The Kennedy Center

Lawrence Broadlee

Renée Fleming VOICES: Lawrence Brownlee

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 7:30 PM

Renée Fleming VOICES

Hailed by the Associated Press as "one of the world's leading bel canto tenors," Lawrence Brownlee returns to the Kennedy Center ahead of his performance in Washington National Opera's The Daughter of the Regiment for an intimate concert as a part of the Renée Fleming VOICES series.

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The Associated Press calls Lawrence Brownlee one of "the world's leading bel canto tenors" while the New York Times says he has prompted "a new golden age in high male voices." Arguably one of the best the modern age of opera has to offer, Brownlee's return to the Kennedy Center brings him to the Family Theater rather than his usual Opera House for an intimate evening of song as part of the Renée Fleming VOICES series. Pianist Justina Lee will accompany Brownlee for this engaging program, to include arias and art songs by Rossini, Bellini, Liszt, Donizetti, and Strauss, plus a selection of traditional spirituals.

Following this one-night-only event, Brownlee can be seen in Washington National Opera's The Daughter of the Regiment

Listen to a sample from Lawrence's new album.

Performance Timing: 90 minutes, with no intermission.


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.

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.