Saturday, March 31, 2018 | 7:30pm
Herbst TheatreVenue Information
TYSHAWN SOREY: New Work (West Coast Premiere)
The Bernard Osher Foundation
About This Performance
Tenor Lawrence Brownlee’s SF Performances recital debut explores the range of songs from the unbridled Romanticism of Schumann’s beloved Dichterliebe cycle to the Bay Area premiere of a new work by rising star composer Tyshawn Sorey.
Hailed by the Associated Press as one of “the world’s leading bel canto tenors,” American-born Lawrence Brownlee captivates audiences and critics around the world. His voice, praised by NPR as “an instrument of great beauty and expression…perfectly suited to the early nineteenth century operas of Rossini and Donizetti,” has brought him to the top of opera world, ushering in “a new golden age in high male voices” (The New York Times). His most recent recording of Virtuoso Rossini Arias was nominated for a GRAMMY™ Award, and prompted New Yorker critic Alex Ross to ask “is there a finer Rossini tenor than Lawrence Brownlee?”
One of the most in-demand singer in the world, Brownlee was recently nominated for “Male Singer of the Year” by the International Opera Awards. He has performed with nearly every leading international opera house and festival, as well as major orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Academia di Santa Cecila, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and the Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra.
Highlights of the 2016–17 season included his San Francisco Opera debut as Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Idreno in Semiramide at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Houston Grand Opera, the title role in Le Comte Ory with Seattle Opera, and the title role in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird with Lyric Opera of Chicago/Lyric Unlimited and with London’s Hackney Empire in partnership with English National Opera. Mr. Brownlee will be presented in recital at the Kennedy Center as part of the inaugural season of Renée Fleming’s Voices concert series.
The 2015–16 season included performances of La Donna del Lago at the Metropolitan Opera, La Cenerentola at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Opéra Nacional de Paris, a new production of I Puritani at Opernhaus Zürich, and Yardbird with Opera Philadelphia at the historic Apollo Theater in New York City. Concert performances included Carmina Burana with the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Berlioz Requiem at the Edinburgh Festival and an extensive U.S. recital tour.
Mr. Brownlee has appeared on the stages of the top opera companies around the globe, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, the Bavarian State Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, The Vienna State Opera, Opera National de Paris, Opernhaus Zürich, the Berlin State Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Théâtre Royale de la Monnaie, and the festivals of Salzburg and Baden Baden. Broadcasts of his operas and concerts—including his 2014 Bastille Day performance in Paris, attended by the French President and Prime Minister—have been enjoyed by millions.
His critically acclaimed discography and videography, which includes GRAMMY-nominated Virtuoso Rossini Arias, is a testament to his broad impact across the classical music scene. His opera and concert recordings include Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra, Armida at the Metropolitan Opera, Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Academia di Santa Cecilia, and Carmina Burana with the Berlin Philharmonic. He also released a disc of African-American spirituals entitled Spiritual Sketches with pianist Damien Sneed, which the pair performed at Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, and which NPR praised as an album of “soulful singing” that “sounds like it’s coming straight from his heart to yours.”
Brownlee is the fourth of six children and first discovered music when he learned to play bass, drums, and piano at his family’s church in Youngstown, Ohio. He was awarded a Masters of Music from Indiana University and went onto win a Grand Prize in the 2001 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. Alongside his singing career, Brownlee is an avid salsa dancer and an accomplished photographer, specializing in artist portraits of his on-stage colleagues. A die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers and Ohio State football fan, Brownlee has sung the National Anthem at numerous NFL games. He is a champion for autism awareness through the organization Autism Speaks, and he is a lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity Inc., a historically black fraternity committed to social action and empowerment.
Acclaimed by Opera News as being “among the top accompanists of her generation,” pianist Myra Huang regularly performs in recitals and chamber music concerts around the world. In addition to many chamber music concerts and recitals at the Palau De Les Arts in Valencia, Spain, she recently performed recitals at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the University of Chicago, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York with tenor Nicholas Phan, and at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall with soprano Susanna Phillips. She also performs regularly in association with the Marilyn Horne Foundation at Carnegie Hall and throughout the US.