Lewis Allan

Born: April 14, 1951;

Died: January 6, 2023

Allan Harvey Lewis, known professionally as Lewis Allan, who has died aged 72, was a teacher and singer who worked with Scottish Opera and often performed with his wife, the soprano Lynne Harvey Allan, throughout the UK and beyond.

Allan grew up in the Queen’s Park area of Glasgow, the only child of Esther and Jack Lewis, and attended Battlefield Primary and Queen’s Park secondary school. From an early age he studied piano and was soon showing promise as a young singer.

He excelled in modern languages and in sixth year, self-taught, he completed a crash Higher course, gaining that year’s school prize for Spanish. He completed his MA Degree studying French and German at Strathclyde University and, following on from the required residence sections of his university course, continued to work in France and Germany as a language teaching assistant.

Settling back in Glasgow, he initially took a position teaching modern languages at King’s Park Secondary School, thereafter moving to Belmont House School where he established the German language department.

There was, however, more to explore outwith school teaching, and his vocal skills and love of music soon led to full-time work with Scottish Opera as a bass baritone. This in turn led him to a solo career, performing over decades as Lewis Allan, and often with his wife Lynne Harvey Allan.

In his role as an international examiner over many years for Trinity and London Colleges of Music, Allan travelled the globe, often video recording his adjudications to serve as exemplars for future examiners. His family often joked about his coincidentally timely departures from overseas trouble spots, just prior to unrest there.

Allan was one of life’s true enthusiasts, and not only strove to excel in his many and varied interests, but also to enable others wishing to learn. Together with singing and piano, speech, drama and communication skills, and musical theatre (with many of his students going on to become career performers), he also taught yoga and Indian head massage, and was a student of The Alexander Technique.

His attention to detail in his personal appearance and sartorial presentation reflected his approach to teaching, examining and public performance. No matter what the audience or venue, no matter what the programme, whether oratorio in a prestigious concert hall or a more intimate event for the charity, Music in Hospitals, his preparation and presentation guaranteed a skilled and pleasing performance. One always knew that with Allan Lewis as bass soloist in any work, it would be true to the composer’s intention, linguistically accurate, and delivered with the integrity and flair of a talented artist who had done his homework.

Despite recently diminished health, Allan continued to affirm his generosity of spirit, interest in others, and mindfulness in long- standing friendships. In particular, there are many in the performing arts in Scotland who will miss the tonal warmth in the splendid voice of this consummate performer.

Allan is survived by his wife Lynne, and his son Jared and daughter Natasha.

JK Boyd