“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 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, Cardiff, with an honours in Music 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.
Her operatic roles include Parassia Sorochintsky Fair, title role Suor Angelica, title role Troilus and Cressida for the William Walton Foundation, Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Singapore Lyric Theatre, Tatyana Eugene Onegin for the Buxton Festival, Svatava Sarka for Wexford Festival Opera, title role in Mascagni’sIris and Countess The Marriage of Figaro for Opera Holland Park, Geraldine in Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge in the ‘American Series’ at the Barbican, Giulietta Les Contes d’Hoffmann for Central Festival Opera, Wellgunde Das Rheingold and Gutrune Götterdämmerung for the Covent Garden Festival, Salome in Massenet’s Herodiade at the Anna Livia International Opera Festival in Dublin, concert performances of Vitellia La Clemenza di Tito in Malaga, Musetta La Bohème for ENO andat La Monnaie in Brussels with Antonio Pappano, her debut as Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes at the Komische Oper in Berlin and Gerhilde Die Walküre at English National Opera. A regular visitor to Opera North, Giselle has appeared as Tatyana Eugene Onegin, The Fox Cunning Little Vixen, Ellen Orford Peter Grimes, Musetta La Bohème, Marenka The Bartered Bride, Donna Elvira Don Giovanni and title roles Rusalka, Jenůfa andKat’á Kabanová. Giselle made her debut as Marie Wozzeck for the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto and has since returned to sing Tatyana Eugene Onegin and Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Recent appearances include title role Jenůfa for Glyndebourne on Tour, title role Rusalka, Miss Jessel The Turnof the screw, Freia Das Rheingold for Opera North, her debut as Tosca for Northern Ireland Opera, Miss Jessel for the Glyndebourne Festival and for Northern Ireland Opera, Martha The Passenger for English National Opera and Mimi La Bohème for Welsh National Opera.
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 Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Dvorak’s Te Deum with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass (Norfolk and Norwich Festival) and Donna Eleonora in Salieri’s Prima la Musica poi le Parole with the SCO, conducted by Nicholas McGegan for the Edinburgh International Festival. Giselle returned to the Edinburgh Festival in 2008 to sing Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. More recent appearances on the concert platform have included Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Philharmonia Orchestra in Basingstoke, London and Bonn, Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass in Spain with Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra and a programme of Nielsen and Sibelius with the Ulster Orchestra and Jac van Steen.
Recent appearances include Senta Der Fliegende Höllander for Northern Ireland Opera, Ellen Orford Peter Grimes for the Aldeburgh Festival, a performance of Wagner’s Liebestod at St David’s Hall in Cardiff, Sieglinde in Act 3 of Die Walküre with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis, Ellen Orford for Opera North, Miss Jessel Turn of the Screwfor Opera National de Lyon and Opernhaus Zürich, the title role in Salome for Northern Ireland Opera and Lisa Queen of Spades for Grange Park Opera and English National Opera. This season Giselle returns to Zürich to revive Miss Jessel, a role she will also sing with NI Opera, a performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the RTÉ in Dublin and Freia Das Rheingold, Gerhilde Die Walküre and Gutrune Götterdämmerung in Opera North’s Ring Cycle.
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