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David Allsopp (Counter-tenor)

Born: 1982 - County of Gwent, South Wales, UK

The Welsh counter-tenor, David Allsopp, was born in a small town in the now-defunct county of Gwent in South Wales. In 1988, his father accepted a new post at Kingís School Rochester, so the family moved to Kent. Three years later, he was accepted by Barry Ferguson as a probationer in Rochester Cathedral Choir and he remained with the Choir until 1996, his last two years being under the direction of Roger Sayer. Highlights of his treble career included many renditions of the treble solo in Bairstowís Blessed City, Heavenly Salem and a recording of the first verse of Once in Royal Davidís City on a Christmas CD for the Priory label.

David Allsoppís speaking voice finally broke shortly before his 15th birthday. After a couple of months attempting to sing bass with little success, he realised that his singing voice had not changed as much and that his vocal calling was in the ranks of the altos. A year or so later, a consultation lesson was arranged with Geoffrey Mitchell, with a view to preparation for the choral trials at Cambridge, and David has been studying with Geoffrey ever since. The choral trials followed later that year and David was offered a Choral Scholarship at Kingís College. November 1999 saw Davidís counter-tenor concert debut, performing the central movement of Leonard Bernsteinís Chichester Psalms in Rochester Cathedralís annual St Cecilia Concert. The end of his time at Kingís School Rochester featured a performance of Antonio Vivaldiís Stabat Mater in Rochester Cathedral during the end of year concert, a performance which was repeated during Holy Week the following year. David spent a Ďgapí year as a Lay Clerk the Cathedral, having been standing in there regularly over the previous two years, and also worked for BAE Systems as a software engineer. December of the same year saw his London solo debut with a performance of J.S. Bachís Mass in B minor (BWV 232) in St Martin-in-the-Fields with the New London Singers. This was followed by a performance of A. Vivaldiís Gloria, again with the New London Singers, in July 2001.

David Allsoppís first year at Kingís had some great highlights, most notably the choirís performance in St Johnís, Smith Square with the Westminster Abbey Choir and Westminster Cathedral Choir of Tallisís Spem in alium and, of course, the Christmas Television and Radio broadcasts for which Kingís is so famous. During his third year, the choir performed in the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, and David was once again able to air L. Bernsteinís Chichester Psalms, this time to a much larger audience and to critical acclaim. The end of the academic year saw a performance of George Frideric Handelís Dixit Dominus in Kingís College Chapel with the Cambridge University Musical Society.
After graduating with first class honours in Computer Science in 2004, David Allsopp was able to spend a fourth year in the choir as the Collegeís first Lay Clerk since 1929. In 2005, he was appointed as a Lay Clerk at Westminster Cathedral, a post which he held until the summer of 2008. During his time there, his profile as a soloist and consort singer increased - he can regularly be seen on stage and to record record with award-winning consort groups such as the Gabrieli Consort & Players, Polyphony and Tenebrae.

David Allsopp regularly performs as a soloiist G.F. Handel's oratorio works such as Messiah, Israel in Egypt, Joshua, Dixit Dominus and Solomon and J.S. Bach's major choral works such as St John Passion (BWV 245), St Matthew Passion (BWV 244), Mass in B minor (BWV 232) (both in England and abroad) and Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248). In 2007, he made his debut at the Maulbronn Festival in Germany performing the role of Othniel in G.F. Handelís heroic oratorio Joshua and in the autumn that year gave performances of Israel in Egypt at various venues including St Johnís, Smith Square with The Academy of Ancient Music and the Holst Singers. The concert recording of the Joshua performance in Maulbronn was released last October and David features on King's College Choir Cambridgeís 2007 recording of works by Gibbons, Weelkes and Tomkins on the EMI Classics label.

In 2008, David Allsopp performed G.F. Handelís Susanna in Karlsruhe Opera House with Christian Curnyn and, in February, gave a performance of Tavenerís Lament for Jerusalem with David Hill and Leeds Philharmonic Chorus. Forthcoming concerts for 2009 include Chichester Psalms with Wayne Marshall and the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, J.S. Bachís St John Passion (BWV 245) with The Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge and Israel in Egypt with Birmingham Festival Choral Society.

In the 2010-2011 season, in addition to anniversary performances of Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers with conductors including Paul McCreesh and Jeffrey Skidmore, David Allsopp also performed Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) in Birmingham with Ex Cathedra, as well as with groups based in Sheffield and Canterbury. January 2011 began with Messiah on New Year's Day in the Frauenkirche in Dresden and also included the second performance of City Solstice by the saxophonist John Harle with King's College Choir Cambridge and the composer at The Sage, Gateshead. In the run-up to Easter, David performed Messiah in Exeter with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra before a return visit to Groningen in the Netherlands for a series of St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) concerts with the North Netherlands Orchestra. The summer featured G.F. Handelís Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne in Banqueting House and Solomon at St Paulís, Knightsbridge in addition to various consort appearances including a programme based around Monteverdiís Missa in illo tempore with Andrew Parrott and the Taverner Players.

While the counter-tenor's repertoire is principally Baroque, David Allsopp makes occasional forays into more modern repertoire - he made his debut at the BBC Proms in 2010 singing in the Evangelist quartet for Arvo Pärt's Passio and last year he worked wuth the virtuoso organist and conductor Wayne Marshall giving performances of Leonard Bernsteinís Chichester Psalms and Orffís Carmina Burana in several European venues (including Milan and Malta).

In November 2011, David Allsopp performed Benjamin Britten's Abraham and Isaac in King's College Chapel, Cambridge with the tenor Andrew Kennedy and pianist Iain Farrington as part of a Britten celebration. In the autumn of 2011 he returned to the for a programme of J.S. Bach and Georg Philipp Telemann cantatas around the chorale theme Herzlich tut mich verlangen with the Nederlandse Bachvereniging. The first half of 2012 sees his third return to Groningen for St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with the North Netherlands Orchestra. Concerts coming up later in the year included J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor (BWV 232) in Winchester with The Bach Choir, G.F. Handel's Jeptha in Maulbronn and Saul in Stuttgart.

ď...a very intelligent singer, with a most beautiful voice.Ē - Opera Britannia
ď...dramatic and awe-inspiring.Ē - Birmingham Post

Source: David Allsopp Website (Photos 01-08 are copyright © 2006 Simon Tottman Photography); Maier Artists Website (2012); Edition Peters Website (January 2013)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (January 2013); Laszlo Harkanyi, Edition Peters Artist Management (January 2013)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Frieder Bernius


V-5 (2014): BWV 11
C-4 (2017):
BWV 235, BWV 80

Jürgen Budday


BWV 245

David Hill


BWV 248/1-3

Links to other Sites

David Allsopp - Countertenor (Official Website)
David Allsopp - Countertenor (Edition Peters)
Countertenor - David Allsopp (Maier Artists) [German/English]
David Allsopp | Countertenor (Gabrieli Consort & Players)

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Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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Last update: Sunday, October 22, 2017 01:36