A Night at the Opera: Rossini, Verdi, and more

A Night at the Opera: Rossini, Verdi, and more

Het Concertgebouw (map)

The Residentie Orkest The Hague will accompany Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres, two of America’s most prominent tenors, singing some dazzling opera selections. You’ll hear lots of Rossini, as well as Bellini, Verdi and Bizet.

Opera National de Paris – La Cenerentola

Opera National de Paris – La Cenerentola

Palais Garnier (map)

Divested of its traditional attributes – glass slipper and pumpkin carriage – and dominated by a tyrannical stepfather instead of a cruel stepmother, Rossini’s la Cenerentola plays with these most conventional of fairy‑tale characters. Nonetheless Cinderella lives in a closed world devoid of tenderness and under the yoke of the tormentor whom she protects. Deep beneath her goodness smoulders a fire that her encounter with the prince will set free… Guillaume Gallienne subtly highlights the halftones of this dramma giocoso, somewhere between opera buffa and opera seria, and ranging from sombre melancholy to the burlesque.

Houston Grand Opera – Pearl Fishers

Houston Grand Opera – Pearl Fishers

Houston Grand Opera (map)

A rarely performed gem of the opera world, The Pearl Fishers, is noted for its extraordinary musical beauty. Composed 12 years before Bizet's masterwork Carmen, this opera tells the story of two best friends and the bond that is interrupted by the arrival of a priestess to bless the pearl harvest. This romantic love triangle between the best friends and the priestess lead to dramatic consequences.

International stars Mariusz Kwiecien and Lawrence Brownlee lead the cast and come together to perform The Pearl Fishers duet, widely recognized as one of the most beautiful and famous duets in opera. The colorful, eye-popping production designed by Zandra Rhodes will transport you to a fantasy-inspired version of the island of Ceylon.

Tuesday Musical Society - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Tuesday Musical Society - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Tuesday Musical Association (map)

Two international superstars and good friends are joining forces for a special duo concert ranging from opera to spirituals.

The Chicago Tribune observed that their Lyric Opera performance in April “had the assembled opera aficionados and newbies all but dancing in the aisles.”

From premiering a song cycle centered around black male experience in America today to performing on the stages of the world’s leading opera companies, Lawrence Brownlee has ushered in “a new golden age of high male voices” (New York Times). A Youngstown native, he’s also a champion for autism awareness.

Bass-baritone Eric Owens — called an “American marvel” by the Chicago Sun-Times — has created an uncommon niche for himself in the ever-growing body of contemporary opera works by tackling exciting new roles. In 2017, Musical America named him its Vocalist of the Year.

Stanford University - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Stanford University - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Bing Concert Hall (map)

Acclaimed artists Lawrence Brownlee (tenor) and Eric Owens (bass-baritone) share the stage in arias and duets by Bizet, Mozart, and Verdi alongside American songs and spirituals. Brownlee, an exemplary bel canto artist, sang at the Met as Almaviva in The Barber of Seville and Tonio in The Daughter of the Regiment. Owens won the prestigious Metropolitan Opera Auditions in 1996 and went on to create the role of General Leslie Groves in John Adams’ Dr. Atomic at San Francisco Opera and sang the role of Alberich in the Met’s new production of Wagner’s Ring cycle.

Seattle Symphony - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Seattle Symphony - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Benaroya Hall (map)

Two rising stars in the opera world join forces for a thrilling evening of operatic arias and traditional American spirituals. The Associated Press hails Lawrence Brownlee as "one of the world's leading bel canto tenors," while Eric Owens has been dubbed an "American marvel" by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Philadelphia Chamber Music Society - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Philadelphia Chamber Music Society - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center (map)

Two of today’s most sought-after vocalists unite for an evening of unforgettable music-making. Philadelphia native and opera superstar Eric Owens “speaks to you even in his silences… and shakes you when he sings” (Chicago Sun-Times) while Lawrence Brownlee—recently named “Male Singer of the Year” by the International Opera Awards—is indisputably one of the world’s leading bel canto tenors.

A program featuring one half of opera arias by MozartDonizettiVerdi, and Bizet and one half of traditional spirituals, American popular songs, and gospel favorites.

