Belfast-born Giselle Allen graduated from the School of Music in 1992 and has gone on to a successful stage career.
Her operatic roles include the title role in Troilus and Cressida, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni.
She recently gained critical acclaim as one of the lead performers in The Passenger, an opera with an extraordinary history.
Written in 1968, Miecyslaw Weinberg’s The Passenger derives from a semi-autobiographical novel by the Polish writer Zofia Posmysz who survived the concentration camps. In the English National Opera’s production, soprano Giselle played Marta, an Auschwitz survivor whose experiences are the focus of the opera.
The Financial Times’ review described how her performance “wrenches the heart” and her role was described respectively by The Independent and The Times as “outstanding” and “stunning.”
Writing in The Sunday Times, Hugh Canning said: “If there is a star, though, it is Giselle Allen’s Marta. The Belfast-born singer, a stalwart with Opera North for a decade or more, emerges as a singing actress of the first order.
As a concert artist, Giselle has worked with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Sir David Willcocks and Marin Alsop, and has recorded with the Ulster Orchestra under Vernon Handley. In demand also as a recitalist, she has appeared for BBC Belfast, the Castleward Opera Series, and at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.
She has also achieved success in several competitions in the UK and Ireland, notably winning the Lady Nixon Prize, the Countess of Munster Scholarship and the Sybill Tutton Award.