Opera Philadelphia

Published15 Oct 2020

The Opera Philadelphia Channel debuts on Friday, October 23, with “Lawrence Brownlee & Friends in Philadelphia”

Lawrence Brownlee captivates audiences around the world, hailed as “an international star” (New York Times) and “one of this generation's greatest tenors” (ABC News). Having joined Opera Philadelphia as Artistic Advisor in 2017, Brownlee will take a starring role this fall in the debut of the Opera Philadelphia Channel, a global platform that will bring a robust 2020-2021 season into opera lovers’ homes via their television screens and streaming devices.

The tenor takes center stage in the first performance created for the channel, “Lawrence Brownlee & Friends in Philadelphia,” a recital and conversation program in which he is joined by three women with deep ties to Philadelphia: sopranos Lindsey ReynoldsSarah Shafer, and Karen Slack, accompanied by pianist Myra Huang. Curated by the performers, the program features music by composers Clara Schumann, Nadia Boulanger, Amy Beach, and Jacqueline Hairston, alongside works by Mozart, Donizetti, and Massenet. Filmed September 16-18 at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, the show will premiere on Friday, October 23, at 8:00 p.m. EST, and remain available on-demand throughout the season.

“I am thrilled to invite everyone to join us for a night of arias, songs, spirituals, and conversation as we launch this exciting digital season on the Opera Philadelphia Channel,” Brownlee said.

Leadership Support for “Lawrence Brownlee & Friends in Philadelphia”has been provided by Judy and Peter Leone. Major Support has been provided by Katherine and Andrew Christiano and Carolyn Horn Seidle.

Program of Music

“Laudamus te” from Great Mass in C minor by W.A. Mozart
Sarah Shafer

“Je suis encore tout étourdie” from Manon by Jules Massenet
Lindsey Reynolds
Text by Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille

“Il est doux, il est bon” from Hérodiade by Jules Massenet
Karen Slack
Text by Paul Milliet and Henri Grémont

“Allegro io son” from Rita by Gaetano Donizetti
Lawrence Brownlee
Text by Gustave Vaëz

“Die stille Stadt” from Fünf Lieder by Alma Mahler
Karen Slack
Text by Richard Dehmel

“La mer est plus belle” by Nadia Boulanger
Lindsey Reynolds
Text by Paul Verlaine

“Liebst du um Schönheit,” Op. 12, No. 4 by Clara Schumann
Lawrence Brownlee
Text by Friedrich Rückert

“The Year’s at the Spring” from Three Browning Songs, Op. 44 by Amy Beach
Sarah Shafer
Text by Robert Browning

“Deep River,” traditional spiritual arranged by H.T. Burleigh
Sarah Shafer 

“Watch and Pray,” traditional spiritual arranged by Undine Smith Moore and Myra Huang
Lindsey Reynolds & Karen Slack 

“My Good Lord Done Been Here,” traditional spiritual arranged by Jacqueline Hairston
Lawrence Brownlee

Toccata (“Ride on King Jesus”) from Cantata for Voice & Piano, traditional spiritual arranged by John Carter
Karen Slack

“Art is Calling for Me” from The Enchantress by Victor Herbert
Lindsey Reynolds
Text by Fred DeGresac and Harry B. Smith

“It Had to Be You” by Isham Jones
Lawrence Brownlee
Text by Gus Kahn 

“Fascinating Rhythm” from Lady, Be Good by George Gershwin
Sarah Shafer
Text by Ira Gershwin

“Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)” from Annie Get Your Gun by Irving Berlin
Lawrence Brownlee, Lindsey Reynolds, Sarah Shafer, and Karen Slack 

Lindsey Reynolds
Soprano Lindsey Reynolds performs in "Lawrence Brownlee & Friends in Philadelphia" Credit: Dominic M. Mercier

About the Artists

New Orleans-born Lindsey Reynolds, called a “ravishing lyric soprano” (Parterre Box), currently resides in Philadelphia, where she received her undergraduate degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and is pursuing her Master of Music. A versatile artist, Reynolds’ repertoire encompasses opera, musicals, concerts, and inter-arts collaboration. She is known to Opera Philadelphia and Curtis Opera Theatre audiences for roles such as Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Monica in Menotti’s The Medium, and Cathleen in Vaughan Williams’ Riders to the Sea.

Praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer for her “crystalline sound, perfectly true intonation, glowing warmth, and total presence” as well as, “a singer to watch” by Opera News, American soprano Sarah Shafer actively appears on the leading operatic and concert stages of the world. A native of State College, PA, she holds degrees in voice and opera from the Curtis Institute of Music and is currently based in Philadelphia. The 2019-2020 season saw Shafer return to Opera Philadelphia for a comedic turn as Iris in Semele.

Hailed for possessing a voice of extraordinary beauty, a seamless legato, and great dramatic depth, American soprano Karen Slack is a Philadelphia native and a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. In recent seasons she has appeared as Alice Ford in Falstaff, Leonora in Il trovatore, and Tosca with Arizona Opera; as Aïda at Austin Opera; Emelda Griffith in Champion with New Orleans Opera; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Nashville Opera; Violetta in La traviata with Sacramento Opera; and Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking with both Minnesota Opera and Vancouver Opera. She returned to Opera Philadelphia for a series of recital programs during Festival O19.

Acclaimed by Opera News as being "among the top accompanists of her generation" and "...a colouristic tour de force" by the New York Times, Grammy® Award-nominated pianist Myra Huang is highly sought after for her interpretation of lieder and art song as well as her depth of musicianship and impeccable technique. Last season, Huang performed in recitals throughout the U.S., including The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, The Kennedy Center, The Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, and the 92nd St Y.  Huang was chosen as the recipient of The Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artist Award for 2019 by the Classical Recording Foundation for her consummate artistry.

About the Opera Philadelphia Channel

Launching on October 23, 2020, the Opera Philadelphia Channel will create a digital space in which artists can perform and explore, through a series of new commissions by visionary composers and dynamic performances produced for the screen. Season subscriptions priced at $99 will be offered along with pay-per-view options for individual performances. The channel will be available for viewing on computers and mobile devices, and on TV screens via Chromecast and the Opera Philadelphia Channel app on AppleTV, Android TV, Roku, and Amazon FireTV. 

The Opera Philadelphia Channel has been made possible by the Disosway Foundation, Inc., and by Wyncote Foundation at the recommendation of Frederick R. Haas and Rafael Gomez. Major Support has been provided by Ms. Robin Angly, Joel and Sharon Koppelman, and Ellen Steiner. Additional Support has been provided by Mr. Jeffrey P. Cunard and Ms. Mariko Ikehara, Katie Adams Schaeffer and Tony Schaeffer, the Howard and Sarah D. Solomon Foundation, and Laura A. Williamson.

For more information, visit operaphila.tv.

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