Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Lawrence Brownlee in Recital

Tenor Lawrence Brownlee gave a recital Saturday night, only his second local appearance, following his San Francisco Opera debut the other year in Don Pasquale. He was delightful in that bonbon -- it's pretty silly even as opera plots go -- and was seriously good the other night. Here are the reviews and some further thoughts that wouldn't fit into my review.

We're pretty much on the same page here; Brownlee is new to Dichterliebe and it'll be very different hearing him a couple of years down the road. 

The thoughts I couldn't get into the review: Brownlee is such a consistent vocalist that I would be willing to bet that he sings for a good long time. His comfort in florid music, standards, and contemporary music somewhat puts me in mind of the late Hugues Cuénod, who died at the remarkable age of 108 and performed until his early 90s. Like Cuénod, Brownlee has a light tenor of the sort that seems like it wouldn't change much even with some age-related wear. He is 46, meaning he's been singing professionally for around 20 years, and there is no audible wear at all. 

Here you've got an opera tenor who has a serious interest in contemporary music. New music groups should be falling all over themselves to hire him and commission more work for him. And the Cuénod comparison suggests to me that early music groups should be trying to hire him too; the late tenor sang pretty much everything. I mean, Brownlee would be fabulous in Bach, Monteverdi, Machaut, the troubadours.

Lastly, I hope a recording of Cycles of My Being will be forthcoming.

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