Sir Thomas Allen - Britain's Favourite Baritone

An unofficial website dedicated to Britain's finest lyric baritone

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Scottish Opera's 'The Magic Flute'

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on October 22, 2012 at 11:15 PM

(Photo credit: Ken Dundas/Scottish Opera)

Congratulations to Sir Tom on another directorial success, this time with Scottish Opera's new production and steampunk inspired The Magic Flute which premiered on 17 October. The cast includes Nicky Spence as Tamino, Laura Mitchell as Pamina, Richard Burkhard as Papageno, Mari Moriya as the Queen of the Night  and Jonathan Best as Sarastro.

'It's a feast of visual detail, often quoting industrial-age Glasgow. Director Thomas Allen has sung Papageno enough times to know the opera inside-out and it shows: he remains a singer's director, keeping movement simple to let his cast sing their best.'

- Kate Molleson, The Guardian

'Music-hall variety and steampunk, industrial-revolution design drive Scottish Opera’s brilliantly crowd-pleasing new Magic Flute.'


- Thom Dibdin, The Stage

'After enduring more than my fair share of stinkers recently, what a pleasure it is to report on a sure-footed and brightly entertaining production of The Magic Flute, directed by someone who has known the opera from the inside out for 40 years – Sir Thomas Allen, who first sang Papageno in the early 1970s... [it's] a marvellous spectacular mess of a pantomime, which Sir Thomas animates with irresistible panache. And the fun being had on stage spreads over the footlights.'

- Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

Sir Tom's 'Piano Postcard' up for auction

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on October 9, 2012 at 12:25 PM

(Photo credit: University of Leeds)

Sir Thomas has donated a drawing to the University of Leeds' charity initiative, Piano Postcards, which is aiming to raises funds for two music charities, Nordoff Robbins & Live Music Now. The eBay auction for Sir Tom's as well as other postcards by other music personalities such as Sir Paul McCartney is now ongoing and will end on 14th October 2012 (UK time).

Those interested are more than welcome to help raise funds by placing a bid on for Sir Tom's postcard here.

Happy birthday, Sir Thomas!

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on September 10, 2012 at 2:35 AM

A very happy 68th birthday to Sir Tom who has had a most eventful and memorable year (celebrating forty years at the Royal Opera and becoming Chancellor of Durham University, just to name a few things which have happened so far). With his upcoming production of Scottish Opera's The Magic Flute opening next month along with a Don Pasquale in Chicago opening in November, the year isn't quite over yet though.

Best of luck and many happy returns, Sir Tom!

Sir Thomas installed as Chancellor of Durham University

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on June 26, 2012 at 11:35 AM

(Photo credit: Durham University)

Warmest congratulations to Sir Tom who today was formally installed as the 12th Chancellor of Durham University at a ceremony at Durham Cathedral where he was officially handed over the robes of office from leaving Chancellor Bill Bryson. He also presented honorary degrees to author Philip Pullman and artist David Inshaw.

View the official press release from Durham University here and their video of the installation ceremony on their Youtube channel while the BBC and The Northern Echo have also published articles.

Sir Tom's masterful Vancouver debut

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on June 15, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Sir Tom's first recital in Vancouver on 13th June has proved to be a triumph with David Gordon Duke from The Vancouver Sun describing it as "an object lesson in the art of singing, and a summation of his lifetime’s service to the art of music" and enchanting an audience which "hung on every phrase, admiring and absorbing his vocabulary of vocal effects and revelling in the scope of his technique".

Read the full review here.

Site updates

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on May 25, 2012 at 2:30 AM

As some of you might have already noticed, the site has undergone some major changes lately but I am pleased to say that the layout and navigation remain more or less the same.

Here's a summary of what's been updated and what is soon to come:

  • News and updates: The former 'News' page is now the 'News and updates' page which hopefully will be updated more frequently. There will be also be the occasional post about updates to the site.
  • Articles and Interviews: Due to the great number of articles and interviews with Sir Tom over the years (which makes it difficult to choose the best ones!), it is hoped that this page will be newly organised in the near future and that Allen aficionados will be able to read them in due course.
  • Reviews: Like the 'Articles and Interviews' page, this will hopefully be added to and updated in the near future.
  • Links: There are now links to Durham University, the Samling Foundation, Music in Hospitals, Oxford Lieder, British Youth Opera and the Royal Opera House in addition to Askonas Holt, Sir Tom's official agent. More links to the other and numerous charities and foundations that Sir Tom is patron or supporter of are soon to come. Support, whether little or great, for any of these worthy organisations will always be most welcome.

In addition, a list of Sir Tom's roles and repertoire over his long career is currently in the works and will be posted onto the site as soon as it is completed.

Any comments or suggestions about the site will always be welcome; feel free to drop a line in the Guestbook!

Sir Thomas to direct 'The Magic Flute' for Scottish Opera

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on May 25, 2012 at 1:20 AM

Sir Thomas will be directing a new production of Mozart's The Magic Flute for Scottish Opera's 50th anniversary season which opens this autumn. It will be designed by Simon Higlett who has previously worked with Sir Tom on The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro. More details of the cast and crew to follow in future.

For more information, visit

Sir Thomas on Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on May 19, 2012 at 2:10 AM

Sir Thomas Allen, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Ian Bostridge at Wigmore Hall, 2000 (Photo credit: Keith Saunders)

With the passing of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau on Friday, Sir Thomas shared a few memories of the legendary German baritone on Last Word on BBC Radio 4 yesterday afternoon, describing his voice as 'the way forward' when first encountering his recordings as a schoolboy. 'It was formative in many ways for the rest of my life and it’s there now, it haunts me...he was hugely influential in so many ways and you have to find your own way of doing things. He had his particular way of doing things and it did affect many of us.'

You can hear the full interview with Sir Tom here on BBC iPlayer.

Installation of Sir Thomas Allen as Chancellor of Durham University

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on May 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM

(Photo credit: Durham University)

The official installation of Sir Tom as Chancellor of Durham University will take place during a special congregation in Durham Cathedral on 26th June 2012.

Cosi fan tutte at the ROH

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on February 12, 2012 at 4:10 AM

Best wishes for a swift recovery to Sir Tom who had to pull out of the Friday performance (10th February) of Cosi fan tutte at the ROH due to an infection. His role as Don Alfonso was taken up that evening by in-house director, Olly Platt while Italian bass, Carlo Lepore, sang for him offstage. It is not certain at this stage whether Sir Tom will return for the remaining performances of Cosi during this run but once again, we all wish him all the best as he recovers.