March 26, 2021
Set in the country's heartland at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, the Rust Belt enclave of Youngstown, Ohio is better known for its steel and manufactured goods than for producing masters of the music of Rossini and Donizetti. Yet Lawrence Brownlee, lyric tenor and premier exponent of the bel canto repertoire, has emerged as one of that city's most prominent native sons. Endowed with a richly textured tone, lightning quick agility, and extraordinary range, he sits atop opera's A-list, sought after by virtually every notable company on both sides of the Atlantic. And as an African-American male artist at the pinnacle of success, he has learned to thrive in the rarefied air of opera stardom against the headwinds of America's cultural history.