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Bill White
Fanfare, November 2017

Two fine opera singers at the top of their game… Damrau sings from the rather eclectic works of Giacomo Meyerbeer, a composer noted for French grand opera, but who also wrote works in Italian and German. Damrau stylishly makes the music her own with her usual complete artistry. Brownlee, long a rather under the radar coloratura tenor, provides arias from Donizetti and Bellini, displaying his awesome technique and high range, along with his easy mastery of bel canto repertoire. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review




Christopher Cook
BBC Music Magazine, March 2017

Lawrence Brownlee is the real thing; a genuine bel canto tenor whose new recording amply fulfils the promise of his earlier Rossini recital. Indeed, you may feel that the fearsome sustained top note that ends ‘Ah! Mes amis, quel jour de fete’ from Donizetti’s La fille du regiment is all the proof you need, and the single best reason for adding this disc to your collection.

But there is much else besides: admirable diction in a pair of Donizetti rarities from Rita and Dom Sebastien, even if there’s a tad too much vibrato in the middle register. Then there’s a sinuous legato that would surely have brought Donizetti to his feet. And Bellini too. Brownlee has sung the role of Arturo in I Puritani, and he claims both ‘A te, o cara’ and ‘Son salvo’ as his own. He clearly inhabits a role that he’s created on stage with a more exact sense of vocal character than in music that has been prepared for the recording studio. So his Nemorino in ‘Una furtiva lagrima’ celebrates as well as laments, and the crescendo on the phrase ‘m’ama’ is thrilling. © 2017 BBC Music Magazine



James A. Altena
Fanfare, March 2017

Lawrence Brownlee is hands down the greatest bel canto tenor in the world, and one of the very greatest of all time. A special voice category of tenor miraculoso ought to be created just for him, if nothing else than for his phenomenal high notes. …Brownlee is not just about high notes; there is the magnificently beautiful voice itself, the purest golden honey, technically flawless in every way, and what is more, allied to real interpretive taste and intelligence, all placed in service of the music and not used for showboating. Joy, exaltation, yearning pathos, desolation are present in abundance. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review




Joanne Sydney Lessner
Opera News, February 2017

Lawrence Brownlee has good reason to be happy, with a flourishing career as one of the most gifted bel canto tenors of his generation. The sheer beauty of his voice would be enough to please any listener, but his technical finesse, attention to the shape of every phrase and emotional honesty make this collection of Donizetti and Bellini arias a must-have. © 2017 Opera News Read complete review



Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, January 2017

[Lawrence Brownlee] is a highly poised performer in remarkable form displaying his appealing tone, crystal-clear diction and outstanding voice control particularly in his top register. These Rossini and Bellini arias are loaded with fioritura demands and Brownlee meets the challenges by zipping up and down with fluidity and dashing off trills and ornaments in a sheer brilliant display of vocal pyrotechnics. …The guest soloists have been well chosen and the Kaunas State Choir sings its heart out. Under Constantine Orbelian the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra demonstrates a spirited sense of music making. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Patrick Stearns
Gramophone, January 2017

The selection of Bellini and Donizetti arias is luxurious. The sunny ‘Allegro io son’ from Donizetti’s Rita is an inviting start, while other selections feature secondary soloists such as the able soprano Viktorija Miskunaite, and the well-rehearsed Kaunas State Choir make good, dark-voiced soldiers in ‘Ah! Mes amis, quel jour de fête’ from La fille du régiment.

High notes in this Bellini-Donizetti collection tend to shoot up like skyrockets (in contrast to Rossini’s more integrated showmanship), forcing Brownlee into somewhat unfortunate upper-range vocal explosions in Bellini’s ‘A te, o cara’ from I puritani. But his pitch is spot-on. And every so often, such as at the end of Donizetti’s ‘Pour me rapprocher de Marie’, there’s an arresting colouristic turn, reminding you that Brownlee has his own kind of vocal glamour. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Richard Sininger
American Record Guide, January 2017

This recording is another fine performance by Mr Brownlee. …[he] sings everything beautifully. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, January 2017

[Lawrence Brownlee] has a voice as liquid as golden honey but it is capable of rising to the peak of his range and intensity on the shortest notice. His High D seems deceptively effortless, while his High F takes a little more effort to achieve, but is still within his capability. © 2017 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review



Barry Bassis
The Epoch Times, December 2016

Brownlee receives commendable support from the Kaunas State Choir and Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra under Constantine Orbelian, an American who has become one of the leading conductors in Russia. Also noteworthy are the contributions by three Lithuanian opera singers: soprano Viktorija Miskunaite, baritone Andrius Apšega, and bass Liudas Mikalauskas.

On this CD, Brownlee does not explore a new style of music. He sticks to what he does best and what perhaps no one else on the current scene does better: bel canto arias. His prior CD of Rossini arias was nominated for a Grammy Award. This one should as well. © 2016 The Epoch Times Read complete review




Ralph Moore
MusicWeb International, December 2016

Not only does [Brownlee] possess a voice of great beauty, agility and elegance, but he deploys it with great taste, discreetly ornamenting the da capo sections of arias without ever resorting to undue prolongation or grandstanding. His tenor is light, neat and very slightly nasal with a trill and easy top notes to spare, sailing effortlessly up to a top C sharp without any sense of strain.

A highlight is the famous quartet from I puritani in which Brownlee is accompanied by three fine Lithuanian singers, in particular the big, vibrant soprano of Viktorija Miskunaite. The singing here and throughout is of the highest order, so that it matters little that apart from the opening number no real rarities are included; these are simply both composers' best arias. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Infodad.com, October 2016

The fans will not be disappointed: Brownlee’s full, rich tone is everywhere apparent in these mostly well-known arias, and his pinpoint accuracy extends throughout his vocal range—there is no sense of strain even at the top. The result is a very fine exploration of material that has been sung very well by very many tenors over the years. Brownlee does bring a sense of heightened emotion to a number of the arias in operas that are, after all, melodramas, in which emotion is supposed to run at fever pitch; and he humanizes characters effectively… © 2016 Infodad.com Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, October 2016

With stylish singing, American tenor Lawrence Brownlee reveals himself as an excellent Belcanto singer. His timbre is as pleasant as his technique is exquisite, and he is no less convincing in the characterization of the various figures. © 2016 Pizzicato



Joseph Newsome
Voix des Arts, August 2016

These performances radiate unbreakable respect for Bellini and Donizetti and unshakable trust in the power of their music to, when sung as they intended it to be sung, convey complex emotions with universal simplicity. …Sometimes sweet, sometimes scorching, Lawrence Brownlee’s voice is on Allegro io son always like silver gleaming through silk; a voice that generates its own sunshine. © 2016 Voix des Arts Read complete review



William J. Zick
AfriClassical, July 2016

Brownlee performs a rich and exciting mix of both tried and true favorites as well as less-often heard pieces.

…a paragon of astounding virtuosity and deep interpretive feeling that is bound to attract worldwide attention and critical acclaim. © 2016 AfriClassical Read complete review





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