Opera Philadelphia powers up with new hire

The company has been going great guns since its runaway hit, Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves.

Today, it’s announcing that the tenor Lawrence Brownlee is joining the staff as Artistic Advisor.

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  • Great move. Larry is not only a superb artist but a very intelligent and objective observer of the art form.

  • It is encouraging to see successful performers in positions to inform the artistic vision of opera companies. From experience, many (a shocking majority) of those in senior artisitic advisory positions with opera companies have little or no personal professional musical or theatrical training.

    I’ve often scratched my head at how a person who trained in business management or other unrelated experience can sit in an audition and judge the vocal merits of young singers or make decisions regarding the abilities of singers to fulfill the vocal and theatrical demands of roles.

    Mr. Brownlee’s welcome appointment–who is thankfully far from walking away from his day job–is encouraging. I hope more singers will choose this path. After all, how many university programs can churn out singers with little chance of long-term future employment? We need to bolster the health of the end product. What is going on now in opera companies is not working.

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