Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



Plumbago_9780993198359_1.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Commentary

Mark Padmore reflects on Britten's Death in Venice

“At the start, one knows ‘bits’ of it,” says tenor Mark Padmore, somewhat wryly, when I meet him at the Stage Door of the Royal Opera House where the tenor has just begun rehearsals for David McVicar’s new production of Death in Venice, which in November will return Britten’s opera to the ROH stage for the first time since 1992.

Annilese Miskimmon appointed as English National Opera’s Artistic Director

English National Opera has appointed Annilese Miskimmon as Artistic Director.

An interview with Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Oxford Lieder Festival's first Associate Composer

“Trust me, I’m telling you stories …”

GSMD and ROH announce Oliver Leith as new Doctoral Composer-in-Residence 2019-2022

Guildhall School of Music & Drama in association with The Royal Opera today announces Oliver Leith as the fourth Doctoral Composer-in-Residence, starting in September 2019. Launched in 2013, the collaboration between Guildhall School and The Royal Opera is one...

In conversation with Nina Brazier

When British opera director Nina Brazier tries to telephone me from Frankfurt, where she is in the middle of rehearsals for a revival of Florentine Klepper’s 2015 production of Martinů’s Julietta, she finds herself - to my embarrassment - ‘blocked’ by my telephone preference settings. The technical hitch is soon solved; but doors, in the UK and Europe, are certainly very much wide open for Nina, who has been described by The Observer as ‘one of Britain’s leading young directors of opera’.

2019 Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition

Russian bass-baritone Mikhail Timoshenko has won the top prize at the 2019 Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition.

An Englishman in Vienna: Stephen Storace

When his first opera, Gli sposi malcontenti, premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 1st June 1985, the 23-year-old Stephen Storace must have been confident that his future fame and fortune were assured.

Stendhal on the Rossini Revolution

Some Details concerning the Revolution inaugurated by Rossini

Louise Jeffreys to become Deputy Chair of ENO

English National Opera (ENO) is pleased to announce that Louise Jeffreys is to become Deputy Chair of English National Opera and the London Coliseum. She replaces Nicholas Allan. Louise is currently Artistic Director of the Barbican where she leads...

Verdi Treasures from Milan’s Ricordi Archive make US debut

Rare testimonies to the history of Italian opera from the Milan-based, Bertelsmann-owned Ricordi Archive will now be shown in the United States for the first time. Fans of classical music and literature can look forward to the exhibition “Verdi: Creating Otello and Falstaff - Highlights from the Ricordi Archive”, which will be on view at the renowned Morgan Library & Museum in New York from September 6, 2019 to January 5, 2020.

Odyssey Opera Resurrects Henry VIII

BOSTON, MA (For Release 07.18.19) — One of the nation’s most adventurous opera companies, Odyssey Opera, begins its seventh season with a concert performance of Henry VIII (1883) by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns based on El cisma en Inglaterra (The schism in England) by Pedro Calderón de la Barca.

Glyndebourne Announces the Return of the Glyndebourne Opera Cup in 2020

Glyndebourne’s major new international singing competition returns in 2020 with a renewed commitment to supporting diversity in opera. The Glyndebourne Opera Cup - the international competition for opera singers is designed to discover and spotlight the best young singers around the world, offering a top prize of £15,000 and a guaranteed role at a leading international opera house. The final will once again be broadcast live on Sky Arts on 7 March 2020 and the series is produced by Factory Films.

Garsington Opera: Five Young Singers Win Prestigious Awards

Winners of this year’s prestigious Leonard Ingrams Foundation awards are mezzo-soprano Bianca Andrew and tenor Oliver Johnston. These awards support, encourage and nurture the best young artists involved in the creative process of bringing opera to the stage, and are made in memory of Garsington Opera’s founder Leonard Ingrams, to ensure the continuity of his vision.

Bill Bankes-Jones on the twelfth Tête à Tête Opera Festival

“We need to stop talking about ‘diversity’ and think instead about ‘inclusivity’,” says Bill Bankes-Jones, when we meet to talk about the forthcoming twelfth Tête à Tête Opera Festival which runs from 24th July to 10th August.

The Italian Opera Connection at ‘The English Versailles’: The Duchess of Buccleuch and the Georgian Stage at Boughton House

As part of its annual programme of events, Boughton House in Northamptonshire hosts ‘A Passion for Opera’, a rare exhibition portraying the musical life of Lady Elizabeth Montagu (1743–1827) and the world of Georgian operatic culture.

