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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Browse 26-50 of 58 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Opera 2012
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 70954 Release Date: 04/03/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Diana Damrau,  Joyce DiDonato,  Rolando Villazón,  Natalie Dessay  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano,  Dan Ettinger,  Kazushi Ono,  Marcello Viotti  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 27.
    The Very Best Of English Song
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80513 Release Date: 04/03/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  John Ireland,  Charles Hubert Parry,  Roger Quilter  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Gerald Moore,  Thomas Allen,  Geoffrey Parsons  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Simon Rattle,  Steuart Bedford  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Fretwork,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $34.99
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  • 28.
    Orff: Carmina Burana / Andre Previn
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6787042 Release Date: 03/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff,  Unspecified
    Performer:  Gerald English,  Sheila Armstrong,  Thomas Allen
    Conductor:  André Previn
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  • 29.
    Massenet: Werther / Sir Colin Davis, Carreras, Von Stade
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001651002 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jules Massenet
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Linda Humphries,  Thomas Allen,  Frederica Von Stade  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Childrens Chorus
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  • 30.
    Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro / Solti, Te Kanawa, Ramey, Tear, Popp
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001621302 Release Date: 12/06/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Kurt Moll,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Philip Langridge,  Giorgio Tadeo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Opera Chorus
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  • 31.
    Leoncavallo: I Pagliacci Highlights; Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana Highlights / Muti
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94838 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  José Carreras,  Julia Hamari,  Astrid Varnay  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Singers,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Rossini: The Barber Of Seville Highlights / Marriner
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 438498 Release Date: 08/19/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Thomas Allen,  Francisco Araiza,  Agnes Baltsa,  Domenico Trimarchi  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
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  • 33.
    Mozart: Don Giovanni Highlights / Marriner, Allen
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 438494 Release Date: 07/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Thomas Allen,  Robert Lloyd,  Simone Alaimo,  Karita Mattila  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 34.
    Amadeus: Best Of Mozart
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 82164 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leopold Mozart,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Emile Naoumoff,  Stephen Hough,  Andrei Gavrilov,  Sabine Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Bryden Thomson,  Hans Vonk,  Jeffrey Tate  ... 
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  • 35.
    The Very Best Of Montserrat Caballe
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94792 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Pietro Mascagni,  Gioachino Rossini,  Joaquin Turina  ... 
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Thomas Allen,  Elisabeth Bainbridge,  Alexis Weissenberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Anton Guadagno,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Lamberto Gardelli  ... 
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  • 36.
    Britten: Peter Grimes / Davis, Vickers, Harper, Bailey
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001572802 Release Date: 07/12/2011   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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  • 37.
    Gounod: Faust - Highlights / Pretre, Domingo, Freni
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94862 Release Date: 06/21/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod
    Performer:  Marc Vento,  Thomas Allen,  Michčle Command,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Prętre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Chorus,  Paris Opera Orchestra
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  • 38.
    Donizetti: Don Pasquale / Abbado, Bruson, Mei, Lopardo, Allen, Munich Radio Symphony
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 7856542 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti
    Performer:  Eva Mei,  Thomas Allen,  Renato Bruson,  Frank Lopardo  ... 
    Conductor:  Roberto Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Gluck: Iphigenie En Tauride / Muti, Vaness, Allen, Surian, Teatro Alla Scala
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 57637 Release Date: 03/01/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck
    Performer:  Giorgio Surian,  Carol Vaness,  Thomas Allen,  Gösta Winbergh
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
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  • 40.
    100 Best Placido Domingo
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 47472 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Arrigo Boito,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Placido Domingo,  Montserrat Caballé,  Reri Grist  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  John Barker,  Bruno Bartoletti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
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  • 41.
    50 Best Placido Domingo
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48750 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Arrigo Boito,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Placido Domingo,  Montserrat Caballé,  Reri Grist  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  John Barker,  Bruno Bartoletti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
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  • 42.
    James Levine - Celebrating 40 Years At The Met  [21 DVD Box Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 1135701355 Release Date: 12/07/2010   Number of Discs: 21
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  John Corigliano,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Franz Mazura,  Julia Migenes,  Evelyn Lear,  Kenneth Riegel  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
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    DVD: $299.99
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  • 43.
    Janacek: Cunning Little Vixen / Mackerras, Allen, Jenis, Orchestre De Paris
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4544 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leos Janácek
    Performer:  Hannah Minutillo,  Thomas Allen,  Eva Jenis,  Richard Novák  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestra
    On sale! $29.99
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  • 44.
    Mozart Edition - Complete Works
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94051 Release Date: 11/09/2010   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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  • 45.
    Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte / Davis, Burrows, Allen, Van Allan, Te Kanawa, Baltsa
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 9005 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Richard Van Allan,  Thomas Allen,  Stuart Burrows  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 46.
    Orff: Carmina Burana / Andre Previn
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 31802 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  Gerald English,  Sheila Armstrong,  Thomas Allen
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  St Clement Danes School Choir,  London Symphony Chorus
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  • 47.
    Vaughan Williams: Serenade To Music, Mystical Songs / Best
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 30025 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Anne Dawson,  Linda Kitchen,  Amanda Roocroft,  Diana Montague  ... 
    Conductor:  Matthew Best
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Corydon Singers,  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Mozart: Complete Operas [33 DVDs]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001470109 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 33
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Chaya Czernowin
    Performer:  Elina Garanca,  Michael Schade,  Dorothea Röschmann,  Barbara Bonney  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Riccardo Muti,  Roger Norrington,  Manfred Honeck  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung,  Vienna State Opera Chorus  ... 
    DVD: $205.49
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  • 49.
    50 Best Mozart
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57524 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Leopold Mozart,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Emile Naoumoff,  Jack Brymer,  Christian Zacharias,  Frank Peter Zimmermann  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Sir Neville Marriner,  David Zinman  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 50.
    50 Best Opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57531 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Gustave Charpentier  ... 
    Performer:  Cornelius Hauptmann,  Margareta Lilowa,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Ursula Kunz  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Bernard Haitink,  Rafael Kubelik,  Peter Schneider  ... 
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