Born in Seaham, County Durham, Sir Thomas Allen made his professional debut with Welsh National Opera and is now an established star of the great opera houses of the world. At the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where in 2006 he celebrated the thirty-fifth anniversary of his debut with the company, he has sung over forty roles. In 2006, he also celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. He is an acclaimed artist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera and Los Angeles Opera; the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and La Scala, Milan, as well as both the Salzburg and Glyndebourne Festivals.
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, Don Alfonso, Papageno, Guglielmo and, of course, Don Giovanni. His recent engagements have included Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Don Alfonso, Ulisse and Don Giovanni at the Bayerische Staatsoper; Yeletsky (Pique Dame), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly) and the title role in Sweeney Todd at the Royal Opera House; Eisenstein at the Glyndebourne Festival; Don Alfonso at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Salzburg Easter and Summer Festivals; Forester (The Cunning Little Vixen) at the San Francisco Opera; and Beckmesser and Don Alfonso at the Metropolitan Opera in 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 larger part of his repertoire has been extensively recorded with such distinguished names as Georg Solti, James Levine, Neville Marriner, Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Wolfgang Sawallisch and Riccardo Muti.
Thomas Allen’s first book, Foreign Parts – A Singer’s Journal was published in 1993 and in 2003 he made a triumphant directing debut with Albert Herring at the Royal College of Music. He has since directed successful productions of Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte at the Sage, Gateshead. His many honours 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 Jesus College Oxford, Fellowship of the Royal College of Music, Fellowship of the University of Sunderland, M.A. from Newcastle University and D.Mus. from Durham University. In the New Year’s Honours of 1989 he was created a Commander of the British Empire and in the 1999 Queen’s Birthday Honours he was made a Knight Bachelor.