Betty Waynne Allison


Betty Waynne Allison


Prize-winning soprano Betty Waynne Allison first came to prominence as a member of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio. Her career expanded to Europe with her French debut in Metz as Alice in Verdi’s FALSTAFF and the title role in Carlisle Floyd’s SUSANNAH for Florentine Opera marked her U.S. debut   Back in Canada, she created the title role in MARY’S WEDDING, a world premier from Pacific Opera Victoria and she was also heard as Miss Jessel in TURN OF THE SCREW for Against the Grain Theatre.  On the concert stage, she sang GALGENLIEDER A 3 by Sofia Gubaidulina with Queen of Puddings Music Theatre, Mahler’s SYMPHONY NO. 8 for the Brott Festival, and Brahms’ REQUIEM for the Winnipeg Symphony, the Grand Philharmonic Choir of Kitchener Waterloo and Le Chœur classique de l’Outaouais.  2013-2014 highlights included Queen Elizabeth I in Britten’s GLORIANA for VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert and Rosalinda in DIE FLEDERMAUS for Edmonton Opera. In the summer of 2015, she reprised the role of Donna Anna in UNCLE JOHN for Against the Grain in Ottawa and was later heard as Helena in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM for Pacific  Opera Victoria.

In 2014-2015, her schedule included Freia in DAS RHEINGOLD for Pacific Opera Victoria, Erste Dame in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE for Edmonton Opera and Donna Anna in an alternative version of DON GIOVANNI with Against the Grain Theatre at the Banff Centre and in Toronto. 

Leading COC Ensemble assignments have included Fiordiligi in COSI FAN TUTTE, Donna Elvira in Gazzaniga’s DON GIOVANNI, and Mona in the world premiere of James Rolfe’s SWOON.  On the mainstage she has covered and/or performed roles such as the High Priestess (AÏDA), Donna Anna (DON GIOVANNI), Annina (LA TRAVIATA), Turnspit (RUSALKA), Freia (DAS RHEINGOLD), Countess (LE NOZZE DI FIGARO), Tatyana (EUGENE ONEGIN), and Amelia (SIMON BOCCANEGRA). She sang Erste Dame in a new COC production of DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE and she was heard with the Ottawa Choral Society and in the New Discoveries Showcase.

Ms. Allison represented Canada in the Stella Maris Vocal Competition, and she was a regional finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Pittsburgh, a Silver Medal winner in the Czech Slovak International Competition, received the Grand Prize at the Ottawa Choral Society New Discovery and West Palm Beach Opera competitions and is a laureate of Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques.

Applauded by Opera Canada for her “convincingly sexy movements, her sly vocal style and her well-rounded characterization” of the Vixen in Janácek’s CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN, further credits include the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI), Highlands Opera Studio, and the Concert Opera Group.  Ms. Allison completed Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees at the University of Victoria in Music and Education

 May 2016


Britten Miss Jessel TURN OF THE SCREW
Dvořák Rusalka RUSALKA
Floyd Susannah SUSANNAH
Gazzaniga Donna Elvira DON GIOVANNI
Gounod Margeurite FAUST
Mozart Fiordiligi
Donna Anna
First Lady
Puccini Musetta LA BOHÈME
Prokofiev Peronskaya WAR AND PEACE
Tchaikovsky Tatiana EUGENE ONEGIN
Strauss, J. Rosalinda DIE FLEDERMAUS
Verdi Priestess
Wagner Freia


Brahms   Ein Deutsches Requiem
Dvořák   Te Deum
Handel   Messiah
Haydn   Die Schöpfung
Mahler   Symphony No. 8 (Soprano II)
Rutter   Mass of the Children
    Galgenleider a 3
Schubert   Mass in G
Vivaldi   Gloria


Glick   Seven Tableaux from the Song of Songs
Gubaidulina   Galgenlieder à Trois
Hétu   Les Clartés de la Nuit, Op. 20
Larsen   Try Me, Good King: Last Words of the Wives of Henry VIII
Messiaen   Harawi (Tristan Trilogy)
    Poèmes pour Mi
Poulenc   Fiançailles pour Rire
R. Strauss   4 Lieder, Op. 27

