Opera Scotland

Norman Allin Suggest updates

Born Ashton-under-Lyne, 19 November 1884.

Died London, 27 October 1973.

English bass.

Norman Allin, with a highly individual dark-toned voice ideal for Verdi, Wagner, and the Russian masters, was perhaps the most notable bass singing in Britain between the wars. His was the deepest voice of the sixteen soloists for whom Vaughan Williams composed the Serenade to Music.

Allin studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music 1906-10, and switched from teaching to singing in 1912. His solo debut came in 1916 with the Beecham company as the Hebrew Elder. His career developed rapidly, and he was soon singing principal roles such as Méphistophélès. His Wagner roles included King Mark, Hunding, Hagen and Gurnemanz, and his Russian repertoire Dosifei and Konchak (for his debut at Covent Garden in 1919).

Allin worked with the BNOC throughout its activity from 1922 to 1929 singing several of his Verdi and Wagner roles and was also a director of the company. Allin sang Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro in the opening season at Glyndebourne in 1934, and recorded the part the following year. From 1942 he sang with Carl Rosa until he retired from singing in 1949.

As a teacher in London, Allin was a professor at the Royal Academy of Music from 1935 to 1960. He also taught at his old college in Manchester from 1938 to 1942.

Roles in Scotland

Jake Wallace a travelling minstrel
Fanciulla del West 1917
Hebrew Elder
Samson and Delilah 1919
Hermann Landgrave of Thuringia
Tannhäuser 1922
Tannhäuser 1924
Gurnemanz a veteran Knight
Parsifal 1922
Parsifal 1926
King Mark King of Cornwall, Tristan's uncle
Tristan und Isolde 1922
Tristan und Isolde 1926
Fafner disguised as a dragon
Siegfried 1922
Hagen son of Alberich
Götterdämmerung 1923
Fafner a giant
Rheingold 1923
Sarastro High Priest of Isis and Osiris
Zauberflöte 1923
Zauberflöte 1925
Bartolo a doctor, the Countess's former guardian
Nozze di Figaro 1923
Nozze di Figaro 1926
Arkel King of Allemonde, grandfather of Golaud and Pelléas
Pelléas and Mélisande 1923
Pelléas and Mélisande 1924
Ramfis High Priest
Aïda 1924
Aïda 1926
Aïda 1927
General Polkan head of Dodon's army
Golden Cockerel 1924
Golden Cockerel 1925
Sir John Falstaff
At the Boar's Head 1925
Herr Schlendrian
Coffee Cantata 1925
Friar Lawrence
Romeo and Juliet 1926
Sparafucile a professional assassin
Rigoletto 1926
Rigoletto 1944
Rigoletto 1946
Rigoletto 1947
Hunding husband of Sieglinde
Valkyrie 1927
Valkyrie 1931
Ochs Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau
Rosenkavalier 1931
Rosenkavalier 1932
Don Basilio a singing teacher
Barbiere di Siviglia 1942
Barbiere di Siviglia 1943
Barbiere di Siviglia 1944
Barbiere di Siviglia 1945
Barbiere di Siviglia 1948
Sir John Falstaff a knight
Lustigen Weiber von Windsor 1943
Lustigen Weiber von Windsor 1944
Colline a philosopher
Bohème 1945
Bohème 1946
Bohème 1947

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