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Toby Spence


An honours graduate and choral scholar from New College, Oxford, Toby Spence studied at the Opera School of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He was the winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society 2011 Singer of the Year award.

In concert, Toby has sung with the Cleveland Orchestra under Christoph von Dohnanyi, the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Wiener Philharmoniker under Simon Rattle, the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Antonio Pappano, the Rotterdam Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev, the London Symphony Orchestra under Colin Davis, the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel, the Bayerischer Rundfunk under Edward Gardiner, and at the Osterfestspiele Salzburg and Edinburgh International Festival under Roger Norrington and Charles Mackerras. Toby sang an acclaimed Madwoman in Britten’s Curlew River for the Edinburgh Festival, where he has also appeared in recital and most recently in HMS Pinafore in 2015. Other recitals include the LSO St Luke’s, Opera de Lille and the Wigmore Hall. He has made numerous recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, BMG, Philips, Collins, Linn Records, Hyperion and EMI.

For the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Toby has sung Ferdinand (The Tempest), David (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Count Almaviva (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Ramiro and Tom Rakewell. For English National Opera his roles include Tamino, Candide, Paris (La Belle Hélène), Lensky and Faust. His many roles at the Paris Opera include Tom Rakewell and David. He has sung with the Glyndebourne Festival, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Hamburgische Staatsoper and La Monnaie, Brussels. In America he has appeared with the San Francisco Opera, the Santa Fe Festival, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Metropolitan Opera.

Recent opera engagements include Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Antonio (The Tempest) for the Metropolitan Opera, Don Ottavio and Tito for the Wiener Staatsoper, Essex (Gloriana) and Tamino for the Royal Opera House, Tito, Tamino and Henry Morosus (Die Schweigsame Frau) for the Bayerische Staatsoper and David (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) at Opéra de Paris. Recent concert performances include the London Symphony Orchestra with Tilson Thomas and Gergiev, Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Ticciati, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra with Adès, and at the Tonhalle, Zurich with Dutoit.

Engagements for the coming season include Captain Vere in the Teatro Real’s new production of Billy Budd and Don Ottavio at the Liceu Barcelona. In concert, Toby will appear with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Houston Symphony.