John L. Magro Resident Conductor, Cincinnati Opera
Manager: Damon Bristo
Management Territory: Worldwide
"From the moment the three “Scarpia chords” appear (before the curtain goes up), a bolt of energy arrives from the pit, and comes back again and again, thanks to the idiomatic conducting of Christopher Allen. He draws every bit of Puccini’s grandeur from the musicians and then delivers the key moments of lyricism with suppleness and sensitivity." Rafael de Acha, Seen and Heard International - 'Tosca' at the Cincinnati Opera
"In the pit, the orchestra turned in a glorious performance under resident conductor Christopher Allen. One of the most unforgettable moments was the prelude to Act III, with its stunning horn calls. Allen knew just how to breathe life into Puccini’s magnificent melodies, and the audience went home humming." Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer - 'Tosca' at the Cincinnati Opera
"Down in the pit, the conductor Christopher Allen achieves something similar, bending, swaying, and pointing as Rossini’s phrases and colourings come and go. The orchestra responds too." Geoff Brown, The London Times - 'The Barber of Seville' at the English National Opera
"In the pit, Christopher Allen delivers a fine account of Rossini’s bubbly score, bringing a lightness of touch that emphasises the humour and irony to be found within its notes." Sam Smith, musicOMH - 'The Barber of Seville' at the English National Opera
"The Company's associate conductor Christopher Allen made an auspicious debut with a difficult assignment." Mark Swed, LA Times - 'Hercules vs. Vampires' at Los Angeles Opera
A recipient of the 2016 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, Christopher Allen is rapidly gaining attention as a rising conductor on the operatic and symphonic stages. His conducting career was launched when he received the Bruno Walter Conducting Award and Memorial Career Grant, and fostered by Plácido Domingo and James Conlon, who brought him to Los Angeles Opera as an Associate Conductor.
Recently named The John L. Magro Resident Conductor for Cincinnati Opera, Christopher Allen will return in the summer of 2017. He has previously been seen conducting . . . the new production of Tosca, the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star and the Cincinnati Opera's Washington Park Concert leading the Cincinnati Symphony. In the 2016-2017 season, Mo. Allen will make his Washington National Opera debut in Donizetti’s La fille du régiment and Florida Grand Opera debut in Cuban-American composer Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls. He will be seen at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas, debut at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in the new revised version of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Grapes of Wrath and return to Cincinnati Opera to conduct Barrie Kosky's acclaimed production of The Magic Flute. Mo. Allen will also make his Atlanta Symphony Orchestra debut conducting a program of Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven.
Recently, Christopher Allen made his UK debut conducting The Barber of Seville at the English National Opera and debuted at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City in a production of L’elisir d’amore directed by James Robinson. He was nominated as a finalist for 2015 International Opera Awards in London in the “Newcomer” category, and was named Musical America Artist of the Month in July 2015. Mo. Allen made his Los Angeles Opera conducting debut in Patrick Morganelli’s Hercules vs. Vampires. He also returned to the company as Associate Conductor in La traviata with Plácido Domingo as Germont and in The Ghosts of Versailles with James Conlon. He made his debut with Opera Santa Barbara in Rigoletto and returned to Intermountain Opera in Bozeman, MT to conduct a double-bill of Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica, as well as Don Giovanni. Mo. Allen made his Asian debut conducting Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Daegu Opera House. He prepared I due Foscari for Theater an der Wien assisting James Conlon with Plácido Domingo as Francesco Foscari and was the associate conductor to James Conlon on Lucia di Lamermoor, Falstaff, and the Britten Centennial Concerts at LA Opera. He returned to the Atlanta Symphony to assist Robert Spano on Britten’s War Requiem, as well as preparing a world premiere with Spano at the Ojai Music Festival. Other past assignments at LA Opera include productions of Don Giovanni, Tosca, Carmen, The Rape of Lucretia, Holdridge’s Dolce Rosa, and Madama Butterfly.
Since 2011, Christopher Allen has maintained a close relationship with the Atlanta Symphony working with Music Director Robert Spano and Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles. He was on the music staff of Cincinnati Opera as an assistant conductor to Carlo Rizzi in Aida, Joana Carneriero in John Adams’ A Flowering Tree, Bernard Labadie in Die Zauberflöte, Carlo Montonaro in La traviata and Edwin Outwater in Astor Piazolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires. He made his debut at the Intermountain Opera Bozeman in Montana conducting La traviata.
Christopher Allen has been a recipient of numerous piano awards which have led to debuts in venues such as Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Juilliard School and the Tenri Cultural Institute. While a student at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, his production of Benjamin Britten’s Turn of the Screw was awarded a National Opera Association prize.
(Updated November 2016)
News & Critical Acclaim
...June 10, 2015