American tenor Lawrence Brownlee has been hailed as "one of the world's leading bel canto stars" by the Guardian newspaper. Recently, The Washington Post wrote "we are currently in a new golden age of bel canto tenors," and named Lawrence as "one of the three prime exponents." Brownlee stars as Prince Ilo in Washington Concert Opera's production of Rossini's Zelmira April 5 at Lisner Auditorium. On April 11th, he and pianist Myra Huang will present a recital at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater under the auspices of Vocal Arts DC. The program features two very different song cycles: Schumann's Dichterliebe and Cycles of My Being, a work Brownlee co-wrote with Terrance Hayes and Tyshawn Sorey. On Sunday, April 14th at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, Lawrence Brownlee will join Jason Moran and Alicia Hall Moran in Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration.
Oh, and there's more: Brownlee will return to Wolf Trap Opera as the 2019 Filene Artist in Residence, and will lead a free master class July 23 at 7:30 pm.
In this conversation with WETA's Nicole Lacroix, Brownlee speaks about the challenge of tackling a revered German song-cycle, and of presenting what he calls a "passion piece," a heartfelt exploration of what it is to be a black man in today's America....and what it's like to share the stage with Ruth Bader Ginsberg after singing a lot of high Cs.