festival in New York,
where he presents himself in two new roles: Nemorino in L’elisir
(July 18) and Idreno in Semiramide, (August 1),
both helmed by bel canto specialist Will Crutchfield. The remainder
of the cast of L’elisir is still to be announced;
Semiramide also features Angela Meade (as the guilt-stricken
eponymous Queen of Babylonia), Vivica Genaux (as the warrior-prince Arsace)
and Daniel Mobbs (as the murderous Assur).

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, taken from the live 2008 performances at the Rossini in
Wildbad Festival; and, on Opera Rara, an exploration of the composer’s
song output, for which he is joined by colleagues Mireille Delunsch, Jennifer
Larmore, Catharine Wyn-Rogers, Mark Wilde and Brindley Sherratt, with Malcolm
Martineau at the piano. 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, in which the tenor created the role of Syme.

For further information, please access Mr. Brownlee’s website at:

image_description=Lawrence Brownlee (Photo by Dario Acosta)
product_title=Lawrence Brownlee Expands Repertoire in 2008-09 Season
product_by=Above: Lawrence Brownlee (Photo by Dario Acosta)