Studio recordings of operas don’t come along that often these days, so it’s a real pleasure to welcome as our Limelight Recording of the Montha new recording of Bellini’s swansong, I Puritani. The score for the three-act Roundheads versus Cavaliers epic is notoriously challenging, the shadow of its original cast still looming large over modern interpretations. Clive Pagetcaught up with American tenor and bel cantospecialist Lawrence Brownleewho sings Arturo – the great ‘Rubini role’ – to talk about why the new recording was made in Lithuania, how he rates the opera and how he’s kept his voice in order over a 20-year career at the top. He also talks about how a young Black man found his way into opera, whether he’s ever lost out due to colour, and what ideas he has for the future.

This is, I think, your third recording made in Kaunas, Lithuania. How did the relationship come about?

Constantine Orbelian is a very dear friend of Renée Fleming’s, and when I was singing with her in Armidaat...