“It’s hard to praise Giselle Allen enough – her Salome was an unstinting portrayal, physically and emotionally, but subtle enough to convey an initial grubby innocence transformed into monstrous sexual awakening”
Representation: General Management
Belfast born soprano Giselle Allen has been acknowledged as ‘a singing actress of the first order’. Her repertoire encompasses Janacek, Wagner, Puccini, Strauss and Britten, and she has appeared at opera houses throughout the world, including La Monnaie, Canadian Opera and the Komische Oper in Berlin, as well as many of the UK companies and Belfast based Northern Ireland Opera where she made debuts as Senta in Der Fliegende Holländer, Salome and Tosca. On the concert platform she has worked with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Mark Elder.
Born in Belfast, Giselle Allen graduated from the University of Wales before pursuing her vocal studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music. A winner of numerous awards at both establishments, she has also achieved success in several competitions in the UK and Ireland, notably winning the Lady Nixon Prize, the Countess of Munster Scholarship and the Sybill Tutton Award.
Giselle has appeared at many of the major UK opera houses and festivals, including performances as Tatyana Eugene Onegin (Buxton Festival); Svatava Sarka (Wexford Festival Opera); Lisa Queen of Spades (Grange Park Opera / English National Opera); title role in Mascagni’sIris and Countess The Marriage of Figaro (Opera Holland Park); Gerhilde Die Walküre, Martha The Passenger and Musetta La Bohème (ENO); Miss Jessel The Turn of the Screw (Glyndebourne Festival); title role Jenůfa (Glyndebourne on Tour); Mimi La Bohème (Welsh National Opera). A regular visitor to Opera North, Giselle recently appeared in their semi-staged Ring Cycle production as Freia Das Rheingold, Gerhilde Die Walküre and Gutrune Götterdämmerung. Further roles for the company include Tatyana Eugene Onegin, Fox Cunning Little Vixen, Ellen Orford Peter Grimes (with Aldeburgh Festival), Musetta La Bohème, Marenka The Bartered Bride, Donna Elvira Don Giovanni and title roles Rusalka, Jenůfa andKat’á Kabanová. For Northern Ireland Opera, she recently performed Miss Jessel and has appeared as Senta Der Fliegende Höllander, and in the title roles as Salome,Rusalka and Tosca.
Further afield, Giselle has performed with Opéra National de Lyon and Opernhaus Zürich as Miss Jessel, with Komische Oper Berlin as Ellen Orford, and made her debut with Canadian Opera Company as Marie Wozzeck, returning to sing Tatyana Eugene Onegin and Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She has also performed Parassia Sorochintsky Fair, title role Suor Angelica, title role Troilus and Cressida for the William Walton Foundation; Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Singapore Lyric Theatre, Geraldine in Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge in the ‘American Series’ at the London Barbican, Giulietta Les Contes d’Hoffmann for Central Festival Opera), Wellgunde Das Rheingold and Gutrune Götterdämmerung at the Covent Garden Festival, Salome in Massenet’s Herodiade at the Anna Livia International Opera Festival in Dublin, and concert performances of Vitellia La Clemenza di Tito in Malaga.
As a concert artist Giselle Allen has performed in many of the major concert halls in the UK and Ireland. She has worked with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Sir David Willcocks and Marin Alsop, and has recorded with the Ulster Orchestra under Vernon Handley. Also in demand as a recitalist, she has appeared for BBC Belfast, the Castleward Opera Series, and at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Concert engagements have included Wagner’s Liebestod at St David’s Hall Cardiff, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Philharmonia Orchestra and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass in Spain with Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra, Dvorak’s Te Deum with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Salieri’s Prima la Musica poi le Parole and Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, both for the Edinburgh International Festival.
This season, Giselle appears as Giorgetta Il Tabarro (Opera North), Duchess Powder Her Face (NI Opera), and Ellen Orford Peter Grimes for Bergen National Opera.
Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to ensure that you receive the most up to date version. Email: Caroline Challis