A native of Philadelphia, American countertenor Lawrence studied English and Music at Yale University and King’s College, Cambridge, before making his operatic debut as Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream to great acclaim whilst studying voice at the Royal College of Music, London. As an opera singer, Lawrence continues to perform in major opera houses throughout the world, including the Wiener Staatsoper, the Metropolitan Opera, Opera de Paris, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Opernhaus Zurich, Oper Frankfurt, Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Teatro Real Madrid, La Monnaie Brussels, Lyon, Aix-en-Provence, Hamburg, the Canadian Opera Company and Glyndebourne.
He has worked with leading conductors in both early and contemporary music, including René Jacobs, Ottavio Dantone, William Christie, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Ivor Bolton, Emmanuelle Haim, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Alessandro de Marchi, Leonardo Garcia Alarcòn, Christian Curnyn, David Bates, Paul Goodwin, Martyn Brabbins, James Conlon, and Simone Young. Regularly appearing in concert and recital at the Wigmore Hall, Musikverein, Concertgebouw, the Leipzig Bach Festival, Theatre des Champs-Elysées, the Edinburgh Festival, the Innsbruck Festwochen der Alte Musik and Festival d’Opera Baroque in Beaune, he has premiered new works by Jonathan Dove (Hojoki), Thomas Adès (The Tempest), Rolf Riehm (Sirenen, Die Tode des Orpheus), and Iain Bell (These motley fools). A keen Handelian, his extensive discography includes the Handel operas Giulio Cesare, Rodelinda, Rinaldo, Serse, Partenope, Riccardo Primo, Lotario, and Fernando Ré di Castiglia, as well as the oratorios Saul, Deborah, and Messiah, in addition to Scarlatti’s Griselda, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, and Mozart’s Apollo et Hyacinthus and Mitridate. His prior solo recordings include Byrdland (Dowland, Byrd, and Purcell with the Paragon Saxophone Quartet), Lunarcy (lute songs with Shizuko Noiri) and A Royal Trio (opera arias by Handel, Bononcini, and Ariosti with David Bates and La nuova musica). Most recently, he collaborated with Wolfgang Katschner and Vivica Genaux in exploring gender ambiguity and disguise on Baroque Gender Stories, as well as a world premiere recording of Jonathan Dove’s Hojoki with the BBC Philharmonic.
With a PhD in Music from Queen’s University Belfast, Lawrence also regularly gives masterclasses, lectures and vocal workshops throughout the world, and is a Lecturer in Music at Newcastle University.