|Year of Birth:||1932|
|Year of Death:||2012|
Jean Allister (26 February 1932 – 11 July 2012) was an opera singer who encompassed a wide range of repertoire both on stage and on the concert platform in a career spanning over 30 years.
Allister was born in Ballymoney. She studied under Norman Allin at the Royal Academy of Music and her early roles included Mistress Quickly at the Academy in 1954, and parts in Elijah at the Royal Festival Hall, and Handel's Belshazzar at the Foundling Hospital in July 1955. She married her fellow student the tenor Edgar Fleet in 1955 and they worked together in several performances including Britten's Spring Symphony at the Royal Academy and Abraham and Isaac at the Royal Court Theatre.
She became a member of the Ambrosian Singers where among fellows altos she sang alongside Pamela Bowden, Heather Harper and Helen Watts. From 1959 to 1970 she sang in fifteen Proms concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, including Henze's Novae de Infinito Laudes with the composer in 1965 and Beethoven's Choral Symphony under Sargent in 1966, and at the Three Choirs Festivals she appeared from 1961 to 1977, where she participated in the British premiere of Martin's In Terra Pax in 1960 and the same composer's Requiem in 1975.
Her performance in the title role of The Italian Girl in Algiers at the 1961 St Pancras Arts Festival was hailed by Opera magazine: "a new coloratura mezzo, Jean Allister Her tone was rich and warm, and remained so right through the range, not growing hard at the top or fading at the bottom. She showed a sense of the stage, a good feeling for phrase, and acceptable divisions. She offered in all ways a delightful impersonation of Rossini's resourceful heroine, and each of the arias made its proper effect".