Larry will have a recital tour this spring that includes San Francisco, Boston, Princeton, and more, with numerous performances featuring his groundbreaking new song cycle Cycles of My Being, composed by Tyshawn Sorey with lyrics by Terrance Hayes.
"When Carnegie Hall came calling in 2016, asking the tenor Lawrence Brownlee to plan a recital, he knew he wanted to include a classic German song cycle. Schumann’s “Dichterliebe” was high on his list. But what to perform alongside it?
That year, Mr. Brownlee, an international star in the bel canto operatic repertory, sang an arrangement of the African-American spiritual “There’s a Man Going ‘Round Taking Names” with the jazz pianist Jason Moran. Conceived as an artistic statement in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the performance lingered in Mr. Brownlee’s mind, and helped him answer the question of what he should sing at Carnegie."
Lawrence Brownlee's new video series delves into the vocal techniques, musical exercises, and pieces of advice that have helped him over the years.
"Babbling brooks, young love, broken hearts: standard topics for classical song cycles from Schubert onward, and for most opera singers a key part of their concert hall careers. Not for the 45-year-old US tenor Lawrence Brownlee, one of the world’s leading bel canto stars. He has never yet sung any of these standard repertoire works. He wanted material he could relate to. US urban not European pastoral, a reek of the blues, a snarl of reality. Why not the story of a black man murdered in police custody?..."
“In these divided times, we hope to create something that brings people together with mutual respect, understanding, and communication across races and generations.” — Lawrence Brownlee
Lawrence Brownlee will premiere a new song cycle entitled "Cycles of My Being," composed by Tyshawn Sorey with lyrics by Terrance Hayes. The piece will look at what it means to be an African American man living in America today.
The world premiere will be at Opera Philadelphia's Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on February 20, followed by a performance on February 22 at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and then at Carnegie Hall on April 24.
Including performance runs with Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona (house debut), Opera Zürich, Royal Opera House London, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bayerische Staatsoper, and Opéra National de Paris, and the premiere of a newly-commissioned song cycle centered around the black male experience in America, entitled Cycles of My Being
Earlier this month, Charlie Parker's YARDBIRD landed in London, with Lawrence receiving rave reviews and appearing on all of the major TV, Radio and newspaper outlets! See below for a sampling of the press coverage, and join us in congratulating our intrepid tenor extraordinaire!
"Brownlee gives a performance of remarkable vocal and dramatic integrity in a taxing central role that rarely takes him from the stage during the opera’s unbroken 90-minute span, and his singing has wonderful colour and ease."
"Tenor Lawrence Brownlee, outstanding as Parker, captures the emotional extremes of a musical genius pushing at artistic and social boundaries."
"You would be hard-pressed to find a new opera sung with more verve or virtuosity. Lawrence Brownlee’s performance in the title role is particularly striking. He is on stage almost throughout; and the stratospherically challenging vocal line written for him often emulates Parker’s own mercurially jagged alto-sax playing."
"...Lawrence Brownlee – the Rossini tenor who was the work’s inspiration – doesn’t play his sax, his charismatic vocalism holds everything together with magnificent authority."
"Brownlee sustains long, ecstatic vocal lines, the shapes of which cannily link jazz to bel canto..."
Backtrack – Review ★★★★
" Lawrence Brownlee, Schnyder alludes, was part of the inspiration for the opera itself, and it’s not hard to see why: scatting and improvising with as much ease as he soared over the sonorous lyrical lines, Brownlee, normally known for his Rossini roles, was on outstanding form."
BBC London, Robert Elms show - Interview with Lawrence Brownlee
BBC Front Row - Interview with Lawrence Brownlee
BBC Radio 3 Music Matters – Interview with Daniel Schnyder, Bridgette A. Wimberly and Lawrence Brownlee
Evening Standard – Comment piece
The Sunday Times - Feature
Hackney Empire and English National Opera present the European Premiere of Charlie Parker's Yardbird. Lawrence will reprise his role as Charlie Parker in this presentation.
For his achievements throughout 2016, Lawrence Brownlee has been named Male Singer of the Year for the 2017 International Opera Awards, sponsored by Mazars.
Lawrence Brownlee returns to Chicago for Charlie Parker's Yardbird and a duet recital with Eric Owens
"The bright-voiced Brownlee displayed his bel canto bona fides by nailing the nine high C's...as if picking off ducks in a shooting arcade. Members of the crowd clapped along with the singing, clearly grateful to bask in the glow cast by two exceptional artists having a bang-up good time."
On April 9th, 2017, Lawrence Brownlee returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago to perform in the critically acclaimed Charlie Parkers' Yardbird as well as team up with bass-baritone Eric Owens, who stars as Wotan in Lyric’s Das Rheingold, for an afternoon of superb music-making.
See below for critical raves of these performances below!
Recent Praise for Lawrence Brownlee:
"Es uno de los tenores más respetables del panorama internacional."
"Lawrence Brownlee['s] silky tenor and naturalistic acting are key to a marathon role (Charlie Parker's Yardbird)."
[Brownlee's] ringing tenor and energetic style...his glance and big, wide-eyed smile included the whole audience."
- Kansas City Star
"Buoyant and suave, with stunning high notes, Brownlee offered a fully invested and exciting performance."
- Hyde Park Herald
"Sunday, April 9th was yet another day of brilliant performances...a first-class treat."
"Brownlee seems at the height of his vocal powers."