Lawrence Brownlee Joins Opera Philadelphia As Artistic Advisor

By Francisco Salazar

Opera Philadelphia has announced that Lawrence Brownlee, whose lead performance in the 2015 world premiere of Charlie Parker’s “Yardbird” kick-started the company’s “big commitment to new repertoire”  has joined the company as an Artistic Advisor.

The company announced in a press release that Brownlee will work with General Director & President David B. Devan and Corrado Rovaris, the Jack Mulroney Music Director, to advise and advocate for expanded repertoire, provide insights on diversity in artistic practices and community initiatives, and collaborate with senior management in identifying and securing financial support for the company.

“I’m honored and humbled to join the extraordinary team at Opera Philadelphia, and in my role as Artistic Advisor, I look forward to working with them towards their mission of moving the art form forward and changing the very notion of what opera can be,” said Lawrence Brownlee.

“Whether it be helping with the creation of groundbreaking new works like ‘Yardbird,’ ‘Breaking the Waves,’ and ‘We Shall Not Be Moved,’ working to build new relationships and partnerships in the U.S. and internationally, or expanding the reach and diversity of audiences, I’m excited to be an agent of change in an organization that is truly committed to building the future of opera.”

The hiring of Brownlee completes a renowned trio of artistic advisors at Opera Philadelphia. Opera and voice instructor Mikael Eliasen, currently Dean of Vocal Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music and Artistic Director of the Curtis Opera Theatre, advises the company on repertoire planning, casting, composer support and the Curtis Institute of Music/Opera Philadelphia partnership. Artist and curator Kristy Edmunds, currently Executive and Artistic Director at the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, helps shape ways to incorporate contemporary artistic practice from other forms and genres and provides guidance on festival O programming and structure.

Brownlee appeared in 2015’s ‘Yardbird’which marked Opera Philadelphia’s first world premiere in 40 years. He was recently nominated for “Male Singer of the Year” at the 2017 International Opera Awards and has performed with nearly every leading international opera house and festival, 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 Royal de la Monnaie, and the festivals of Salzburg and Baden-Baden.

This season he performed at the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of “Yardbird” and is next slated to sing the European premiere with English National Opera at Hackney Empire. He is also slated to perform Belmonte at the Houston Grand Opera in Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio.”