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Toby Spence

Tenor

Biography

Toby Spence in action.
Toby Spence as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte © ROH. Mark Douet

English tenor Toby Spence made his Royal Opera debut in 1996 as Ovando (Alzira). His many 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), Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex (Gloriana) and Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) for The Royal Opera, Song of the Earth for The Royal Ballet and in the Life Reimagined Gala.

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

Life Reimagined Gala: Kevin O'Hare and Kasper Holten preview their highlights

Life Reimagined Gala: Kevin O'Hare and Kasper Holten preview their highlights

18 February 2015

The Director of The Royal Ballet and Director of The Royal Opera on what they're most excited for at the upcoming gala.

Listen: Toby Spence on Die Zauberflöte – ‘I can't think of an opera that engages so wholeheartedly with humanity’s biggest questions’

Listen: Toby Spence on Die Zauberflöte – ‘I can't think of an opera that engages so wholeheartedly with humanity’s biggest questions’

13 February 2015

English tenor Toby Spence discusses the very essence of Mozart’s masterpiece.

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.

Photos