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Toby Spence wins RPS Music Award

9:45, 12th February 2013

British tenor Toby Spence has won the singer category at this year’s prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards for his ‘vocal beauty and dramatic maturity’ in a range of operatic and concert repertoire, including the role of Lensky in ENO’s Eugene Onegin.

He was joined on the winners’ podium by director Deborah Warner, whose acclaimed production of Onegin for ENO received the Award for Opera and Music Theatre. A community opera by Spitalfields Festival, We Are Shadows, also topped the Learning and Participation category.

Spence’s victory was particularly poignant since he has recently undergone surgery for thyroid cancer, a fact announced only days before the Awards ceremony in London.

Although Spence is expected to make a full recovery, he had to pull out of ENO’s forthcoming production of Billy Budd in which he was due to have played Captain Vere. (He will be replaced by Kim Begley, last heard at ENO as Walter in the UK premiere of Mieczys┼éaw Weinberg’s The Passenger.)

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