World-famous baritone Sir Thomas Allen has been appointed Music Adviser to Scottish Opera. He will provide high level input and advice on musical and artistic matters while the Company continues the process of recruiting a Music Director.
A graduate of the Royal College of Music, Sir Thomas made his performing debut at the Royal Opera House in 1971 and quickly became world-renowned for his portrayal of the great lyric baritone rôles, in particular for the title rôle in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Greatly in demand on the international concert stage, extensive recordings have been made of his work many of which are regarded as definitive. In 1999, he was awarded a Knighthood for services to opera. He made his opera directing debut in 2003 with Britten’s Albert Herring for the Royal College of Music, and has gone on to form a close association with Scottish Opera in recent years, directing four critically acclaimed productions: Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, and Mozart’s trio of masterpieces The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni.
At the beginning of 2014, he became only the ninth person to be awarded a Queen’s Medal for Music, an honour recognising outstanding contribution to the musical life of Great Britain.
Scottish Opera General Director Alex Reedijk said: ‘Tom is a master of the art form and a talented musician and his phenomenal experience in the world of opera – singing, teaching and directing – will be a great asset to the Company. The work he has done with us over the last seven years means he has an invaluable insight and understanding of Scottish Opera and I am looking forward to working with him in this new rôle.’
Sir Thomas Allen said: ‘For some time over the past few years working with Scottish Opera in a directorial capacity has allowed me to confirm a lot of what I’d already suspected. There is, both in the head office at Elmbank and my regular place of work in the rehearsal studio, a spirit and willingness to collaborate that is hard to find anywhere. I’ve loved being a part of that feeling and it makes me very happy to accept an advisory position with the company and to play a part in its future.’
In addition to his international career in opera, Sir Thomas is Chancellor of Durham University, and Patron of Samling Academy, which identifies and nurtures the talents of emerging classical musicians from or studying in the North East of England.