McCarter Theatre - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

McCarter Theatre - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

McCarter Theatre Center (map)

Two mega-stars of today’s opera stages join forces for the first time in a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration. Eric Owens, the bass-baritone of the moment, is equally at home in orchestral, recital, and operatic music. His triumphs range from Wagner’s Ring Cycle to John Adams' Doctor Atomic to the title role in Verdi’s Macbeth and the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Porgy and Bess. Tenor Lawrence Brownlee has made a specialty of the most difficult bel canto roles, and his album Virtuoso Rossini Arias earned him a Grammy nomination. Together, they form a team of operatic royalty in a program that will feature not only works from the operatic repertoire but also Italian and American songs and traditional African-American spirituals.

Wake Forest - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Wake Forest - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Brendle Recital Hall (map)

Two mega-stars of today’s opera stages join forces for the first time in a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration. Eric Owens, the bass-baritone of the moment, is equally at home in orchestral, recital, and operatic music. His triumphs range from Wagner’s Ring Cycle to John Adams' Doctor Atomic to the title role in Verdi’s Macbeth and the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Porgy and Bess. Tenor Lawrence Brownlee has made a specialty of the most difficult bel canto roles, and his album Virtuoso Rossini Arias earned him a Grammy nomination. Together, they form a team of operatic royalty in a program that will feature not only works from the operatic repertoire but also Italian and American songs and traditional African-American spirituals.

University of Iowa - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

University of Iowa - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Hancher Auditorium (map)

Two dazzling singers share one harmonious musical friendship. Tenor Lawrence Brownlee and bass-baritone Eric Owens—two of opera’s most acclaimed voices—come together for a recital of arias and spirituals that will highlight their individual talents and combined brilliance. Each has performed on the most prestigious opera stages, and their performance on the Hancher stage will be extraordinary.

Mondavi Center  - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Mondavi Center - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Mondavi Center (map)

American tenor Lawrence Brownlee’s voice has been praised by NPR as “an instrument of great beauty and expression,” and earned him Male Singer of the Year awards from both the International Opera Awards and Bachtrack. Bass-baritone Eric Owens is an esteemed interpreter of classical works and a champion of new music. Equally at home in orchestral, recital and operatic repertoire, Owens brings his powerful poise, expansive voice and finely honed acting faculties to stages around the world. This vocal combination assures a rare duo performance by two exceptional musicians.

LA Phil - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

LA Phil - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Walt Disney Concert Hall (map)

Two of today’s most sought-after vocalists join for an unforgettable evening. Bass-baritone Eric Owens has been called an “American marvel” by the Chicago Sun-Times; Lawrence Brownlee has been hailed by the Associated Press as “one of the world’s leading bel canto tenors.”

University Musical Society - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

University Musical Society - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Hill Auditorium (map)

This wonderful recital features a pair of operatic superstars displaying their talents and artistry.

Powerhouse bass-baritone Eric Owens was recently named Musical America’s 2017 Vocalist of the Year and called an “American marvel” who “speaks to you even in his silences…and shakes you when he sings” by the Chicago Sun-Times. Alex Ross, in the New Yorker, noted, “With his sweet tone, fastidious pitch, and poetic phrasing, [Lawrence] Brownlee made familiar fare sound intriguingly fresh, banishing, for a moment, the ghosts of Caruso and Pavarotti.” Together, these two artists, friends for over two decades, share an ease and rapport that is evident through every piece on their program. Program will include opera arias and duets, as well as traditional spirituals, American popular song, and Gospel favorites.

Emory University - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Emory University - Duo Recital with Eric Owens

Emerson Concert Hall (map)

Two of opera’s leading vocalists join dynamic forces for an evening of music ranging from opera to spirituals. Lawrence Brownlee is the most in-demand bel canto tenor in the world and makes his return to the Schwartz Center with bass-baritone Eric Owens, who has brought his powerful and expansive voice to stages around the world.

Carnegie Hall - Two Wings: The Music of Black America In Migration

Carnegie Hall - Two Wings: The Music of Black America In Migration

Stern Auditorium (map)

Jason Moran and Alicia Hall Moran draw upon their own family lore and the historical record of the Great Migration to compose tableaux that explore a continuum of music from rhythm and blues to gospel, classical to Broadway, work songs to rock ‘n’ roll. Experience the ingenuity of these artists as they take a journey from the American South after emancipation to all points North, West, and beyond—shining a light on the epic event that changed the sound of America forever.

