AZO Cast Members & Creatives
The recipient of The 2017 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Christopher Allen has been featured in Opera News magazine as "one of the fastest-rising podium stars in North America." His conducting career was launched by the Bruno Walter Conducting Award and Memorial Career Grant and has been fostered by Plácido Domingo and James Conlon, who brought him to Los Angeles Opera as an Associate Conductor.
In the 2018/19 season, Allen makes several important debuts, leading Ne Quittez Pas at Opera Philadelphia, Candide at New England Conservatory, and The Barber of Seville at Michigan Opera Theatre. He returns to Opera Theatre of St. Louis to conduct The Marriage of Figaro and serves as music director of the Bel Canto Trio’s 70th anniversary tour, featuring rising young opera stars in the program originally toured by Mario Lanza, George London, and Frances Yeend. On the concert stage, Allen leads a program of Bernstein repertoire with the Atlanta Symphony, and will make his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut conducting the Rising Stars Concert in spring 2019.
Featured in Musical America’s “25 Stars Still Rising,” Allen has recently conducted a new production of La Traviata at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the North Carolina premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain at North Carolina Opera, The Daughter of the Regiment at Atlanta Opera, Impressions de Pelléas at North Carolina School of the Arts, and The Barber of Seville at Aspen Music Festival. As The John L. Magro Resident Conductor for Cincinnati Opera, Allen has joined the company for three consecutive seasons to conduct Barrie Kosky's production of The Magic Flute, a new production of Tosca, and the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star, in addition to leading the Cincinnati Symphony in the annual Washington Park Concert each summer.
Allen made his Washington National Opera debut in Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment, his Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut in The Elixir of Love, and Florida Grand Opera debut in Cuban-American composer Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls. He led the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in a National Opera Association Award-winning production of Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas, and debuted at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in the new revised version of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Grapes of Wrath, named Opera of the Year by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Allen’s well-received Atlanta Symphony Orchestra debut, conducting a program of Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven, led to an immediate re-engagement.
Nominated as a finalist in the International Opera Awards in the “Newcomer” category, Allen made his UK debut conducting The Barber of Seville at the English National Opera and his Asian debut conducting the same work at the Daegu Opera House. He made his Los Angeles Opera conducting debut in Patrick Morganelli’s Hercules vs. Vampires, and returned to the company to lead musical preparation for The Ghosts of Versailles, which won a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording.
The recipient of a 2016 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, Allen is also an award-winning pianist who has played at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is currently working on a writing and film project that explores the importance of the arts in modern American society.