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
Browse 26-50 of 131 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Love, Passion & Deceit - Rossini, Mozart, Strauss / Glyndebourne Festival
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1074 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Malena Ernman,  Thomas Allen,  Pamela Armstrong,  Håkan Hagegård  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski,  Iván Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus,  Glyndebourne Chorus  ... 
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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    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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    CD: $21.99
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  • 29.
    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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  • 30.
    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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  • 31.
    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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  • 32.
    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
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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    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: $168.99
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  • 37.
    Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Etc / Tennstedt, Popp, Weikl
    Label: Emi Classics Red Line   Catalog: 569862 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Bernd Weikl,  Thomas Allen
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt,  Jeffrey Tate
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 38.
    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  ... 
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  • 39.
    50 Best Opera
    Label: Warner 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  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 40.
    Berlioz: Beatrice et Benedict / Davis, Baker, Allen
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 475221 Release Date: 03/25/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Thomas Allen,  Jules Bastin,  Christiane Eda-Pierre  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 41.
    The Wolf Edition - 150th Anniversary
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 88608 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Hugo Wolf
    Performer:  Liese Klahn,  Monika Frimmer,  Erik Werba,  Brigitte Fassbaender  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 42.
    Adagio - Samuel Barber 100th Anniversary
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 87286 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Samuel Barber
    Performer:  Thomas Allen,  Roger Vignoles,  Judith LeClair,  Joseph Robinson  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Endellion String Quartet,  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 43.
    Prima Donna - The First Ladies Of Opera
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001396202 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila,  Montserrat Caballé,  Danielle De Niese,  Elina Garanca  ... 
    Conductor:  John Pritchard,  Sir Colin Davis,  William Christie,  Roberto Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Les Arts Florissants  ... 
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  • 44.
    Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony / Slatkin, Valente, Allen
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61197 Release Date: 01/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Thomas Allen,  Benita Valente
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
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  • 45.
    Mozart: Don Giovanni / Allen, Vaness, Haitink
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 47037 Release Date: 10/26/2009   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Thomas Allen,  Richard Van Allan,  Carol Vaness,  Maria Ewing  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glyndebourne Chorus,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 46.
    Humperdinck: Hansel & Gretel / Davis, Damrau, Allen, Silja
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1011 Release Date: 07/28/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck
    Performer:  Pumeza Matshikiza,  Angelika Kirchschlager,  Elizabeth Connell,  Anja Silja  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tiffin Children's Choir,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Humperdinck: Hansel & Gretel / Davis, Damrau, Allen, Silja
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 7032 Release Date: 07/28/2009  
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck
    Performer:  Anja Silja,  Diana Damrau,  Angelika Kirchschlager,  Elizabeth Connell  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tiffin Children's Choir,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Poulenc: Le Bal Masqué, Bestiaìre, Sextet / Nash Ensemble
    Label: Crd Records   Catalog: 3437 Release Date: 05/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Thomas Allen
    Conductor:  Lionel Friend
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble
    CD: $18.99
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  • 49.
    Benjamin Britten - The Collector's Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 17526 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 37
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Andrew Mead,  Jill Gomez,  Norman Bailey,  Penelope Walker  ... 
    Conductor:  Reginald Goodall,  Richard Hickox,  Daniel Harding,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trinity Boys Choir,  City of London Sinfonia,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $157.98
    CD: $132.49
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  • 50.
    Schubert: Winterreise / Thomas Allen, Roger Vignoles
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 91430 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Roger Vignoles,  Thomas Allen
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