Washington Concert Opera - Zelmira

Washington Concert Opera - Zelmira

Lisner Auditorium (map)

Zelmira is the last of Rossini's "Neapolitan Operas," a series of nine dramas that are largely considered to be some of his greatest works. This pioneering work marks the beginning of the composer's international career and lays the groundwork for early Italian Romantic opera. Embarking on a mission to save her father, King Polidoro, from a murderous usurper, our title character faces a series of aspersions directed against her and nearly loses her family and her life in the process. Lawrence Brownlee, one of the world's leading bel canto tenors, returns to WCO as Zelmira's husband Ilo. Celebrated Spanish mezzo-soprano Silvia Tro Santafé will make her company debut in the title role, and another distinguished mezzo- soprano, Vivica Genaux, joins the cast as Emma.

Opernhaus Zürich - La Sonnambula

Opernhaus Zürich - La Sonnambula

Zürich Opera House (map)

Following the great success of Donizetti’s La Fille du regiment, this season’s programme will once again be enriched by a concertante opera performance – of Vincenzo Bellini’s La sonnambula. Apart from NormaLa Sonnambula is Bellini’s most famous work and the only opera by the composer to have enjoyed a continuous tradition of performance since its première in 1831. Since the triumphant success of Giuditta Pasta as Amina and Giovanni Battista as Elvino in the première production at the Teatro Carcano in Milan, these two extremely demanding principal roles have been sung by almost every famous singer in these vocal registers. At Zurich Opera House, it is now Pretty Yende and Lawrence Brownlee’s turn to rise to the challenge. Both have already been celebrated at Zurich Opera House in Bellini’s I puritani. And both have enjoyed stellar international careers in recent years. Lawrence Brownlee is considered one of the best tenors worldwide for Italian bel canto, while Pretty Yende sings Rossini’s, Donizetti’s and Bellini’s great soprano roles on the world’s most important opera stages – recently above all at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. For the first time, she will now portray the Amina of her favourite composer, Vincenzo Bellini, whose famous «melodie lunghe, lunghe, lunghe» «speak directly to her soul», as the singer professed in an interview. The musical direction will be in the hands of Maurizio Benini, a renowned specialist in the Italian repertoire, who has already given guest performances at Zurich Opera House as the conductor of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi.

Deutsche Oper Berlin - La Sonnambula

Deutsche Oper Berlin - La Sonnambula

Deutsche Oper Berlin (map)

Amina, a poor orphan, and Elvino, the richest farmer in the village, are looking forward to their wedding. But when Amina is caught in the room of Count Rodolfo, who has recently returned after a long absence, this idyll in the Swiss Alps collapses. Elvino breaks off the engagement and returns to Lisa, his former lover. Only when Amina appears as the village phantom, somnambulating at a vertiginous height, is her innocence clear to all. While sleep walking she was not the mistress of her senses, but once out of her trance she finds herself again the betrothed of Elvino. Bellini and his librettist, Romani, opted for lyrical, romantic material for their fifth collaboration and have ventured into semiseria territory, operas with a happy ending that are partly serious, partly frivolous. They place Amina’s spiritual life at the heart of the piece, with the music accompanying the two sleep-walking scenes exploring the psyche of a young woman torn between love, jealousy and supposed guilt. These stand-out moments inspired the composer to some of his most touching “melodie lunghe, lunghe, lunghe” [Verdi].

In a brilliant collaboration with set and costume designer Anna Viebrock, Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito have adapted for the Deutsche Oper Berlin a production that they wrote in 2012 for the Staatsoper Stuttgart. The romantic idyll of an alpine village has been swapped for the stuffy confines of a village inn.

Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège - I Puritani

Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège - I Puritani

Opéra Royal de Wallonie (map)

Under the terrible dictatorship of Cromwell in England in the 17th century, the Puritans preached in favour of an austere lifestyle, focused on the Bible. A love story emerging from adverse winds offered Bellini a subject that was most definitely conducive to exploiting the facets of the nascent romantic opera style, but also to articulating a wide range of human passions. Elvira’s scene of madness is only equalled by another from a contemporary work, Lucia di Lammermoor.

Based on a true story, the last work by Bellini was composed over a long time, taking nine months. The master amended the libretto and rearranged the music following the advice of Rossini. Its first performance, at the Théâtre-Italien in Paris, was triumphant.I Puritani requires exceptional casting. The vocal quartet, originally formed by Grisi, Rubini, Tamburini and Lablache, is subjected to the most perilous arias of the bel cantorepertoire. Their success gave rise to the nickname the Puritan Quartet, which has remained famous to the present day. However, between cavatina and cabaletta, the composer, who was the king of melody and smoothness, treats us to some of the finest arias of Italian opera!