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Speaking Soundly

Lawrence Brownlee

Season 5

Grammy nominated American tenor Lawrence Brownlee has been hailed as “an international star in the bel canto operatic repertory” (The New York Times) and as a voice for activism and diversity in the classical music industry. The pickleball fanatic discusses his Metropolitan Opera auditions, why the high C's aren't the only notes that matter, and what it was like to be cast as Tamino in The Magic Flute before he had ever seen an opera. Reflecting on his childhood rooted in gospel music, Lawrence shares how "music was inside of him" from the age of nine, what he felt at age twelve from the reaction to his first solo, and how he was inspired by The Three Tenors, specifically Pavarotti. Recounting the time an agent told him he'd never succeed because of his height and race, Lawrence talks about where he finds his confidence and what it's like to get a standing ovation mid-performance.




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Photograph of Lawrence Brownlee by Zakiyah Caldwell Burroughs


The Speaking Soundly theme song is composed by Joseph Saba/Stewart Winter and used by permission of Videohelper.


Speaking Soundly was co-created by David Krauss and Jessica Handelman


This interview has been edited and condensed to fit the time format.


Episode copyright © 2024 Artful Narratives Media.

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