Canadian Bass-Baritone Joel Allison has been praised for his “beautiful, rich, ringing tone.” (Ludwig von Toronto). He has performed throughout Canada with ensembles including the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Saskatoon Opera, Saskatoon Symphony, National Academy Orchestra, Theatre of Early Music, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, and the McGill Chamber Orchestra.
Highlighting Joel’s 2018/19 season is his debut with the COC in their Studio Ensemble in the roles of: "Zaretsky" in Eugene Onegin; "Superior Senator" in the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian; "Schuanard" in La Boheme; and his debut with the Newfoundland Symphony in Handel’s Messiah.
In the spring and summer of 2018 Joel made his debuts with the: Toronto Bach Festival, Tilford Bach Festival in England, Westben Arts Festival, Music Niagara, and the Festival international de musique baroque de Lamèque.
Joel’s operatic roles include: “Leporello” in Mozart’s Don Giovanni Westben Arts Festival/Music Niagara; “Dr. Malatesta” in Don Pasquale with the Stratford Summer Music Festival; Adonis in Venus and Adonis with the Seventeen Voyces Chamber Choir; “Basilio” in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Saskatoon Opera; "Prince Gremin" in Eugene Onegin with Opera Muskoka; “Antonio” in Le Nozze di Figaro with Boris Brott Music Festival; the title role in Handel’s Imeneo with UofT Opera, directed by Tim Albery.
Joel is also a dedicated concert artist. Canadian composer Andrew Ager compiled a song cycle “Idle Thoughts” for Joel which was premiered in Ottawa at Tabaret Hall in 2015. In the spring of 2017, Joel performed the baritone role in Canadian composer Larysa Kuzmenko’s Golden Harvest Oratorio with the Saskatoon Symphony and premiered an arrangement of folk songs by Canadian composer Alexander Rapoport titled At the Queen’s Inn with the Talisker Players.
Joel holds a MMus. in Opera Performance from the University of Toronto and a BMus. in vocal performance from the University of Ottawa. He was the recipient of the Richard Bradshaw Fellowship in Opera; won the Norcop Prize in Art Song; and was the recipient of the 2018 Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Award at the University of Toronto.
Joel is an alumnus of the: Ontario Youth Choir, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, and the Toronto Summer Music Festival Art Song Fellowship.
In the 2017/18 season Joel won Second Prize at the Brian Law Opera Competition, Second Prize at the COC Centre Stage Competition and a spot in the COC Ensemble Studio for the 2018-19 Season, and Second Prize at the Great Lakes regional finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Joel also made his debut with the McGill Chamber Orchestra as the bass soloist in their performance of Handel’s Messiah.
An ardent soloist since childhood, Joel’s solo debut was at the age of twelve as the treble soloist in Howard Shore’s Lord of the Rings Symphony with the National Arts Center Orchestra under the conductor Alexander Mickelthwate.