How better to inaugurate a series called VOICES, than with an artist who has made his name in the world of bel canto — literally, “beautiful singing”? Lawrence Brownlee is one of the great tenors of our time, singing the most challenging music imaginable with dazzling agility, range, and the expressiveness of a true artist. When we sang together in a new production of Rossini’s Armida at the Met, I felt that I had never in my career heard anyone who could sing so well.
Lawrence’s story is an inspiring, quintessentially American route to conquering a European artistic tradition. He started out singing gospel music in church, until one day someone recommended that he learn an aria. Cut to college, studies at Indiana University’s acclaimed vocal program, and ultimately debuts and accolades at the world’s greatest opera houses. And I won’t soon forget the powerful contemporary resonance he brought to the spiritual, “There’s a Man Going ‘Round Taking Names,” with Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran, performed in a crypt in Harlem for NPR’s Field Recordings series.
Singing For Life In A Crypt In Harlem
Opera singer Lawrence Brownlee is known for portraying kings and princes. But lately he's been thinking about real…
What a gift to the world of singing is Lawrence Brownlee, and how honored I am to have him singing in the intimacy of the Kennedy Center Family Theater to launch VOICES! Our series will explore the limitless range of human vocal expression in a wide array of styles, and I’m thrilled to begin the journey with one of the most virtuosic voices I know.
—Renée Fleming, Artistic Advisor at Large