Allan Clayton

Allan Clayton

Allan Clayton is established as one of the most exciting and sought-after singers of his generation. He studied at St John’s College, Cambridge and at the Royal Academy of Music in London. An Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and former BBC New Generation Artist from 2007-2009, his awards include “The Queen’s Commendation for Excellence”, a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, the 2018 Whatsonstage Award for Excellence in Opera, and the 2018 Royal Philharmonic Society Singer Award. He was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s 2021 Birthday honours list.

The flexibility and consistency of Allan Clayton’s vocal range, combined with a magnetic stage presence, have led to international acclaim in music from Baroque to contemporary, his breadth demonstrated in recent title roles ranging from Peter Grimes and Hamlet to Faust and Candide, and a discography running from Handel to Dean.

He is in demand at leading opera houses around the world, singing the title role in the US premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet at Metropolitan Opera, followed by a definitive interpretation of Peter Grimes there and at Teatro Real Madrid, as well as at London’s Royal Opera House, where he opened the season in the title role in Jephtha.

Clayton has appeared at the BBC Proms many times since his first visit in 2008, including in Vaughan Williams’ Pastoral Symphony, Britten’s War Requiem and Berlioz’s l’enfance du Christ, and taking the title roles in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and, most recently, Handel’s Samson. In London’s Barbican Hall, he has sung in The Dream of Gerontius and Britten’s Spring Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Mark Elder and Sir Simon Rattle respectively, and in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo. Last season at the Barbican, he performed Schubert’s Winterreise in a new dramatic staging incorporating the work of Australian painter Fred Williams, which he also toured across Australia and brought to Snape Maltings as part of his artist residency, which focused on Benjamin Britten.

He is a frequent visitor to Wigmore Hall and gives lied recitals around the world. Several composers have written song cycles specifically with his voice in mind, including Mark-Anthony Turnage with Refugee and Josephine Stephenson with Une saison en enfer. An advocate of contemporary music, he has appeared in world premieres of George Benjamin’s Written on Skin, Jonathan Dove’s The Adventures of Pinocchio and Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Underground.

Photo: Sim Canetty-Clarke