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 some of the most renowned orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He has appeared as a guest soloist at the Easter Festival in Salzburg and the Edinburgh International Festival. He has worked with an impressive array of conductors such as Christoph von Dohnanyi, Sir Simon Rattle, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Antonio Pappano, Valery Gergiev, Colin Davis, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Gustavo Dudamel, Edward Gardner, Roger Norrington and Charles Mackerras.
A prolific recitalist, Toby has given numerous solo recitals for BBC Radio 3 and at London’s Wigmore Hall and has appeared at LSO St Luke’s, Opera de Lille, at Northern Ireland Opera’s Festival of Voice, Janacek's Brno International Music Festival and Aldeburgh Festival. He has made numerous recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, BMG, Philips, Collins, Linn Records, Hyperion and EMI.
Recent concert appearances include his role debut as Hauptmann Wozzeck with the Boston Symphony Orchestra cond. Andris Nelsons in Boston and at Carnegie Hall, the Glagolitic Mass and Jack in Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage with the London Philharmonic Orchestra cond. Edward Gardner, Bach Magnificat cond. Juanjo Mena with the Cincinnati Symphony, Britten’s War Requiem with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, The Bells with the Philharmonia Orchestra cond. Stanislav Kochanovsky, Das Lied von der Erde with Orchestre de Lille cond. Alexandre Bloch, the Budapest Festival Orchestra cond. Iván Fischer and Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música cond. Stefan Blunier, St Matthew Passion for the Gulbenkian Foundation and with the Residentie Orkest, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis for the Gulbenkian Foundation, Bénédict in a concert performance of Béatrice et Bénédict for the Festival de la Côte Saint-André, a staged Christmas Oratorio at Teatro Arriaga directed by Calixto Bieito, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, Mahler’s Das Klagendes Lied, and Mendelssohn’s Die Erste Walpurgisnacht with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 at Atlanta Symphony Hall, Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the l'Orchestre National de Lyon and the London Chamber Orchestra, The Seasons with the Philharmonie de Paris, Bruckner’s F minor Mass with the Sinfonieorchester Basel, Liszt’s Faust Symphony with the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Shanghai Symphony cond. Long Yu for Deutsche Grammophon’s 120th anniversary, Jonathan Dove’s There Was A Child with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Beethoven 9 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Operatic highlights include Aschenbach Death in Venice for Opéra National du Rhin, Captain Vere in Deborah Warner’s Billy Budd for Teatro Real, Opera di Roma and ROH, Anatol Vanessa for Frankfurt Opera, Don Ottavio for the Liceu Barcelona, Eisenstein Die Fledermaus and Antonio The Tempest for the Metropolitan Opera, Tito, Tamino and Henry Morosus Die Schweigsame Frau for the Bayerische Staatsoper, Florestan Fidelio for Garsington Opera and Opera North, Ghandi Satyagraha at the English National Opera, Don Ottavio and Tito for the Wiener Staatsoper as well as Tom Rakewell and David Die Meistersinger for Opéra de Paris. Toby’s longstanding relationship with ROH has seen him sing David Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Tamino Die Zauberflöte, Ferdinand The Tempest, Count Almaviva Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Ramiro La Cenerentola, Tom Rakewell The Rake’s Progress, and Essex Gloriana.
The past two seasons saw several role debuts, including Erik Der Fliegende Holländer for Teatro la Fenice, Alonso The Tempest for Teatro alla Scala, the title role in Parsifal for Opera North, Alwa Lulu for La Monnaie, and Monsieur Taupe Capriccio at the Bayerische Staatsoper.
Plans for the 23/24 season include a return to the Royal Opera House for Erik Der Fliegende Holländer, as well as house debuts as Alonso The Tempest for the Wiener Staatsoper and as the title role in Idomeneo for Opéra National de Lorraine. On the concert platform, Toby sings Mortimer Lessons in Love and Violence with Orchestre de Paris cond. George Benjamin, The Bells cond. Edward Gardner with the Bergen Philharmonic, The Messiah with the Minnesota Orchestra cond. Warren-Green and the Mozart Requiem cond. Matthew Halls with the Tampere Philharmonic. In recital, Toby returns to the Oxford International Song Festival.