An interview with composer Dani Howard

The young Hong Kong-born British composer Dani Howard is having quite a busy year.

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2020 Ring Cycle

Lyric Opera of Chicago has announced both schedules and cast-lists for is Spring 2020 performances of Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Given the series of individual productions already staged by the company since Fall 2016, that pave the way for the complete cycle, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s complete production should affirm the artistic might of the great composer.

Irish mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy on Salzburg, Sellars and Singing

For Peter Sellars, Mozart’s Idomeneo is a ‘visionary’ work, a utopian opera centred on a classic struggle between a father and a son written by an angry 25-year-old composer who wanted to show the musical establishment what a new generation could do.

London Bel Canto Festival 2019: an interview with Ken Querns-Langley

“Physiognomy, psychology and technique.” These are the three things that determine the way a singer’s sound is produced, so Ken Querns-Langley explains when we meet in the genteel surroundings of the National Liberal Club, where the training programmes, open masterclasses and performances which will form part the third London Bel Canto Festival will be held from 5th-24th August.

The Royal Opera Tours to Japan in September 2019

The Royal Opera is delighted to be returning to Japan in September 2019 as part of an exciting year of UK-Japan exchanges, titled UK in Japan 2019-20, following the Company’s hugely successful tour in autumn 2015.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Commentary

Lawrence Brownlee (Photo by Dario Acosta)
17 Sep 2008

Lawrence Brownlee Expands Repertoire in 2008-09 Season

The remarkable Lawrence Brownlee has proven himself to be one of the most prominent bel canto tenors on the international scene.

Lawrence Brownlee Expands Repertoire in 2008-09 Season

Above: Lawrence Brownlee (Photo by Dario Acosta)

 

He is lauded continually for the beauty of his voice, his seemingly effortless technical agility, and his dynamic and engaging dramatic skills. His schedule regularly comprises a varied array of debuts and return engagements at renowned music centers for appearances with the world’s pre-eminent opera companies, orchestras and presenting organizations.

Mr. Brownlee’s 2008-09 season finds him firmly ensconced in the bel canto music for which he is so admired, adding a trio of new characters to his repertoire: two by Rossini and one by Donizetti. His first engagements are performing what has become his calling-card role, Il Conte Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, in three of Germany’s leading houses. At Dresden’s Sächsische Staatsoper (August 28, 30 & September 8) he courts and slyly plans his elopement with the lovely Rosina (Carmen Oprisanu), joined on stage by Fabio Maria Capitanucci (as the enterprising Figaro), Michael Eder (as the overprotective and slightly lecherous Don Bartolo), and Kurt Rydl and Georg Zeppenfeld (sharing the honors as the oily Don Basilio); the production is by Grischa Asagaroff and Riccardo Frizza conducts. For the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin (Unter den Linden) he appears in the Company’s classic Ruth Berghaus production (September 16, 20, 26 & 30), donning various disguises in an attempt to fool his love’s guardian, in the company of Katharina Kammerloher, Alfredo Daza, Bruno de Simone and Alexander Vinogradov, with Julien Salemkour leading from the pit. For Mr. Brownlee’s first time at the Festspiele Baden-Baden (October 3 & 5) he treads the boards in the same Bartlett Sher Barbiere production in which he made his spectacular 2007 Metropolitan Opera debut. Here his colleagues are: Anna Bonitatibus, Franco Vassallo, Maurizio Muraro & Reinhard Dorn, all conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock. He participates in the Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s Annual Lincoln Center Gala (October 26) where he joins a starry roster that, as of this writing, includes: Maria Guleghina, Hei-Kyung Hong, Marcello Giordani, Željko Lučić and Paulo Szot, with Patrick Summers at the helm. (Mr. Brownlee’s has twice been recognized by the RTMF: in 2003, when he was the winner of a Career Grant, and in 2006, at which time he was the Foundation’s Award winner.) With the Opera Company of Philadelphia he appears as Lindoro in a Stefano Vizioli production of L’italiana in Algeri, conducted by one of his mentors, Company Music Director Corrado Rovaris (November 14, 16m, 19, 21, & 23m). Mr. Brownlee’s Lindoro ultimately escapes confinement and is reunited with his lady-love, the enterprising Isabella (Ruxandra Donose); Daniel Belcher (Taddeo) and Kevin Glavin (Mustafà) play Mr. Brownlee’s foiled rivals for the Italian lady’s affections. (His first OCP engagement was in November 2006 in Cenerentola.)

