Thomas Allen (Baritone)
Born: 10th September 1944, Seaham Harbour, County Durham
Thomas Allen was born in Seaham, County Durham in 1944 and studied at the Royal College of Music, spending his early career at Welsh National Opera where his repertoire included Papageno, Guglielmo and Rossini’s Figaro and the title-roles in Eugene Onegin and Billy Budd. He made his Covent Garden debut in the latter opera (as Donald) in 1971, which heralded the beginning of a four-decade relationship with the house; celebrated roles there and further afield include Beckmesser (Die Meistersinger), Guglielmo and Don Alfonso (Cosi fan tutte), the title-roles in Don Giovanni and Gianni Schicchi, and the Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen. Allen is also acclaimed for his recitals and recordings of English song (particularly songs from his native North East), Gilbert & Sullivan and musical theatre, where successes have included Sweeney Todd and (more recently) recordings with fellow Northerner John Wilson.
Since the early 2000s Allen has enjoyed a parallel career as a stage director, working particularly closely with Scottish Opera; he was knighted in 1999, and appointed Chancellor of Durham University in 2011.
Further Reading: Thomas Allen
Marin Alsop conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in a new recording of Leonard Bernstein's comic operetta based on Voltaire's satirical novella, in a performance that is full of dry wit, absurd humour, and stirring optimism.
The veteran baritone talks to Katherine about his autumnal album of classics from The Great American Songbook, out now on Champs Hill Records and featuring soprano Lucy Crowe.