Grad earns prestigious singing award

Wed, 2006-04-26 11:02 -- univcomm
April 26, 2006

Lawrence Brownlee, a graduate of Anderson University has won a 30-thousand-dollar award for singing. Brownlee makes his Metropolitan Opera debut next year. He's the winner of this year's Richard Tucker Award, named in honor of the great American tenor. Brownlee received a bachelor of arts degree from Anderson University and a master of music degree from Indiana University. He began singing professionally more than four years ago and has sung at La Scala; the Vienna State Opera; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; and the Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain. He makes his Met debut next March in a new production of Rossini's "Barber of Seville."

This is the latest of several awards for Ohio native Brownlee, who won the 2006 Marion Anderson Award and the 2003 ARIA Award.

In March 2007, Brownlee will make his Metropolitan Opera debut as Almavivia in the company’s new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia. Other upcoming engagements include La Fille de Regiment for the Hamburg State Opera, a return to Seattle Opera for L’italiana in Algeri, and debuts in Philadelphia, Houston, and Dresden.

He has previously sung witth the Vienna Staatsoper, San Diego Opera, and Teatro Real in Madrid. He made his debut at Teatro alla Scala as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia during the 2001-02 season; he has returned to the house several times since.

Critic Tim Page, writing in the Washington Post, described Brownlee's instrument as "a voice of high, brilliant, florid beauty that he employs with spectacular confidence, dexterity and musical intelligence. His pitch is spot-on; his coloratura flourishes are immaculately calibrated."

The Richard Tucker Foundation was founded in 1978 in memory of the American tenor to further the careers of young singers with awards, grants, and professional opportunities. The Richard Tucker Award, the foundation's most prestigious honor, includes a cash prize of $30,000 and the opportunity to sing in the foundation's annual gala, which is broadcast nationally on PBS. Past winners include Matthew Polenzani, Patricia Racette, Ruth Ann Swenson, Deborah Voigt, Renée Fleming, David Daniels, and Dolora Zajick. Brownlee is the first African-American winner of the award.

— Story courtesy of the Associated Press and PlaybillArts