Hubert Francis Headshot

Hubert Francis


Currently for ENO: The Dead City

Irish/Australian tenor, Hubert (Hugh) Francis began the season with his appearance as Herod Salome at Bergen Festival under the baton of Edward Gardner OBE conducting the Bergen Philharmonic. He returns to The Royal Opera House Covent Garden to revive his renowned portrayal of Spoletta Tosca, a role he sings there every season and in which he can be seen on the DVD with Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel.

Recent engagements include his work as an ensemble artist at Opera Australia appearing in a variety of roles. He returns to the company in 2023 for the role of Loge Das Rheingold; career highlights include his highly lauded debut at Israeli Opera as Herod Salome and he sang the role of Hauptmann in the David McVicar production of Wozzeck at Finnish National Opera.

Career Highlights

Past season engagements include his appearance with Karita Mattila as the Hauptmann at Helsinki Festival; Herod at State Opera of South Australia; and Chairman Mao Nixon in China for Opera Wide Open’s inaugural production in Dublin. He won outstanding reviews for his performance as Shuisky Boris Godunov with the Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of Jakub Hrůša at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

Enjoying a long relationship with The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the artist began his career there in 2002-04 as a member of the young artist programme, appearing as Male Chorus The Rape of Lucretia, Harlekin Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Trin La Fanciulla del West, Third Jew/Second Jew Salome and Loge (c) Das Rheingold in Keith Warner’s recent Ring Cycle.

Since then his ROH appearances have been frequent, and include First Croupier The Gambler, Toby Higgins The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Der Bucklige Frau ohne Schatten, Shuisky (c) Boris Godunov and Lajos Oedipe. Kuzmic (c) From the House of the Dead, Coachman and Workman and Zinovy (c) Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. The artist appeared in a new production of The Nose and later took on the challenging parts of Lucas and Raoul (c) The Exterminating Angel.

International roles include Yannakos in David Pountney’s production of The Greek Passion at the Janáček Theatre in Brno; Shabby Peasant Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at Canadian Opera Company; Terry Bond Playing Away, Ferdinand Karl V at Bregenz Festival, and Kedril/Hlas From the House of the Dead at Teatro Massimo in Palermo; at Dutch National Opera he sang roles such as First Croupier The Gambler (in a new production by Andrea Breth), Bear Handler in The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya, and as Thibault in a new production of Verdi’s Les Vêpres Siciliennes directed by Christof Loy, a role he repeated at the Grand Théâtre de Genève where he also sang Goro Madama Butterfly and Gamekeeper Rusalka.

Further past appearances include his portrayal as Vitek The Makropoulos Case, a role and house debut at Finnish National Opera, followed by a tour of Germany and North America with London’s Philharmonia Orchestra as Drum Major Wozzeck under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen, and at Singapore Opera his debut as Herod.

Other UK credits include the Drum Major in Richard Jones’ award-winning production of Wozzeck, Chekalinsky The Queen of Spades both for Welsh National Opera; Don Basilio Le nozze di Figaro and The Marquis Grieux The Gambler (André de Ridder) at Grange Park Opera; Ivan The Nose for The Opera Group and Burning Waters at Buxton Festival.

Always electric in concert, Mr. Francis sang the role of Junge Diener Elektra with Opera North (Richard Farnes), Florestan Fidelio with The Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte, First Jew Salome with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel, Finzi’s A Young Man’s Exhortation, Dvořák’s The Gypsy Songs and ROH2’s highly acclaimed Nitro Project in The Crush Room at Royal Opera House.

Last updated: 10th March 2023

Current ENO Production