(Born 8th June 1927, Melbourne, Australia)
Robert Allman is an Australian bass baritone now retired.
He was blessed with a very Italianate sound and had excellent diction and had a bright top to his range that made for very exciting performances.
He was also a very good actor and along with colleagues such as fellow Australians Elizabeth Fretwell and Donald Smith or Joan Sutherland, many opera fans still believe they couldn't have done any better.
Born in Australia Robert Allman studied in Paris before being engaged by the Royal Opera Covent Garden in 1955 for three seasons.
He moved on to Germany in 1959.
After travelling the world singing major roles in major opera houses in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Cologne, Hanover, Mannheim, Dusseldorf, Kassell, Essen, Wiesbaden, Strasbourg, Zurich, New Orleans, Houston, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Singapore and Vienna, he returned to his native Australia to become principal baritone with the National company.
His repertoire encompassed all the leading bass baritone roles in operas such as Rigoletto, Gianni Schicchi, Macbeth, The Flying Dutchman and Simon Boccanegra.
He also sang Trinity Moses in Mahagonny, Don Fernando and Pizarro in Fidelio, Rangoni in Boris Godunov, Valentine in Faust, Wolfram in Tannhauser, Donner in Das Rhiengold, Telramund in Lohengrin, Fitz Kothner in Die Miestersinger von Nurnberg, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Alfonso D'Éste in Lucrezia Borgia, the four villain roles in Les Contes D'Hoffmann, Anckarstroem in Un Ballo in Maschera, Ford in Falstaff, Amonasro in Aida, Francesco in I Masnadieri, Iago in Otello, Germont in La Traviata, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Tonio in Pagliacci, Michele in Il Tabarro, Marcello in La Boheme, Scarpia in Tosca, Capulet in Romeo et Juliette and Peter in Hansel and Gretel.
Personal note: I first saw Robert Allman with Joan Carden in Rigoletto in the mid seventies. It is a performance I will never forget.
Robert Allman was awarded the OBE in 1980 (we know that that is) and the AM (most don't know what that is) in the 1992 Queen's Birthday Honours for his services to opera.
Certainly he was a highly regarded artist well remembered today, particularly in Australia where he was one of the key performers who helped to put Australia on the world's opera stage.