The tenor starts off the new year with a guest stint on a gala tribute to Plácido Domingo offered by the New Orleans Opera (January 17). Following that are three recitals, all accompanied by his long-time collaborator, pianist Martin Katz. January 24 marks his first time on the Spivey Hall Series at Clayton State University, outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Next is a joint-recital with soprano Sarah Coburn at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater (January 31) as part of the Vocal Arts Society’s series. (Washington has played an important part in the tenor’s career, having witnessed his artistry in: four recitals, including one as the recipient of the Marian Anderson Award; Carmina Burana with the National Symphony; as well as in three projects with Washington Concert Opera, La donna del lago, Tancredi & I Puritani). The final recital is for the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan (February 7), site of his 2006 Tancredi with the Detroit Symphony. In Europe, Mr. Brownlee does another trio of Barbieres: for his return to the Wiener Staatsoper (February 12 & 15) in the venerable and much-loved Günther Rennert production with Michaela Selinger, Carlos Alvarez, Wolfgang Bankl & Janusz Monarcha, conducted by Marc Piollet. (His introduction to the Viennese public was in this same role in 2006); for a reprise run at the Unter den Linden (February 17 & 20), in which he joins forces with Katharina Kammerloher, Alfredo Daza, Renato Girolami & TBA, all led by Asher Fisch; and finally in a Gilbert Deflo production at the Staatsoper Hamburg (February 28) with Maria-Christina Damian, George Petean, Renato Girolami & Wilhelm Schwinghammer, with Alexander Winterson marshalling the musical forces. (The tenor’s Hamburg debut was in La fille du régiment in 2006, which he subsequently repeated in 2007). A new role follows, as Giannetto in La gazza ladra, for Bologna’s Teatro Comunale, March 22 – 31. (His initial time with the Company was in 2004 as Comte Ory). He performs this Rossini rarity with: Mariola Cantarero/Paula Almerales, Silvia Trò Santafe/José Maria Lo Monaco; Simone Alberghini/Luca Tittoto, and Alex Esposito/TBA; the director is Damiano Michieletto teaming up with conductor Michele Mariotti. Mr. Brownlee returns to the Metropolitan Opera, this time as a Prince, Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola (May 1, 6 & 9), reuniting him with his Met-debut conductor, Maurizio Benini, and Elīna Garanča as the rags-to-riches Angelina, his Rosina on their Sony recording of Barbiere. The remainder of the ensemble includes: Simone Alberghini (Dandini), Alessandro Corbelli (Don Magnifico) and John Relyea (Alidoro) in a production by Cesare Lievi. The last of these performances is part of the Met’s series of high definition transmissions to movie theaters around the world. Previously heard and seen in Trieste’s Teatro Verdi in Cenerentola, the tenor now brings his L’italiana Lindoro there, led by Bruno Campanella (May 29, 31; June 3, 9 [10]). He repeats a run of Barbieres in Hamburg (June 7, 20, 23 & 25) with a slightly different cast (Silvia Tro Santafé, Oleg Romashyn, Renato Girolami & Tigran Martirossian), before concluding his season in the U.S. with triple debuts: his introductory booking at the Caramoor Festival in New York, where he presents himself in two new roles: Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore (July 18) and Idreno in Semiramide, (August 1), both helmed by bel canto specialist Will Crutchfield. The remainder of the cast of L’elisir is still to be announced; Semiramide also features Angela Meade (as the guilt-stricken eponymous Queen of Babylonia), Vivica Genaux (as the warrior-prince Arsace) and Daniel Mobbs (as the murderous Assur).

The 2008-09 season sees the release of two of Mr. Brownlee’s most recently completed CDs, both on labels new for the tenor and centered around the works of Rossini: on Naxos, L’italiana in Algeri conducted by Alberto Zedda, taken from the live 2008 performances at the Rossini in Wildbad Festival; and, on Opera Rara, an exploration of the composer’s song output, for which he is joined by colleagues Mireille Delunsch, Jennifer Larmore, Catharine Wyn-Rogers, Mark Wilde and Brindley Sherratt, with Malcolm Martineau at the piano. The summer of 2008 saw the DVD release by Decca of a performance from the Covent Garden world premiere run of Lorin Maazel’s 1984, in which the tenor created the role of Syme.

For further information, please access Mr. Brownlee’s website at: www.lawrencebrownlee.com

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):