Biography

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David Allsopp was born in 1982 in a small town in the now-defunct county of Gwent in South Wales. In 1988, his father accepted a new post at King’s School Rochester, so the family moved to Kent. Three years later, he was accepted by Barry Ferguson as a probationer in Rochester Cathedral Choir and he remained with the Choir until 1996, his last two years being under the direction of Roger Sayer. Highlights of his treble career included many renditions of the treble solo in Bairstow’s Blessed City, Heavenly Salem and a recording of the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City on a Christmas CD for the Priory label.

David’s speaking voice finally broke shortly before his fifteenth birthday. After a couple of months attempting to sing bass with little success, he realised that his singing voice had not changed as much and that his vocal calling was in the ranks of the altos. A year or so later, a consultation lesson was arranged with Geoffrey Mitchell, with a view to preparation for the choral trials at Cambridge, and David has been studying with Geoffrey ever since. The choral trials followed later that year and David was offered a Choral Scholarship at King’s College. November 1999 saw David’s countertenor concert debut, performing the central movement of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms in Rochester Cathedral’s annual St Cecilia Concert. The end of his time at King’s School Rochester featured a performance of Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater in Rochester Cathedral during the end of year concert, a performance which was repeated during Holy Week the following year. David spent a ‘gap’ year as a Lay Clerk the Cathedral, having been standing in there regularly over the previous two years, and also worked for BAE Systems as a software engineer. December of the same year saw David’s London solo debut with a performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor in St Martin-in-the-Fields with the New London Singers. This was followed by a performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria, again with the New London Singers, in July 2001.

David’s first year at King’s had some great highlights, most notably the choir’s performance in St John’s, Smith Square with the Choirs of Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral of Tallis’s Spem in alium and, of course, the Christmas Television and Radio broadcasts for which King’s is so famous. During his third year, the choir performed in the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, and David was once again able to air Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, this time to a much larger audience and to critical acclaim. The end of the academic year saw a performance of Handel’s Dixit Dominus in King’s College Chapel with the Cambridge University Musical Society.

After graduating with first class honours in Computer Science, David was able to spend a fourth year in the choir as the College’s first Lay Clerk since 1929. In 2005, he was appointed as a Lay Clerk at Westminster Cathedral, a post which he held until the summer of 2008. During his time there, David’s profile as a soloist and consort singer increased – he can regularly be seen on stage with groups such as The Gabrieli Consort and Players and Tenebrae.

Solo appearances have included many more performances of Bach’s Mass in B minor (both in England and abroad) and the St John Passion. David has appeared as a soloist for many of Handel’s oratorio works including Messiah, Dixit Dominus and Solomon. In 2007, he made his debut at the Maulbronn Festival in Germany performing the role of Othniel in Handel’s heroic oratorio Joshua and in the autumn that year gave performances of Israel in Egypt at various venues including St John’s, Smith Square with the Academy of Ancient Music and The Holst Singers. The concert recording of the Joshua performance in Maulbronn was released last October and David features on King’s College Choir’s 2007 recording of works by Gibbons, Weelkes and Tomkins on the EMI Classics label.

In 2008, David performed Handel’s Susanna in Karlsruhe Opera House with Christian Curnyn and, in February, gave a performance of Tavener’s Lament for Jerusalem with David Hill and Leeds Philharmonic Chorus. Forthcoming concerts for 2009 include Chichester Psalms with Wayne Marshall and the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, the St John Passion with The Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge and Israel in Egypt with Birmingham Festival Choral Society.