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Houston Matters

Acclaimed Tenor Returns To Houston Grand Opera For First-Time Performance

Larry Brownlee discusses his role in HGO’s premiere of Gaetano Donizetti’s ‘La Favorite.’

Tenor Larry Brownlee performs the role of Fernand in Houston Grand Opera’s premiere performance of Gaetano Donizetti's La Favorite.


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Tenor Lawrence Brownlee, aka Larry, has appeared in multiple Houston Grand Opera productions since his debut in 2007 as Don Ramiro in Rossini's La Cenerentola.

Now, he returns to the Wortham Theater Center in this year's performance of Gaetano Donizetti's La Favorite, a first not only for the opera company but also for Brownlee himself.

In the role of Fernand, Brownlee portrays a man set on becoming a monk who has a sudden change of heart when he meets an alluring woman named Léonor and begins to doubt his plans for the future.

What follows is a dramatic struggle as Fernand pines to be with a woman that he believes is well above his station but who hides a secret about her true identity.

In the audio above, Houston Matters producer Joshua Zinn talks with Brownlee about approaching a new role with a fresh take, his favorite moments from the opera, and some of the challenges inherent to singing in French.