The return of Sir Thomas Allen

This week sees the return of internationally renowned baritone Sir Thomas Allen to the opera stage as he reprises his role as Don Alfonso in Mozart's Così fan tutte at the Royal Opera House in London. Classic FM's Tim Lihoreau met Sir Thomas to find out all about it.

This current season at the Royal Opera House marks Sir Thomas Allen's 40th anniversary of his Covent Garden debut, where he sang the role of Donald in Benjamin Britten's opera Billy Budd. Since that performance in December 1971, Sir Thomas has sung over fifty roles for The Royal Opera including more recently, Gianni Schicchi, Prosdocimo (Il Turco in Italia) and Peter (Hänsel und Gretel).

However it is this role of Don Alfonso that Allen has become best known for in recent years. He appeared in the critically-acclaimed first staging of the production in 1995, returning to sing the role in 1998 at the Shaftesbury Theatre, and in 2001, 2004 and 2007.

As Sir Thomas gets ready to return to the role once again in a contemporary production directed by Jonathan Miller, Classic FM's Tim Lihoreau caught up with him to talk about the joys of Mozart's opera, Sir Thomas' recent move to directing operas and a certain artistic hobby.

Listen to the interview here

Mozart's Così fan tutte runs at the Royal Opera House in London from Friday 27 January, continuing on 30 January, 2, 4, 7, 10, 13 February. To book tickets go to the Royal Opera House website