Digital Concert:  Lawrence Brownlee: Rising
Kevin J. Miller, piano

Virtual Concert

Available for on demand viewing from Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 8pm until Monday, March 13, 2023 at 7:00 PM ET.

A captivating and charismatic tenor, Lawrence Brownlee is a leading force in opera, wielding his voice in the industry to promote activism and diversity. “One of the most in-demand opera singers in the world today,” according to NPR, Brownlee returns to Celebrity Series with a program based on texts by poets and authors of the Harlem Renaissance. Joined by pianist Kevin Miller, Brownlee will perform brand-new music that he has commissioned from acclaimed Black composers.

Of the project, Brownlee says:

These past years have been a trial, both for humanity as a whole, and the African-American population here in the United States. But through all these many challenges we have faced, I have also seen moments of strength, inspiration, hope, and great beauty. It is those themes of uplift, elevation, and rebirth that we have tried to focus on with this new project Rising, taking poems from the giants of the Harlem Renaissance, and working with some of today’s most talented African-American composers, to create something that speaks not just to our struggles, but to our triumphs.

For Brownlee, dazzling classical music audiences and advocating for diversity within the field of classical music go hand in hand.  “As an artist, I think it is important that we are actively advocating for this beautiful art form we love so much,” he says, “ensuring that it will be alive and well for many years to come.” 

Join Lawrence Brownlee as he shares his bold and inspiring vision: he reflects on the past as he looks ahead to a more inclusive vocal repertoire.


Expand to see the performance program.

Robert Lee Owens III

Desire, Op.13



Jeremiah Evans
(b. 1978)

April Song

Lost Illusions 

Southern Mansion


Robert Lee Owens III

Silver Rain, Op. 11

In time of silver rain
Night Song
Carolina Cabin


Margaret Bonds

Songs of the Seasons 

Poeme d’ Automne
Winter Moon
Young Love in Spring
Summer Storm


Carlos Simon
(b. 1986)

Vocalise I


Jasmine Barnes




Brandon Spencer
(b. 1992)

I know my Soul 

The Dance of Love


Carlos Simon

Vocalise II


Damien L. Sneed

Beauty that is never old

The Gift to Sing 

To America


Shawn E. Okpebholo
(b. 1981)



Carlos Simon

Vocalise III


Joel Thompson
(b. 1998)



My People

“The US-born tenor has gone from singing in church to the International Opera Awards. Now he’s tackling something personal: the issue of race in America.”

The Guardian

This performance is made possible in part by support from Celebrity Series' LIVE PERFORMANCE! Arts for All Innovation Funds.