Allison Bell Allison Bell Allison Bell Allison Bell

Allison Bell


Within the space of a few years the lyric coloratura soprano Allison Bell has established herself as one of the leading interpreters of contemporary music. She was universally praised for her performance in the role of Sierva Maria in the world premiere of Peter Eötvös’ opera Love and Other Demons under Vladimir Jurowski at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2008, and under Peter Eötvös at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre Vilnius and the Opéra national du Rhin Strasbourg: “To the character of Sierva Maria, Allison Bell brings a soprano of great agility and lustre; the coloratura writing is delightfully outrageous, but her virtuosity is every bit its match” (OPERA).

Allison Bell has been a frequent guest with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski since 2009 and has also sung several concerts under the conductor with the Russian State Symphony Orchestra (Berg’s Lulu Suite and Fauré’s Les noces de Promété), the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (Berg’s Lulu Suite/Brett Dean’s A Melodious Lay) and the Ensemble United Berlin. She proved a sensation at the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow (Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges) and MONA in Hobart with Lutoslawski’s Chantefleurs et Chantefables and the Australian premiere of Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre. In 2013/14, the British premiere of John Zorn’s La Machine de l’Être (BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra) followed under the baton of Ilan Volkov, as well as Messiaen’s Poèmes pour Mi (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra) and Ravel’s Shéhérazade (Iceland Symphony Orchestra).

Allison Bell performed a portrait concert of Louis Andriessen and premiered John Taverner’s Flood of Beauty at the Barbican Centre London with the Britten Sinfonia. She also gave the world premiere of Brett Dean’s And once I played Ophelia with the ensemble at Wigmore Hall in London and on their European tour. In 2015, Allison released a recording of Dean’s piece with the Doric String Quartet which received rave reviews. In November 2016, Allison Bell performed the world premiere of Dean’s From Melodious Lay, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Joshua Weilerstein at the Barbican Centre, followed by a concert of Edgar Varèse’s Nocturnal under Sakari Oramo in May 2017. In 2018, she sang the world premiere of Ross Harris’s Face with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the Australian premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Puzzles and Games with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Clark Rundell and made her debut in Seoul with Shinik Hahm and Symphony SONG featuring the music of Verdi, Puccini and Ligeti.

Since 2019, Allison Bell has been inaugural Artist in Residence at the Detached Cultural Organisation in Hobart, Tasmania.

Opera / Music theatre:

John Adams Nixon in China (Chiang Ch’ing, Madame Mao)
Alban Berg Lulu (Lulu)
Leonard Bernstein Candide (Cunegonde)
Georges Bizet Carmen (Micaëla, Frasquita)
Benjamin Britten Peter Grimes (Ellen Orford), The turn of the screw (Governess)
Luigi Cherubini Medea (Glauce)
Claude Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande (Mélisande)
Antonín Dvorák Rusalka (The foreign Princess)
Leoš Janáček Jenufa (Jenufa), Katya Kabanova (Katya), The Cunning Little Vixen (Vixen)
György Ligeti Le Grand Macabre (Chief of Gepopo)
W. A. Mozart Don Giovanni (Donna Elvira, Donna Anna), Idomeneo (Elektra), The Magic Flute (Queen of the Night, First Lady)
Francis Poulenc La voix humaine (soprano role), Les Dialogues des Carmelites (Blanche)
Giacomo Puccini Suor Angelica (Suor Angelica), Turandot (Liù)
Karol Szymanowski Król Roger (Roxana)
Richard Strauss Arabella (Zdenka), Ariadne auf Naxos (Zerbinetta), Daphne (Daphne)
Johann Strauß Die Fledermaus (Rosalinde, Adele)
Igor Stravinsky Le Rossignol (Le Rossignol), The Rake’s Progress (Anne Trulove)
Giuseppe Verdi La Bohème (Musetta), La Traviata (Violetta)
Richard Wagner Das Rheingold (Freia, Woglinde), Die Walküre (Helmwige, Gerhilde), Götterdämmerung (Gutrune, Woglinde), Lohengrin (Elsa), Parsifal (First Flower Maiden)
Alexander von Zemlinsky Der Zwerg (Donna Clara)
Bernd Alois Zimmermann Die Soldaten (Marie)

Concert (selection):

