One of the world’s leading voices in opera
Brownlee’s recent engagements include his debut in the title role of Rameau’s Platée with Opéra National de Paris and Lindoro in L’italiana in Algeri with Opernhaus Zürich, as well as appearing in Washington National Opera’s concert Come Home: A Celebration of a Return to open The Kennedy Center’s 50th-anniversary season. He also returned to The Metropolitan Opera as Tamino in a new production of Die Zauberflöte and sang Le Comte Ory with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
In spring 2021, Brownlee joined The Juilliard School as a Distinguished Visiting Faculty Member. He serves as artistic advisor for Opera Philadelphia, where his responsibilities include increasing and expanding audience diversity, advocating for new works and liaising with the general director from the perspective of a performing artist. Brownlee also serves as an ambassador for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lyric Unlimited and is an ambassador for Opera for Peace.
Amidst the challenges of COVID-19, he emerged as a pivotal voice in classical music’s shift toward digital programming and the resurgence of conversations around racial justice. A passionate advocate for diversity initiatives, Brownlee works with companies and engages civic organizations in the cities he visits to create programs and experiences seeking to expand opera audiences. In May 2020, he launched The Sitdown with LB, a weekly Facebook Live series exploring the experience of being an African American opera singer. In 2021, Brownlee expanded the series to include a segment titled Inside the Industry, where he shifted the focus to a behind-the-scenes look at the opera industry.
He is a Grand Prize Winner of the 2001 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. Brownlee is a winner of numerous awards and distinctions, including Male Singer of the Year (2017 International Opera Awards), The Kennedy Center’s Marian Anderson Award and the Opera News Award (2021). In October 2019, he had the distinct honor of singing at Jessye Norman’s funeral in her hometown of Augusta, GA.