“As the opera’s towering centre of attention, Gloriana the Queen herself, Betty Waynne Allison gives a performance of great theatrical presence and vocal sophistication. Gifted with a commanding dramatic soprano, Allison, essentially omnipresent in all three acts, more than surmounts the daunting vocal challenges of the role. There is a dignity and grace in this voice overlaid with a robust athleticism capable of pivoting from soft sentiment to steely purpose on the edge of an emotional dime. The BC-based singer’s Elizabeth is as tender as she is imposing, as vulnerable as she is triumphant, Allison’s clear unaffected instrument slicing to the core of the Queen’s anguish. It is a remarkable achievement.”
Opera Going Toronto

“Betty Waynne Allison commanded the stage whenever she appeared as Elizabeth, both vocally and physically. While some variations of the Elizabeth story include unattractive or insecure monarchs, this time we’re in the presence of a radiant Gloriana brimming with confidence. I only wish the role were bigger, given how self-assured the singing was.”
[Gloriana, Voicebox, Opera in Concert] Barczablog – Peter Barcza

“Fate and time stopped when Betty Waynne Allison sang “Ain’t it a pretty night” and, later, “Trees on the mountain.” Allison possesses a big voice, and both arias go high and loud. But even at these peaks, a luscious sweetness permeated Allison’s sound. In “Pretty night,” she sounded like a dear little light soprano writ miraculously large, scaled up with no change in quality or color. Remarkable. “Trees on the mountain” is Floyd’s virtuoso dream of an Appalachian folk ballad or lullaby. Here she showed off her intoxicating darker timbres and elegant legato. But these songs do more than show off the voice. They convey Susannah’s sensitivity, first as aesthetic ecstasy at the beauty of the night sky and second as a tragic attempt to recover that sense of beauty after her loss of innocence. Allison made both songs deeply moving as well as beautiful. Allison acted the part with utterly disarming innocence. This was her first Susannah, but Allison already owns the role”
Third Coast Digest, Tom Strini [Susannah, title role, Florentine Opera]

“Betty Waynne Allison sang the role of Susannah Polk with power, accuracy and uncluttered musical directness that spoke volumes about her character. She conveyed the character’s wide range of emotions without melodrama, making stirring music with the compelling, tuneful “Ain’t It a Pretty Night” and “The Trees on the Mountain.”
Journal Sentinel, Elaine Schmidt [Susannah, title role, Florentine Opera]

“As Mary, the soprano Betty Waynne Allison coped brilliantly with the demands of a role that kept her on stage from beginning to end. Completely believable as a demure yet strong-willed young lady, she sang throughout with bright, cleanly focused tone and hit her high notes squarely on pitch.” [Mary’s Wedding, title role, Pacific Opera Victoria] Opera, Bernard Jacobson

“Indeed Betty Waynne Allison, as Mary, has a tremendous amount to sing and a tremendous amount of text to deliver. Fortunately she graces MacDonald’s angular but wide-ranging lyrical melodies with personable warmth and ringing tone.”
Globe and Mail – Elissa Poole [Mary’s Wedding, title role, Pacific Opera Victoria]

“The fresh-faced young singers portraying the central couple – soprano Betty Waynne Allison and tenor Thomas Macleay – have personable voices that are fortunately not out of proportion to the characters or story or venue. Crucially, both have real acting talent; their various encounters are sweet, touching, funny and genuine.”
Victoria Times Colonist – Kevin Bazzana [Mary’s Wedding, title role, Pacific Opera Victoria]

“Chez les dames, ce sont les deux sopranos, les Canadiennes Betty Allison et Marie-Ève Munger qui se distinguent…” (Translation: “Among the ladies, it was the two sopranos, the Canadians Betty Allison and Marie-Ève Munger who most distinguished themselves…”)
La Scène – Pierre Degott [Falstaff, Alice Ford, l’Opéra-Théâtre de Metz Métropole]


Song to the Moon from Rusalka by Antonin Dvorak


At the end of the Haunted Day from Troilus and Cressida by William Walton