November 6, 2020

Lawrence Brownlee on the December cover of Opera News

Is there any other tenor today who can make the long, deceptively difficult arcs of Bellini’s lyrical phrases spin out as perfectly as Lawrence Brownlee does in I Puritani’s “A te, o cara”? Or how about those multiple high Cs in Donizetti’s “Ah! mes amis,” which seem as thrilling and fun for him as for the audience? He seems to get extra energy from high notes, leaning into them. His diction is crystal-clear, and his timbre is multicolored, almost shimmery, brilliant in the high range and muscular but not heavy in the lower reaches. Brownlee’s vibrato is fast enough to negotiate coloratura but still makes a satisfying impact in the longer arc of simpler lyrical phrases. Bel canto opera works only when the voice itself and the style in which the music is delivered are, well, beautiful. As obvious as this may sound, the ability to do it is rare. Brownlee seems born to sing this repertoire, as he has proved repeatedly for more than a decade.

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