BE Modern Man Spotlights - Passion to Purpose: Lawrence Brownlee
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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Name: Lawrence Brownlee

Profession: Professional Opera Singer

Age: 42

I have put my passion to purpose by: Proudly being a face of diversity that has inspired other people of color to further pursue their dreams in this field.

One of the most in demand singers around the world, Lawrence Brownlee was recently nominated for “Male Singer of the Year” by the International Opera Awards. The fourth of six children, Brownlee first discovered music when he learned to play bass, drums, and piano at his family’s church in Youngstown, Ohio. With dreams of playing on the world’s biggest stages, he pursued an education at Indiana University and was awarded a Masters of Music.

Hailed by the Associated Press as one of “the world’s leading bel canto tenors, Brownlee is inspired by the quest to perfect the gift he has been given. “It is a lifelong journey and I haven’t reached the finish line,” Brownlee tells BE Modern Man.After all the things I have been blessed to accomplish, I tell myself that my best is still ahead of me.”

Having appeared on the stages of the top opera companies around the globe, the words of his father remain close to his heart. He says, “My father has been my biggest role model and he has never accepted perceived limitations.” Taught to go further, and to dig deeper, Brownlee has captivated audiences in the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Opera National de Paris, Teatro Real Madrid, Théâtre Royale de la Monnaie, and the festivals of Salzburg and Baden Baden. “The idea that you are constantly being perfected is important to him and me. Being extraordinary requires going beyond what is expected of you. For instance today I speak several different languages and I learned them after college. Only when you go far beyond the expected is the possibility of being extraordinary a potential reality – everything depends on you!”

Having won many of the top awards in his field, and blessed to perform on the worlds greatest stages alongside colleagues of the highest caliber, Brown’s greatest achievement exist beyond the Music. “I have been nominated for a Grammy, traveled to 38 countries, met and performed for many important people and achieved so many other accolades in my Field but the thing I am most proud of are my two children, Caleb and Zoe,” Brownlee tells BE Modern Man. “When I look at them, I see their future. I want to enrich it, protect it, nurture it, guide it and just see them succeed in life. Everything I do in life is second to them. They are by far my greatest achievement. They are my babies and they have truly taught me the meaning of love.”

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