Update browser for a secure Minnesota Orchestra experience

It looks like you may be using a web browser version that we don't support. Make sure you're using the most recent version of your browser, or try using of these supported browsers, to get the full Minnesota Orchestra experience: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge.

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 Spence 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 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 Dohnányi, 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.

Operatic highlights include recent role debuts as Erik in Der Fliegende Holländer for Teatro La Fenice and Alonso in The Tempest for Teatro alla Scala, Aschenbach in Death in Venice for Opéra National du Rhin, Captain Vere in Deborah Warner’s Billy Budd for Teatro Real, Opera di Roma and Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, Anatol in Vanessa for Frankfurt Opera, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni for the Liceu Barcelona, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus and Antonio in The Tempest for the Metropolitan Opera, Tito, Tamino and Henry Morosus in Die Schweigsame Frau for the Bayerische Staatsoper, Florestan in Fidelio for Garsington Opera and Opera North, Ghandi in Satyagraha at the English National Opera, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Tito in La clemenza di Tito for the Wiener Staatsoper as well as Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress and David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for Opéra de Paris. Spence’s longstanding relationship with the Royal Opera House has seen him sing David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Ferdinand in The Tempest, Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Ramiro in La Cenerentola, Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, and Essex in Gloriana.

Plans for the 2023-24 season include a return to the Royal Opera House for Erik in Der Fliegende Holländer, as well as house debuts as Alonso in The Tempest for the Wiener Staatsoper and as the title role in Idomeneo for Opéra National de Lorraine. On the concert platform, Spence sings Mortimer in Lessons in Love and Violence with Orchestre de Paris conducted by George Benjamin, The Bells conducted by Edward Gardner with the Bergen Philharmonic, Messiah with the Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Christopher Warren-Green and the Mozart Requiem conducted by Matthew Halls with the Tampere Philharmonic. In recital, Spence returns to the Oxford Lieder Festival.