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www.mn.catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
Singing is life for John Allan, and it has
manifested itself in a variety of genres.
Today, his teaching and love of singing is still
as strong a s in his childhood when he first
began this jour ney.
John was born on a dairy farm at Kyogle on
the Nor th Coast of New South Wales and
attended Kyogle High School. He then met
Ma x Or win, a leading bass for many oper a
companies, who had moved to Lismore. "I
did most of my training under Max in his old
dairy conver ted into a studio."
This led John to singing par ts which led
to Oper a Austr alia where he became a
principal, singing "roles such as Figaro in
The Mar riage of Figaro, and Dr Falke in Die
Fledermaus and then also the Toreador
Escamillo in Carmen."
John's nex t move wa s into many different
for ms of music. "I was into musical comedy
a s well as playing Tony in West Side Stor y.
I played under study for Nor mie Rowe
as Valjean in Les Miserables. I thoroughly
enjoyed my sojourns into musical theatre."
During this time, John's teaching was his
fulltime career; singing was his secondary
love. "At one time I was teaching at De La
Salle College in Sydney; I would jump on
a bus and tr ain to the Opera House for
rehearsals and performances."
John moved to Brisbane with the Brisbane
Lyric and then the Gold Coast Light Oper a .
By this time he was becoming jaded "with
the number of big egos in oper a." But one
per son with special insight helped. John
was working in Sydney with internationally
famous tenor Placido Domingo.
Placido told him, "When you get to do what
we like to do, you come to the theatre and
you leave your hat and your coat and your
ego with the concierge, and at the end of
the per formance you pick up your hat and
coat and your ego and you leave it up to the
press and the audience to tell you how good
John left oper a completely and retur ned
to per for ming in clubs . He formed a duo
with a friend and did club per formances.
They tr avelled to Dar win where he met his
While in Dar win, John wa s asked to sing
the National Anthem at the s wearing-in
ceremony of Mr Ted Egan as Administr ator
of the Nor ther n Territory. He retur ned
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to teaching and was r ecognised with a
Centenary Medal for his involvement with
childr en with special needs .
John and Dawn eventually moved to
Thor nton, where John still perfor ms
in clubs . Throughout this time, he has
remained singing in his local church choir s,
and recently ha s begun a s a cantor at St
Joseph's East Maitland. Though he sings
inter mittently at this stage, he hopes to
contribute more in the future.
John says, "I've been given a talent; the
reason is only known to Himself upstairs,
but I have to use this talent, other wise
I'm not wor thy of the talent." He hopes
to continue making people's lives mor e
enjoyable through the richness of his voice.
If you have the oppor tunity to hear John
perfor m, make it a priority.
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