Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


twitter_logo[1].gif



9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Commentary

Jean-Paul Scarpitta in Montpellier

I met with the embattled artistic director of the Opéra et Orchestre National de Montepellier not to talk about his battles. I simply wanted to know the man who had cast and staged a truly extraordinary Mozart/DaPonte trilogy.

Interview: Tenor Saimir Pirgu — From Albania to Italy to LA

Maria Nockin interviews tenor Saimir Pirgu.

Claudio Abbado, Italian conductor, dies aged 80

Italian conductor Claudio Abbado, former principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, has died aged 80

Matthew Polenzani — Des Grieux, Manon, Royal Opera House

Matthew Polenzani reprises the role of the Chevalier des Grieux in Jules Massenet’s Manon at the Royal Opera House. “I love coming back to London”, he says, “It’s a very good house and they take care of you as a singer. And the level of music making is unbelievably high”.

Season 2014 at San Diego Opera

On Saturday evening January 25, San Diego Opera opens its 2014 season with Ruggero Leoncavallo’s verismo blockbuster Pagliacci (Clowns).

Maestro Joseph Rescigno Discusses The Flying Dutchman

The Flying Dutchman is a transitional piece because Wagner was only beginning to establish his style. He took some aspects from Carl Maria von Weber and others from Italian composers like Vincenzo Bellini.

Royal Opera House Announces Digital Theatre

The Royal Opera House has its own DVD arm, Opus Arte, and is developing quite a global following with its cinema broadcasts.

Patricia Racette on Dolores Claiborne

On a personal level, I feel that Dolores is almost like Emmeline grown up. Their circumstances are not exactly parallel, but they are both women at very different points in their lives whose stories involve dilemmas with life-changing outcomes.

Tobias Picker Talks About His New Opera Dolores Claiborne

With the help of Andrew Welch, a London theatrical producer who had adapted several of King’s works for the stage, including this one, I got the rights to both Dolores Claiborne and Misery.

Dolora Zajick on New Opera Written for Her

On September 18, 2013, San Francisco Opera will present the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s opera, Dolores Claiborne, which has a libretto by J. D. McClatchy based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name.

Ermonela Jaho — Singing and Character

Ermonela Jaho caused a sensation at Covent Garden in London five years ago, when she took over Violetta at short notice from Anna Netrebko.

Ignite at Wigmore Hall

What do you get if you cross Benjamin Britten, ‘one-page scores’, an innovative performing ensemble and ‘Wigmore Learning’ — the Wigmore Hall’s imaginative outreach programme which aims to provide access to chamber music and song through innovative creative programmes, online resources and events?

Marseille, Capital of European Culture

Marseille woke up this past January 11 stunned to find itself number two on the New York Times list of 46 places you should visit in 2013 (Rio was number one, Paris just made the list at number 46).

Rossini Maometto Secondo at Garsington Opera - David Parry speaks

Garsington Opera at Wormsley is producing the British premiere of Giacomo Rossini´s Maometto Secondo. Garsington Opera is well-known for its role in reviving Rossini rarities in Britain. Since 1994, there have been 14 productions of 12 Rossini operas, and David Parry has conducted eleven since 2002. He´s very enthusiastic about Maometto Secondo.

Michele Mariotti conducts La donna del lago

Rossini’s La donna del Lago at the Royal Opera House boasts a superstar cast. Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez are perhaps the best in these roles in the business at this time. Yet the conductor Michele Mariotti is also hot news.

Kate Lindsey at Glyndebourne

It would seem a logical step for the mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey to take on the role of the Composer in Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.

Douglas Boyd on Garsington Opera at Wormsley

“Aim for excellence”, says Douglas Boyd, new Artistic Director of Garsington Opera at Wormsley, “and the audience will follow you”.

A Chat with Aida Designer Zandra Rhodes

When I spoke with Zandra Rhodes, she was in her large San Diego workspace, which she described as having walls decorated with her own huge black and white drawings.

An Interview with Virginia Zeani

Palm Beach audiences are famous for their glamour, but in recent years a special star has sparkled amid the jewels, sequins, feathers and furs (whatever the weather).

Bel Canto Queen Jessica Pratt

When the soprano Jessica Pratt first arrived in Italy, she had yet to learn the language or sing in a staged opera.

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):