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Toby Spence de Retour

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Charles T. Downey, Vocal Arts D.C. offers milestone local recital of tenor Toby Spence
Washington Post, January 18, 2013

available at Amazon
Janáček, Diary of One Who Disappeared, I. Bostridge, R. Philogene, T. Adès
Vocal Arts D.C. presented two major debuts Wednesday night, the first local recital of Toby Spence and the first appearance of Leos Janacek’s “The Diary of One Who Disappeared” on its concert series. The English tenor’s fine performance at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater brought that mysterious Czech song cycle to life, as well as Robert Schumann’s poignant “Dichterliebe,” in the original high keys.

Sadly, this milestone almost did not come to pass, because Spence, 43, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in late 2011. In February, he underwent a delicate surgery to remove his thyroid and some lymph nodes, an operation that involved many of the muscles and nerves crucial to his voice. It was not certain that he would be able to sing again, but with excellent medical care and vocal rehabilitation, he has taken the stage again, making his debut at the Metropolitan Opera last fall.

Most of what distinguished his voice, a sweet lyric sound and dulcet ring at the top, has returned and will probably continue to improve. Spence seemed poised and at ease, glowing with all of his former charismatic confidence, aside from a few scratches and moments of strain. Continue reading]
Toby Spence, tenor
Carrie-Ann Matheson, piano
With Sarah Mesko, Stacey Mastrian, Rachel Carlson, Lindsey Paradise
Robert Schumann, Dichterliebe
Leoš Janáček, Diary of One Who Disappeared
Vocal Arts Society
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

Heather Brady, After losing his voice to cancer, tenor Toby Spence learns how to sing again (WTOP, January 14)

Rupert Christiansen, Toby Spence interview: 'The sounds that came out were terrifying’ (The Telegraph, January 2)

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