|Year of Birth:||1935|
|Year of Death:||2008|
Richard Van Allan CBE (28 May 1935 – 4 December 2008) was a versatile British operatic bass singer who had a lengthy career.
He sang varied repertoire at Covent Garden and English National Opera, as well as at numerous important houses worldwide. With his distinctive profile and memorable stage presence, he made a powerful impression in many roles, from Wagner, Verdi and Mozart, to Gilbert and Sullivan. The Times wrote that he embodied "all the virtues that make the complete artist – vocal beauty and technique, musicianship, language, dramatic ability, stylistic authority".
Richard Van Allan was born in Clipstone, Nottinghamshire, on 28 May 1935. He grew up in Derbyshire, singing in the church choir in Bolsover and participated in Gilbert and Sullivan operas at Brunts grammar school in Mansfield. He left school without finishing, becoming a police cadet, and became a constable after completing military service in Germany, where he became more interested in singing. He studied at Worcester Teacher Training College, during which he sang in concerts and performed in more amateur Gilbert and Sullivan productions.
Van Allan taught science in Birmingham while studying voice with David Franklin at the Birmingham School of Music. In 1964, he joined the chorus of Glyndebourne Festival Opera, then Sadler's Wells. He also toured with Opera for All. Van Allan made his solo debut at Glyndebourne in 1966 as Second Priest and Second Armoured Man in Mozart's The Magic Flute. In 1967, he appeared as Osmano in Francesco Cavalli's L'Ormindo at Glyndebourne under Raymond Leppard. He sang the roles of the Speaker in The Magic Flute, Johann in Massenet's Werther, and in 1969 he alternated in the title role and as Leporello in Don Giovanni for Sadler's Wells at the London Coliseum. In 1970 he created the role of Colonel Lord Francis Jowler in the premiere of Nicholas Maw's The Rising of the Moon at Glyndebourne.