Australian born Europe based tenor Hubert Francis is one of the leading singing actors of his generation. An alumni of the RNCM and The Royal Opera Covent Garden’s Young Artists Programme, he works with conductors Benini, Bychkov, Domingo, Joel, Jurowski, Koenigs, Pappano & Salonen; directors Curran, Jones, Loy, McVicar, Pountney & Tchernikov across four continents.
2022/23 commenced with Europe based Australian tenor, Hubert (Hugh) Francis giving a critically acclaimed concert performance of Herod in Salome at The Bergen International Festival with Edward Gardner conducting The Bergen Philharmonic. He returns to The Royal Opera House Covent Garden to revive his portrayal of Spoletta Tosca, with Malin Byström and Natalya Romaniw sharing the title role and conducted by Daniel Oren. Hugh then makes a house and role debut as Count Albert in ENO’s new production of Korngold’s The Dead City directed by Annilese Miskimmon and conducted by Kirill Karabits. He continues to Australia to sing Loge Das Rheingold in Opera Australia’s new digital production of Wagner’s Ring cycle, directed by Chen Shi Zheng and conducted by Phillipe Auguin.
Covid cancellations included the role of Klaus-Narr in Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder with Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel at Disney Hall.
Pre-Covid in Season 2018/19 saw Hugh gain critical acclaim for his portrayals of Herod Salome in Tel Aviv under the baton of Dan Ettinger and in a new production directed by Itay Tiran, and of Hauptmann in the David McVicar production of Wozzeck at Finnish National Opera conducted by Hannu Lintu.
Ian Fox, Opera
NIXON IN CHINA | RTE NSO, DUBLIN
His repertoire elsewhere include Drum Major Wozzeck in New York (Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Centre), Paris (Théâtre des Champs-Elysées), London (Royal Festival Hall), San Francisco (Zellerbach Hall), Los Angeles (Disney Hall), Dortmund (Konzerthaus) & with WNO; Herod Salome with SOSA in Adelaide and with Singapore Lyric Opera; Shuisky Boris Godunov with the Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of Jakub Hrůša at London’s Royal Festival Hall; Hauptmann Wozzeck at the Helsinki Festival with Karita Mattila and Florian Boesch; Chairman Mao Nixon in China with Wide Open Opera in Dublin; Shabby Peasant Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk with Canadian Opera Company in Toronto; Vítek The Makropoulos Case with Finnish National Opera in Helsinki; Goro Madam Butterfly, Gamekeeper Rusalka & Thibault in Verdi’s Les Vêpres Siciliennes at the Grand Théâtre de Genève in Geneva; Bear Leader in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh*, Thibault Les Vêpres Siciliennes* & 1st Croupier in Prokofiev’s The Gambler with Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam; Terry Bond in Benedict Mason’s Playing Away, Ferdinand in Krenek’s Karl V* & Spoletta Tosca at the Bregenz Festival; Yannakos in Martinů’s The Greek Passion Czech Music Festival at the Janáček Theatre in Brno; and Kedril/Hlas From the House of the Dead at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. Further repertoire includes Aegist, Elemer, Florestan, Herman, Loge, Mime, Sellem & Zinovy.
His more than 150 performances with The Royal Opera, Covent Garden include Male Chorus The Rape of Lucretia, Spoletta in Tosca (DVD with Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel with Pappano conducting), Trin La fanciulla del West p.Faggioni c.Pappano, Herod(c),2nd/3rd Jew Salome* p.McVicar c.Nanasi, Laios Oedipe p.La Fura del Baus’ c.Hussain, Lucas & Raoul(c) The Exterminating Angel p.Cairns c.Ades, Hunchback Brother Die Frau ohne Schatten p.Guth c.Bychkov, Toby Higgins The Rise & Fall of the City of Mahagonny p.Fulljames c.Wigglesworth, Piotr Feodorovich/Retired Colonel The Nose p.Kosky c.Metzmacher, and Luka Kuzmic(c) From the House of the Dead p. Warlikowski c.Wigglesworth.
Further UK credits include Chekalinsky The Queen of Spades with WNO p.Jones c,Sinaisky, Junge Diener Elektra with Opera North c.Farnes, Marquis in Prokofiev’s The Gambler p.Fielding c.de Ritter and Don Basilio Le nozze di Figaro p. Langridge c. Curnyn with Grange Park Opera, and appearances with The Buxton and Covent Garden Festivals.
In concert he has appeared in both The Linbury Studio and Crush Room of the Royal Opera House performing Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Vaughan-William’s Songs of Travel and Dvorak’s Gypsy Songs, plus broadcasts and telecasts with the BBC, Radio France, ORF, Dutch, Finnish and Swiss National Radios, and Live Cinema Relays with The Royal Opera, Covent Garden.
*performance released on DVD