Alan’s background was in church and choral music. He was a chorister at Caius College, Cambridge, then bass lay clerk at Worcester Cathedral. He also sang with several professional choirs, especially the BBC Singers, and developed a wide-ranging oratorio repertoire, with engagements for a large number of choral societies from Truro to Aberdeen.
After winning the Incorporated Society of Musicians’ national ‘Festival Days’ competition, he embarked on a full-time solo singing career, with many years of private study in singing. After several solo recitals on Radio 3, and further oratorio concerts, he auditioned successfully for Glyndebourne, embarking on an award-winning operatic career which has spanned three decades. He has performed many principal roles at Glyndebourne, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera and Covent Garden, as well as with other opera companies in the UK and abroad.
After this long career in opera, Alan has decided to focus on oratorio – where he began. Concerts this year have included two performances of Stainer’s Crucifixion, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Haydn’s The Seasons, the Nelson Mass, the Stabat Maters of Rossini and Dvorak, Brahms’ German Requiem, Stanford’s Songs of the Fleet, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, a premiere of De Profundis by Piers Maxim, Dvorak’s Requiem and several performances of Messiah, with a Verdi Requiem to look forward to next year. Over the past year, Alan has also given three performances of Barber’s Dover Beach with two string quartets.
With his wife, Heather, accompanying, he recently presented a ‘Teatime Entertainment’ – a light-hearted affair on Sunday afternoons, featuring Songs of Jerome Kern, Flanders and Swann, etc., which raised just short of £3,500 for the Save the Children Fund. They offer the same for choral societies’ fundraising.
Besides his work as a singer, Alan is an economist, DIY enthusiast, and cook. Since he drives a car to almost all his rehearsals and engagements, and lives far from London, he considers he must have driven well over half a million miles in his long career, and sometimes thinks of himself as being a professional driver, the bouts of singing being merely what happens between all the long journeys. He has driven home to Bewdley, Worcestershire through Shipston very late at night on many occasions!