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Sir Thomas Allen

About this Artist

SIR THOMAS ALLEN is an established star of the great opera houses of the world. He has sung over fifty roles at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; in 2012 he celebrated the 40th anniversary of his debut with the company. 

He has been particularly acclaimed for his Billy Budd, Pelléas, Eugene Onegin, Ulisse, and Beckmesser, as well as the great Mozart roles of Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Guglielmo, and, of course, Don Giovanni. His engagements have included the title role in Gianni Schicchi for Los Angeles Opera and at the Spoleto Festival; the title role in Sweeney Todd, Beckmesser (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Prosdocimo (Il Turco in Italia), Music Master (Ariadne auf Naxos), Peter (Hänsel und Gretel), and Don Alfonso at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Don Alfonso, Ulisse, and Don Giovanni at the Bayerische Staatsoper; Eisenstein at the Glyndebourne Festival; Don Alfonso at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and at the Salzburg Easter and Summer Festivals; Forester (The Cunning Little Vixen) at the San Francisco Opera, and Beckmesser, Don Alfonso, and Music Master at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. 

Equally renowned on the concert platform, he appears in recital in the United Kingdom, throughout Europe, in Australia and America, and has appeared with the world’s great orchestras and conductors. The greatest part of his repertoire has been extensively recorded with such distinguished names as Solti, Levine, Marriner, Haitink, Rattle, Sawallisch and Muti.

Since 2003 he has directed for companies including Boston Lyric Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Scottish Opera (productions including Le nozze di Figaro, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Don Giovanni, and Die Zauberflöte). 

His many honors include the title of Bayerischer Kammersänger awarded by the Bayerische Staatsoper, Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music, Prince Consort Professor of the Royal College of Music, the Hambro Visiting Professorship of Opera Studies at Oxford University, Fellowship of the Royal College of Music, Fellowship of the University of Sunderland, M.A. from Newcastle University, and Doctorates of Music from Durham University and the University of Birmingham. Allen was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1989 and knighted in 1999. Among his proudest achievements is having a Channel Tunnel locomotive named after him; and most recently, being awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music 2013. He is Chancellor of Durham University.

Thomas Allen’s memoir, Foreign Parts - A Singer’s Journal, was published in 1993. His film credits include Mrs Henderson Presents and The Real Don Giovanni.