Lawrence Brownlee To World Premiere New Song Cycle

By Francisco Salazar

Opera Philadelphia has announced a new song cycle written for Artistic Advisor tenor Lawrence Brownlee.

The company announced that the song cycle will explore the realities of life as a black man in America and will be showcased in a special one-night-only event on Feb. 20. The cycle, entitled “Cycles of My Being,” was composed by Tyshawn Sorey with text by Terrance Hayes. Lawrence Brownlee will perform the world premiere at the Perelman Theater at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in celebration of Black History Month.

Following the world premiere, the new song cycle will travel to Chicago for a Feb. 22, 2018 performance presented by Lyric Unlimited/Lyric Opera of Chicago at the DuSable Museum of African American History and will make its New York premiere on April 24, 2018, at Carnegie Hall, where it will be presented as part of the venue’s 125 Commissions Project in Zankel Hall.

Brownlee noted in a press release, “I’m honored to be working with the extraordinary talents of Tyshawn and Terrance on this new song cycle, and I’m grateful to Opera Philadelphia, Carnegie Hall, and Lyric Unlimited for making it possible. In these divided times, we hope to create something that brings people together with mutual respect, understanding, and communication across races and generations.”