Assistant Professor of Voice
D.Mus., Indiana University
M.Mus., The Juilliard School
B.Mus., Oberlin College
Baritone Ferris Allen, Assistant Professor of Voice, has performed music from the early Baroque to the twenty-first century with such diverse ensembles as Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the Teatro Colón, American Opera Theater, Aspen Opera Theater, the Juilliard Opera Center, BAM, The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Opera in the Rock, and Apollo’s Fire. Allen worked alongside prolific composer William Bolcom to create what Opera News praised as one the most “enjoyable,” “subtle” and “best acted” performances of opening night in his characterization of Jules in the composer’s most recent opera, A Wedding.
Allen is a champion of both new and rediscovered music. Upon the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles’ uncovery of Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer’s Le Pouvoir de l’Amour, Allen performed Prométhée in its modern world premiere. He performed Office Worker in the world premiere of Lowell Lieberman’s adaptation of Nathaniel West’s Miss Lonelyhearts and the role of Achis in the North American premiere of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s David et Jonathas. Notable performances on the recital stage include Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte with pianist Margo Garrett at the Aspen Music Festival and Twin Cities performances of Schubert’s Winterreise with conductor-pianist Andrew Altenbach of Minnesota Opera. Allen and Altenbach were selected as a duo to inaugurate LiederAlive!, a San Francisco venue that unites a young generation of Lieder performers with world-renowned artists of the genre for a series of public classes and demonstrations. Recently, Allen joined Boston-based The Plain Song in a festival of concerts in which the complete songbooks of Hugo Wolf were for the first time performed in their entirety, the first of many collaborations with pianist Elizabeth Avery.
Before joining the faculty of the UALR Music Department, Allen taught at Wabash College and Indiana University. The first English Diction coach to join the staff of IU Opera Theater, his work on the world premier of Bernard Rands’s newest opera, Vincent, was praised by Indiana Public Radio, which said, “the words are delivered with such precision by the whole cast that supertitles were frequently superfluous.”
At Indiana University, Allen was offered the first Jacobs Fellowship, given upon the renaming of the music school as the Barbara and David Jacobs School of Music and attended Juilliard School as recipient of the Irene Diamond Foundation Scholarship. At Oberlin College, he served as research assistant to prolific vocal pedagogue and author Richard Miller. Prizes including the Lucrezia Bori Grant and four years’ sponsorship from the Max Kade Foundation enabled language studies at Instituto Michelangelo, Florence Italy, and The German School, Middlebury College, Vermont.