Georges Aperghis Cinq Couplets, Simulacre II + III
Gerald Barry La Plus Forte
Richard Rodney Bennett Spells
Alban Berg Altenberg Lieder op. 4, Lulu Suite, Sieben frühe Lieder
Pierre Boulez Pli selon pli
Benjamin Britten Les Illuminations op. 18
Unsuk Chin Akrostichon-Wortspiel, Puzzles and games
Brett Dean From Melodious Lay (A Hamlet Diffraction), String Quartet no. 2 (And once I played Ophelia)
Claude Debussy Ariettes oubliées, Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien
Peter Eötvös Natasha
Morton Feldman Neither
Henryk Górecki Symphony no. 3
Gérard Grisey Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil
Georg Friedrich Haas Atthis
Hans Werner Henze Being Beauteous
György Kurtág Poslanija pokojnoj R. V. Trusovoj op. 17, Requiem po drugu op. 26
György Ligeti Mysteries of the Macabre, Requiem
Liza Lim Mother tongue
Magnus Lindberg Accused
Gustav Mahler Symphony no. 2, Das klagende Lied
Olivier Messiaen Poèmes pour Mi
Matthias Pintscher Hérodiade-Fragmente
Francis Poulenc Airs Chantés, Métamorphoses, Miroirs brûlants, La voix humaine
Maurice Ravel Cinq mélodies populaires grecques, Shéhérazade
Fausto Romitelli An Index of Metals, Lost
Kaija Saariaho Emilie Suite
Camille Saint-Saёns Les Noces de Prométhée
Alfred Schnittke Der Gelbe Klang, Drei Madrigale, Drei Szenen
Arnold Schönberg Herzgewächse op. 20, Pierrot Lunaire, String Quartet no. 2, Vier Lieder op. 2
Dmitri Shostakovich Seven Romances on poems by Alexandr Blok, Hamlet op. 32
Jean Sibelius Luonnotar op. 70
Richard Strauss Drei Ophelia Lieder
Igor Stravinsky Les Noces
Tōru Takemitsu Coral Island
Edgar Varèse Offrandes
Claude Vivier Bouchara, Lonely Child, Trois airs pour un opéra imaginair
Bernd Alois Zimmermann Omnia tempus habent, Soldaten-Sinfonie
John Zorn La Machine de l’Être

In 2019, Allison Bell is inaugural Artist in Residence at the Detached Cultural Organisation in Hobart, Tasmania.

(…) with the phenomenal soprano Allison Bell.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 6 March 2018

And just as Allison Bell is a wonderfully agile, powerful Lulu, so Vladimir Jurowski seems the perfect Berg conductor: because it sounds Viennese and modern. (Often it is either Viennese or modern.)
Hundert 11, Albrecht Selger, 5 March 2018

Allison Bell was the superb soloist in Nocturnal, a 1961 setting of Anaïs Nin that hovers between monodrama and ritual incantation.
The Guardian, 7 May 2017

Even more impressive was Spells, a setting of poems by Kathleen Raine in which the orchestra was joined by the (brilliant) BBC Symphony Chorus. In its clangorous percussion and sinuous soprano line – beautifully sung by Allison Bell – the young man who’d sat the feet of Pierre Boulez suddenly re-appeared.
The Telegraph, 28 November 2016

Iestyn Davies in commanding voice as Oberon, matched by a wonderful Tytania from Allison Bell. Bell negotiated Adès’ treacherously high vocal writing as Ariel splendidly
Bachtrack, 23 April 2016

The ASQ was joined on stage by guest soprano Allison Bell, who was electrifying as Ophelia. Bell’s magnificent high range, coupled with a tremendous vocal agility, made this a dramatic performance.
Daily, 3 November 2015

The amazingly agile soprano soloist Allison Bell’s madcap quasi scatting, aspirated syllables, and astounding leaps into the vocal stratosphere work hand in glove with Dean’s looser, more uninhibited string writing…. Given the composer’s supervising presence and, in the quintet, his actual participation as second violist, one assumes that the Doric String Quartet’s extremely accomplished and polished world-premiere recorded performances are as authoritative as you’ll get. Yet what ultimately closes the deal is Allison Bell’s phenomenal vocal artistry., October 2015

Audio recordings:

Excerpt from John Zorn: La Machine De L’etre:


Excerpt from Gérard Grisey: Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil:


Excerpt from Brett Dean: String Quartet no. 2 (And once I played Ophelia)


Excerpt from Richard Rodney Bennett: Spells



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Bell Allison
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