Scottish tenor Nicky Spence made his Royal Opera debut in the 2017/18 Season as Big Prisoner/Nikita (From the House of the Dead). In the 2019/20 Season he sings White King/Mad Hatter (Alice’s Adventures Under Ground) for the Company.
Spence trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and National Opera Studio, before becoming an inaugural Harewood Artist with English National Opera. For ENO he created Brian (Muhly’s Two Boys) and has also sung Alwa (Lulu), Števa (Jenufa), David (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg), Sergeant Johnny Strong (Jack the Ripper) and Novice (Billy Budd). Other roles include Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Baron Lummer (Intermezzo) and Steersman (Der fliegende Holländer) for Scottish Opera, Chevalier de la Force (Dialogues des Carmélites) and Števa for Grange Park Opera, Iago (Rossini’s Otello) for Buxton Festival, Brian for the Metropolitan Opera, New York, Messenger (The Tale of Tsar Sultan), Big Prisoner/Nikita and Števa for La Monnaie, Brussels, Big Prisoner/Nikita for Opéra de Lyon, Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) for New Zealand Opera, Tichon (Kát’a Kabanová) for Seattle Opera, Janek (The Makropulos Case) for Frankfurt Opera, Sailor/Shepherd (Tristan und Isolde), Young Man (Moses und Aron) and Andres (Wozzeck) for Paris Opéra, Pirzel (Die Soldaten) for Teatro Real, Madrid, and Francesco (Benvenuto Cellini) for Dutch National Opera. He has recorded Mime (Das Rheingold) with Mark Elder, and Courtois (Zazà) with Maurizio Benini for Opera Rara.
Concert work includes appearances with Andris Nelsons, Yan Pascal Tortelier (Les Illuminations), Mark Elder and Mark Wigglesworth, and St Matthew Passion at the Royal Festival Hall and Beethoven’s Symphony no.9 with the Philharmonia, alongside recitals at venues including Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Purcell Room, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, 5BMF, New York, and Zürich Tonhalle. Recordings include a Strauss series with Roger Vignoles, Shakespeare and French song recitals with Malcolm Martineau and premieres by Dove and Turnage.