An artist increasingly in demand for her extraordinary versatility, Allison Cook's recent highlights include her critically-acclaimed debut at Teatro alla Scala as the Marquise de Merteuil in the world premiere of Luca Francesconi’s Quartett (with subsequent performances at the Wiener Festwochen) as well as Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde) at the Prague State Opera and Adalgisa (Norma) on tour in the Netherlands. She also featured in two other recent world premieres: Mark Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole (in the role of Blossom) and Michael Berkeley/Ian McEwan’s For You, both at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Upcoming engagements include further performances of Quartett at the Cité de la Musique, the Holland Festival, Strasbourg Festival, Casa da Music (Porto) and in Buenos Aires; the Duchess in Jay Scheib’s production of Powder Her Face with New York City Opera; Mme de Warens in the world premiere of Philippe Fenelon’s JJR (Citoyen de Genève) for the Grand Théâtre de Genève; Britten’s Phaedra at the Barbican; and Margret (Wozzeck) at Covent Garden.
Her concert performances range from the BBC Proms (Les Dialogues des Carmelites and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music) to Schoenberg’s Das Buch der hängenden Gärten at the Louvre, with orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Münchner Symphoniker. Conductors and stage directors she has worked with include Sir Antonio Pappano, Sir Andrew Davis, James Conlon, Louis Langree, Stéphane Denève, Mark Minkowski, Susanna Mälkki, Robin Ticciati, Richard Jones, Robert Carsen, Stephen Langridge, Àlex Ollé (La Fura dels Baus), Stephen Lawless, Marthe Keller and Irina Brook.
“Ms. Cook took the remainder of the show onto her shoulders, moving with consummate insight and dignity through one of contemporary opera’s most psychologically nuanced sequences…. [She] rose to the task, her Duchess a dark reflection of Strauss’ Marschallin for an age in which noblesse is no longer obliged.” (Steve Smith, The New York Times, February 2013)
“Allison Cook was the Duchess, in full command of her part, still looking glamorous in decline (as the libretto suggests she thinks she does), and singing strongly. She almost made us capitulate in sympathy to her plight at the end.” (John Rockwell, Opera, February 2013)
“Cook’s fearlessly intense performance.” (James Jorden, Musical America, February 2013)
“As the Duchess, Allison Cook was nothing less than superb. A compelling presence at all times, she handled the vocal and dramatic demands of the role stylishly and with apparent fearlessness. Again and again I was impressed by the timing of her gestures and utterances, the nuance which she brought to the expression of an elaborately constructed personality. Cook managed to be at once pitiable and commanding as she negotiated a path through her own history, until the last of her delusions was stripped, leaving her with only bitter truths about society and herself.” (paperblog, February 2013)
"They needed a visually exciting setting for this complex score, composed for two orchestras and two singers, with the Marquise de Merteuil sung by the extraordinary Allison Cook" (Giornale della Musica, April 2011)
"Most of the spectators were speechless after watching for an hour and a half without intervals, the cruel and ruthless erotic games of the Marquise de Marteull played by soprano Allison Cook" (El Pais, April 2011)
"Phenomenal…. It would be impossible to imagine a more beautiful, intense, predatory and tragically glacial Marquise than that created by Allison Cook." (Il Giorno, April 2011)
"Allison Cook is a perfect Marquise de Merteuil; an intelligent, cynical, sophisticated, androgynous beauty. Cook is a star with scenic charisma and voice control allowing her to withstand the sharp contrasts of the music and capture all the variety of expression in this dynamic role." (Teatro.org, April 2011)