Thomas Allen

Composers

Biography

Born: September 10, 1944   Country: England  
Recognized as much for his acting ability as for his fine singing, baritone Thomas Allen brings a strong sense of style and character to all types of music; his broad repertory includes Monteverdi, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, the lighter Wagner roles, Britten's Billy Budd, Prokofiev's War and Peace, and Janácek's The Cunning Little Vixen.

Allen grew up in a mining community in the north of England where his father ran a glee club and a dance
Read more band, provided accompaniment for a local choir, and collected musical instruments. As a boy, Allen learned both piano and organ from his father, and sang in various local choirs. By the age of 16, he was singing baritone solos in the school choir, and even participating as a soloist in various local recitals, as well as continuing his organ lessons and studying music at school. He successfully auditioned for the Royal College of Music in 1964, where he intended to focus his energies on lieder and oratorio, but by 1967 he had already made his first operatic appearance as a substitute singer in Benjamin's The Prima Donna.

In 1968, before graduating, he won the Queen's Prize, an award that included lessons with James Lockhart, the new music director of the Welsh National Opera. Lockhart encouraged him to audition for the WNO, and he was engaged in 1968 to join the company the next year. Between that time and the beginning of his engagement, he sang in the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus.

At the Welsh National Opera, Lockhart continued to act as a coach and mentor, and Allen made his debut as Figaro in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia in 1969. He made his Covent Garden debut as

Donald in Billy Budd in 1971 (he also took on the title role for the WNO the same year), his Glyndebourne debut in 1973 as Papageno, sang his first Wagner role (Melot in Tristan and Isolde, at Covent Garden), and created the role of the Count in Musgrave's The Voice of Ariadne at the 1974 Aldeburgh Festival. During this period he gave special attention to the major Mozart baritone roles, and, in 1977, sang his first Don Giovanni at the Salzburg Festival, to great acclaim for both his singing and his acting. He garnered even more attention as the Count in a performance of Figaro a few months later at Covent Garden, and made his Met debut as Papageno in 1981. In 1980, he sang Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin for the first time at the Welsh National Opera, and this role soon joined Don Giovanni as one of his signature roles. During the 1980s, he started adding a few Verdi roles to his repertoire, such as Posa in Don Carlo and Ford in Falstaff, though he was wary of the heavier roles. In 1999, he was knighted in Queen Elizabeth's Birthday Honors.

