Christopher Allen Offers 'Artistic Salvation' in Ne Quittez Pas

September 30, 2018

Photos by Dominic M. Mercier

Photos by Dominic M. Mercier

“At equal partnership with Racette is Music Director and Pianist, Christopher Allen. His playing of Poulenc’s writing is superb. From the first tones of Poulenc’s Intermezzo No. 3 to the final sounds of the opera, each and every note was played with such clarity, command, and tenderness, that the audience is left unaware of the immense difficulty of the music.”
— Schmopera

Christopher Allen has made a critically acclaimed Opera Philadelphia debut, in an unusually multi-faceted role as music director, pianist, and actor for Ne Quittez Pas. The program, a re-imagining of Poulenc’s La voix humaine for Opera Philadelphia’s Festival O18, starred Patricia Racette in a production by James Darrah.

Read reviews:

“Voix Humaine is heard here accompanied by an excellent solo pianist, Christopher Allen… To their credit, though, the performers (including pianist Allen, who deserves some kind of MVP award) commit fully to Darrah’s vision.”
Parterre Box

“Pianist Christopher Allen had a wonderful feel for Poulenc's alternating sweetness and acid, and I often wished Darrah had granted both him and Nelson the simple visual quiet of a small white spotlight.”
Philadelphia Inquirer

“Yet in the hands of Racette and her gifted accompanist, Christopher Allen, I never came close to cringing. The production uses a piano reduction in place of full orchestra, which Allen dispatches with real feeling for Poulenc’s melodious writing…”
Broad Street Review

“[Racette’s] partner in music-making, pianist Christopher Allen proved a thrilling collaborator, finding orchestral colors in his virtuosic playing.”
Opera Today

“I'd say that more is less, except for the elegant piano performances by Music Director Christopher Allen, which I found quite pleasing.”
Broadway World

“…Poulenc songs with the impeccable collaboration of pianist/music director Christopher Allen, creating a hauntingly penetrating sound in the cavernous cabaret. This romp through music, poetry, and devilish insanity…made the first act of Ne Quittez Pas into a revelatory vehicle for the musical talents of Christopher Allen and Edward Nelson. The second half is the actual Jean Cocteau play, La voix humaine… Christopher Allen did a masterful job with the score.”
Philly Life & Culture

“There’s nobility, too, in the soprano Patricia Racette’s…masterly performance, and Christopher Allen’s responsive piano collaboration…”
The New York Times

“The piano accompaniment, performed by Christopher Allen…made its pain especially intimate.”
Wall Street Journal

“Music Director and pianist Christopher Allen offered artistic salvation from beginning to end, including his rendition of Poulenc’s Intermezzo no. 3 during the opening scene…”

“…Christopher Allen’s ability to hold it all together despite whatever was transpiring on stage, all the while playing magnificently.”
Seen and Heard International