Concept

John Brownlee (baritone)

Summary
John Donald Mackenzie Brownlee (7 January 1900 10 January 1969) was an Australian operatic baritone. For most of his professional career he was based in Europe and then the United States. Biography John Brownlee was born in Geelong, Victoria. As a boy, he became a junior naval cadet in the Royal Australian Navy, serving during World War I. Following service, he studied accounting. He entered a singing contest in Ballarat, winning first prize even though he had never had a lesson. Several singing engagements followed. One of these, a performance of Messiah, was attended by Nellie Melba, who convinced him to go to Paris for serious study with Dinh Gilly. His debut took place at Covent Garden on 8 June 1926, in the performance of La bohème in which Melba made her farewell appearance. That autumn he was engaged by the Paris Opera, the first time a British subject had been made a permanent member of that company; his Paris debut was in Thaïs in 1927. In 1934, he appeared a
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