He recorded two equally fine performances of Don Giovanni -- one based on a Glyndebourne performance with Haitink (EMI CDS7 47037-8), the other on Philips with Marriner. His Eugene Onegin, conducted by Levine (Deutsche Grammophon), captures him in magnificent form in a memorable role. Read less
Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia Highlights / Marriner, Allen, Baltsa
Release Date:    Label: Philips  
Catalog: 412266   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 191 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Mozart: Complete Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 1116167 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 170
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Christian Bach
    Performer:  Margaret Urquhart,  Pieter-Jan Belder,  Marten Boeken,  Remy Baudet  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap ter Linden,  Paul Freeman,  János Ferencsik,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Mozart Academy,  Musica Amphion,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Strauss: Ariadne Auf Naxos / Isokoski, Claycomb, Allen, Jurowski, London Philharmonic
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1135 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Thomas Allen,  Soile Isokoski,  Laura Claycomb,  Kate Lindsey  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Strauss: Ariadne Auf Naxos / Isokoski, Claycomb, Allen, Jurowski, London Philharmonic [blu-ray]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 7145 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Kate Lindsey,  Laura Claycomb,  Soile Isokoski,  Thomas Allen  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 4.
    Gluck: The Great Operas / Gardiner, Minkowski, McCreesh
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002088102 Release Date: 07/15/2014   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck
    Performer:  Derek Lee Ragin,  Sylvia McNair,  Cyndia Sieden,  Richard Croft  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Marc Minkowski,  Paul McCreesh,  Bernhard Forck  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  Les Musiciens du Louvre  ... 
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  • 5.
    Leonard Slatkin Conducts Vaughan Williams
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 7902492 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Hugh Bean,  David Jones,  David Mason,  Thomas Allen  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
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  • 6.
    Mozart: Don Giovanni / Conlon, Allen, Vaness, Furlanetto, Rost
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102319 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Kjell Magnus Sandve,  Ferruccio Furlanetto,  Thomas Allen,  Carolyn James  ... 
    Conductor:  James Conlon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Felicity Lott & Thomas Allen In Recital
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4915 Release Date: 12/17/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Felicity Lott,  Thomas Allen,  Malcolm Martineau
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  • 8.
    Erato - 50 CD Collection
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 46441 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Pierre Pierlot,  Paul Hongne,  Jacques Chambon  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jean-François Paillard,  Frigyes Sándor,  Kent Nagano  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.,  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna Soloists  ... 
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  • 9.
    Berlioz: Complete Orchestral & Sacred Works / Colin Davis
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4804868 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  Nobuko Imai,  John Shirley-Quirk,  Patricia Kern,  Robert Tear  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
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  • 10.
    Britten: Choral Works & Operas for Children
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 151562 Release Date: 06/04/2013   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Thomas Allen,  Robert Tear,  Elisabeth Söderström,  Mark Blatchly  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  André Previn,  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Philip Ledger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  Christ Church Cathedral Choir Men and Boys,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 11.
    The John Eliot Gardiner Collection
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001826002 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Henry Purcell,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Marinella Pennicchi,  Michael Chance,  Mark Tucker,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  His Majesties Sagbutts and Cornetts  ... 
    CD: $104.49
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  • 12.
    Britten: Peter Grimes / Davis, Vickers, Harper, Bailey
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001821002 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Jon Vickers,  Anne Pashley,  Heather Harper,  Jonathan Summers  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 13.
    Beethoven Masterworks Collection  [51-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001813172 Release Date: 03/19/2013   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Janet Perry,  Agnes Baltsa,  Vinson Cole,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Carlos Kleiber,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $163.49
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  • 14.
    Montserrat Caballe Sings Bellini & Verdi Arias
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 828722 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Agostino Ferrin,  Julia Hamari,  Alfredo Kraus  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Anton Guadagno
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  • 15.
    Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte / Pritchard, Glyndebourne Festival 1975
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102309 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Anson Austin,  Sylvia Lindenstrand,  Helena Döse,  Daniele Perriers  ... 
    Conductor:  John Pritchard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 26792 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Truls Otterbech Mork,  Lars Anders Tomter,  Elisabeth Söderström,  Thomas Allen  ... 
    Conductor:  Libor Pesek,  Simon Rattle,  Oliver Knussen,  Iona Brown  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Endymion Ensemble,  Aldeburgh Festival Ensemble
    On sale! $26.98
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  • 17.
    Philips Original Jackets Collection  [55-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001767702 Release Date: 12/04/2012   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elisabeth Unger,  Claudio Arrau,  Thomas Zehetmair  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Bernard Haitink,  Frans Brüggen,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
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  • 18.
    Christmas Celebration - Nutcracker, Hansel Und Gretel / Kessels, Davis, Royal Opera House (3 DVD)
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1090 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Engelbert Humperdinck
    Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager,  Elizabeth Connell,  Diana Damrau,  Anja Silja  ... 
    Conductor:  Koen Kessels,  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Tiffin Children's Choir
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  • 19.
    Solti Conducts The Mozart Operas [15-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001745402 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Tom Krause,  Arthur Davies,  Gabriel Bacquier,  Pilar Lorengar  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  London Opera Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    Mozart Complete Edition [170 CDs + CD-ROM]
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94251 Release Date: 09/04/2012   Number of Discs: 170
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Christian Bach
    Performer:  Angela Bucci,  Baltazar Zuniga,  Elena Biscuola,  Abramo Rosalen  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Favero,  Ton Koopman,  Paul Freeman,  Jaap ter Linden  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oficina Musicum,  Radio Chamber Orchestra,  Musica Amphion  ... 
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  • 21.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 04463 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria Bierbaumber,  Franco De Grandis,  Elisabeth Kudrna-Schrei,  Thomas Allen  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung
    On sale! $51.98
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  • 22.
    Faure: Requiem; Pavane
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001706502 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré
    Performer:  Thomas Allen,  Sylvia [Soprano Vocals] McNair,  John Birch,  Stephen Cleobury  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  George Guest,  Jean Fournet
    CD: $8.99
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  • 23.
    Imaginary Landscapes - Sounds Of America [20-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 44290 Release Date: 07/03/2012   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Scott Joplin,  Ferde Grofé,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Rifkin,  Ralph Grierson,  Richard Rodney Bennett,  Barry Tuckwell  ... 
    Conductor:  Timothy Foley,  George Sponhaltz,  Felix Slatkin,  Ferde Grofé  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Great American Main Street Band,  Southland Stingers,  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 24.
    Massenet Edition [23-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001693202 Release Date: 07/03/2012   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Jules Massenet
    Performer:  Régine Crespin,  Gabriel Bacquier,  Michčle Command,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Kazimierz Kord,  Richard Bonynge,  Julius Rudel,  Enrique Diemecke  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Radio Chorus,  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $107.49
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  • 25.
    Schubert: Lieder On Record (1898-2012) [17-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27575 Release Date: 07/03/2012   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Peter Schreier,  Steven Zehr,  Thomas Hampson,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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