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
Purcell: Dido & Aeneas / Leppard, Norman, Allen, Mclaughlin
Release Date: 10/25/1990   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 416299   Number of Discs: 1
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Janacek: Cunning Little Vixen / Mackerras, Allen, Jenis, Orchestre De Paris
Release Date: 11/16/2010   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4544   Number of Discs: 1
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Strauss: Ariadne Auf Naxos / Isokoski, Claycomb, Allen, Jurowski, London Philharmonic
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 1135   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Eugen Onegin / Levine, Allen, Freni, Von Otter
Release Date: 10/25/1990   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 423959   Number of Discs: 2
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Duparc: Songs / Sarah Walker, Thomas Allen, Roger Vignoles
Release Date: 06/21/1993   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 66323   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 176-183 of 183 Available Recordings
1 2 ... 7 8
  • 176.
    Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro Highlights / Solti, Te Kanawa
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 417395 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Thomas Allen,  Lucia Popp,  Samuel Ramey,  Frederica Von Stade  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 177.
    Purcell: Dido & Aeneas / Leppard, Norman, Allen, Mclaughlin
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 416299 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Marie McLaughlin,  Patricia Kern,  Derek Lee Ragin,  Patrick Power  ... 
    Conductor:  Raymond Leppard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 178.
    Tchaikovsky: Eugen Onegin / Levine, Allen, Freni, Von Otter
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 423959 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Rosemarie Lang,  Ruthild Engert,  Thomas Allen,  Neil Shicoff  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Radio Chorus,  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 179.
    Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte / Marriner, Mattila, Von Otter
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 422381 Release Date: 09/05/1990   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Karita Mattila,  Elzbieta Szmytka,  Francisco Araiza,  Thomas Allen  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 180.
    Gounod: Faust - Highlights / Prêtre, Domingo, Freni
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 63090 Release Date: 06/06/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod
    Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Placido Domingo,  Mirella Freni,  Michèle Command  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra,  Paris Opera Chorus
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  • 181.
    Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro / Solti, Ramey, Te Kanawa
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 410150 Release Date: 03/12/1984   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Kurt Moll,  Robert Tear,  Yvonne Kenny  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Opera Chorus
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  • 182.
    100 Best Adagio Voices
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64292 Release Date: 09/22/0009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi  ... 
    Performer:  Natalie Dessay,  Philippe Jaroussky,  Toby Spence,  Barbara Hendricks  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Langrée,  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Andrew Parrott  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Taverner Players  ... 
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  • 183.
    Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia Highlights / Marriner, Allen, Baltsa
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412266 Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Robert Lloyd,  Francisco Araiza,  Thomas Allen,  Agnes Baltsa
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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