Sir Thomas Allen - Britain's Favourite Baritone

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Sir Tom on Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on May 21, 2013 at 2:30 AM

In view of his appearance in the production of Ariadne auf Naxos at Glyndebourne which opens this month, Sir Tom spoke to Tom Service of The Guardian about the opera and why he thinks there's something in common between Wagner's Beckmesser and Strauss's Music Master.

Read the interview here.

Sir Tom delights in double role in BLO's 'Cosi'

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on March 20, 2013 at 3:35 AM

(Photo credit: Boston Lyric Opera/Eric Antoniou)

Many congratulations to Sir Tom who has not only made one but two debuts at the Boston Lyric Opera: as singer and director in a new production of Così fan tutte which premiered on 15 March.

Reviews have so far been excellent and performances will run till 24 March. The cast includes Caroline Worra as Fiordiligi, Sandra Piques Eddy as Dorabella, Phyllis Pancella as Despina, Paul Appleby as Ferrando, Matthew Worth as Guglielmo and Sir Tom as Don Alfonso.

'...well sung and very enjoyable. ...

...This production, discreetly cut, whizzes by in three hours with one intermission. It’s directed by renowned British baritone Thomas Allen, who also sings Don Alfonso, and does full justice to it. There’s no meanness in Allen’s mischievous codger, who presides over a beach romp that takes place along the Bay of Naples, in Napoleonic times, with real sand for the mostly barefoot lovers to walk on, and a gently raked boardwalk...many delightful surprises in this "Cosi".'

- Jeffrey Gantz, The Boston Globe

'Written in High Classical style, the melodies are charming, and seemingly simple. Yet the score contains contrapuntal and rhythmic complexities which require a group of tremendously talented singers to negotiate, not to mention the challenges of comic acting. Boston Lyric Opera has gathered just such a cast for its "Cosi...," a production that succeeds on every level.

...In a real coup, BLO landed legendary bass/baritone, and internationally renowned recording artist, Thomas Allen to perform the buffo role of the sly instigator Don Alfonso. Not only did he sing wonderfully, but his vast experience in the theater was evident from his authoritative stage presence and flawless comic timing.'

- Ed Tapper, EDGE Boston

Dates to look out for in 2013

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on January 8, 2013 at 9:25 PM

A belated Happy New Year to everyone and best wishes for the coming year!

Just a few dates and events at the moment to look out for in 2013:

6th and 9th February 2013: Sir Tom will be at the Sage Gateshead for a Samling Masterclass and Concert respectively.

March 2013: Directorial debut at the Boston Lyric Opera with a new production of Così fan tutte. Performances will run from 15th to 24th March.

And finally, Sir Tom will be making a return to Glyndebourne this May as the Music Master in Ariadne auf Naxos. Exact dates are yet to be confirmed but the first performance should be 18th May with bookings opening in late March.

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

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 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 Allen celebrates 40 Years with the Royal Opera

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on January 30, 2012 at 5:25 AM

Congratulations to Sir Tom who celebrated the 40th anniversary of his debut at the Royal Opera on the opening night (27th January) of Cosi. A celebration cake was presented at the curtain call by Sir Antonio Pappano and Lord Hall. The ROH news blog has an article and photos of that memorable evening here. Also in relation to Sir Tom's 40th anniversary at the ROH is Wednesday's episode (25th January) of In Tune with Sean Rafferty (available on BBC iPlayer until 1st February) and a short clip on BBC Breakfast from the 26th.

40 years at Covent Garden

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on January 24, 2012 at 2:00 AM

Sir Tom will celebrate the 40th anniversary of his Covent Garden debut this week as he returns to the Royal Opera in Cosi fan tutte as Don Alfonso. The Royal Opera have released a video on their official Youtube channel here while Classic FM and Classical Source amongst others have also had interviews with him.

Another directorial success for Sir Thomas at Scottish Opera

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on November 1, 2010 at 3:40 AM

The 29th of October saw the premiere of Scottish Opera's new production of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow with none other than Britain's Favourite Baritone in the director's seat. Reviews of the cast and the production have so far been excellent with one opera critic calling it 'one of the glories of the company in recent history.' Congratulations to the cast and production crew as well as Sir Tom on this operatic success.

Here are some excerpts from reviews given so far:

"There are absolutely no pretentions [sic] about Sir Thomas Allen's new production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro for Scottish Opera, which opened last night in Glasgow. For Allen has played it completely straight to an 18th-century setting, and focused on quality of theatre, quality of singing and thoroughly enjoyable comic entertainment."

Kenneth Walton, The Scotsman, 31 October 2010

"Sir Thomas Allen, one of Britain's great baritones and here back in the director's chair following his Barber of Seville for Scottish Opera in 2007, has created a classy drama with uncluttered, unpretentious storytelling...Allen is a singer's director; he knows the score inside out having performed both male leads himself, and presumably manages his cast how he would want to be managed, imposing nothing fancy, and trusting them to get on with some decent singing and acting, which they do accordingly."

Kate Molleson, The Guardian, 31 October 2010

"Scottish Opera’s new production of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, which opened on Friday, is one of the glories of the company in its recent history. It is gorgeous to look at, needle-sharp in its design and atmospheric at every level, from rustic scene to intimate interior to a breathtaking nocturnal vista...It is directed by Sir Thomas Allen with a genius that picks up every nuance of humour, subtlety, wit, irony and ambiguity: the resultant stagecraft by the superb cast is wonderful."

Michael Tumelty, Herald Scotland, 1 November 2010

Happy birthday, Sir Tom!

Posted by britainsfavouritebaritone on September 9, 2010 at 10:25 PM

Very happy birthday wishes to Sir Thomas who turns 66 today. All the best to him for the future as well as the premiere performance of the first opera (Cosi fan tutte) of the 2010/11 season at the Royal Opera House this evening.