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Toby Spence

Tenor

Biography

Toby Spence in action.
Toby Spence in Gloriana, The Royal Opera © ROH/Clive Barda, 2013

English tenor Toby Spence made his Royal Opera debut in 1996 as Ovando (Alzira). His many Royal Opera roles since include Simpleton (Boris Godunov), Ferdinand (The Tempest), Count Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Vána Kudrjáš (Kát’a Kabanová), Tom Rakewell (The Rake’s Progress), David (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) and Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex (Gloriana), and Song of the Earth for The Royal Ballet. In the 2014/15 Season he returns to sing Tamino (Die Zauberflöte).

Spence grew up in London and read Music at New College, Oxford. He went on to study with David Pollard at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and made his professional debut as Idamante (Idomeneo) with Welsh National Opera. He sings regularly with English National Opera, where his many roles include Lensky (Eugene Onegin), Tamino, Faust and Candide. Engagements elsewhere include Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) and Peter Quint (The Turn of the Screw) for Glyndebourne Festival, Tom Rakewell for Teatro Real and Theater an der Wien, Pylade (Iphigénie en Tauride) for Hamburg State Opera, Laërte (Hamlet), Antonio (The Tempest) and Tamino for the Metropolitan Opera, New York, Tito (La clemenza di Tito) for Bavarian State Opera and Vienna State Opera and Henry Morosus (Die schweigsame Frau) in Munich.

Spence regularly sings in concert and recital, in repertory including Bach’s St John Passion, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Britten’s War Requiem. In 2012 he founded the recital series Wardsbrook Concerts with his brother Magnus. Awards include the 2011 Royal Philharmonic Society Singer of the Year.

Videos

News and features

BBC Radio 3 broadcasts of Royal Opera performances announced for winter, spring and summer 2014/15

BBC Radio 3 broadcasts of Royal Opera performances announced for winter, spring and summer 2014/15

2 December 2014

Andrea Chénier, La bohème, Die Zauberflöte and others on Opera on 3.

Your reaction: Gloriana in cinemas

Your reaction: Gloriana in cinemas

25 June 2013

Audience tweets from the final live relay of the 2012/13 Cinema Season.

Your reaction: Gloriana

Your reaction: Gloriana

21 June 2013

A selection of your tweets from the opening night of Richard Jones's new production.

Watch: Toby Spence and Susan Bullock on Gloriana

Watch: Toby Spence and Susan Bullock on Gloriana

20 June 2013

Find out more about Britten’s underperformed gem from the lead singers.

Watch: Kasper Holten on Gloriana

Watch: Kasper Holten on Gloriana

29 January 2013

The Director of The Royal Opera on Richard Jones’s new production.

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in Birmingham

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in Birmingham

9 January 2012

Concert performance of Wagner's opera to take place on 11 January.

Photos