Allison Cook’s reputation as one of today’s foremost exponents of contemporary and 20th century repertoire has been firmly established through the recent creation of a range of formidable characters. Dramatic versatility and an extensive vocal range have shaped a unique career which incorporates both mezzo and soprano roles including Judith (Bluebeard’s Castle), Miss Jessel (The Turn of the Screw), Salome, Marie (Wozzeck), Schoenberg’s Erwartung and Saariaho’s Émilie. This season Allison adds two significant new roles to her repertoire; Foreign Princess (Rusalka) for Bergen National Opera under Eivind Gullberg Jensen, and Venus (Tannhäuser) for Opernhaus Wuppertal under Patrick Hahn.
Last season Cook performed at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden under the direction of Thomas Ades in the first performance ofAlice adventures under ground (Alice's Underground Adventures) by Gerald Barry and also at the world premiere of Dido's ghost (The Ghost of Dido) by Errollyn Wallen with the Dunedin Consort at Barbican Hall and the Edinburgh International Festival. Other notable performances are Judith's Bluebeard's castle (The castle of Barbablava) at the George Enescu Festival under the baton of Cristian Mandeal, the Emilie Suite of Saariaho with the Gävle Symphony Orchestra and her return to La Scala in Milan as Marquise of Merteuil Quartet by Luca Francesconi. Precisely for her role as Marquise, Cook has received unanimous praise, from her world premiere at La Scala to subsequent productions at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Teatro Real de la Moneda, the Gran Teatro de Varsovia, the Teatro Colón de Buenos Airs and festivals in Vienna, Holland and Strasbourg and the Cité de la Musique. She is also making a special place in her repertoire for the role of Duchess in Powder her face (Make it up) by Thomas Adès, which has had brilliant premieres in New York, Quebec, Warsaw and Brussels.
Also noteworthy is Cook's debut in the role of Salome in Adina Jacobs' new production for the English National Opera, which has earned her recognition for her committed performance and "brilliant tone" (Opera Magazine); the world premiere of L’enigma di Lea from Casablanca for the Gran Teatre del Liceu, a piece that is recovering this season with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and the National Orchestra of Catalonia; the role of Miss Jessel a The turn of the screw (Another twist) by Kasper Holten for La Scala in Milan and directed by Christoph Eschenbach; Judith 's role in the front row production of Bluebeard's castle (Barbablava Castle) by Mariusz Treliński for the Warsaw Grand Theater, and Cook's debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in Zápisník zmizelého (Diary of a missing person). At the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden Cook has appeared in Wozzeck, Anna Nicole of Turnage and the new production of Z mrtvého domu (From the House of the Dead) by Janáček directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski.