Saturday 28 April 2012

Toby Spence: recovering from thyroid cancer

While the ROH's recent revival of Graham Vick’s Meistersinger was not an unanimous success among critics, there was certainly one thing that they were all in agreement about: the outstanding performance of Toby Spence's David (See the Wagnerians ROH review roundup). Comments included:

"As it is, I thought he effectively walked off with the whole show."

"Toby Spence’s longer experience of singing David told: his breezily confident charm almost stole the show, leaving me wondering whether he might be ripe to step into Walther’s shoes"

"Toby Spence and Heather Shipp are as good as it gets as David and Magdalene"

"Toby Spence challenges him for the tenorial honours as a David of soaring tone and impeccable youthful vitality - what a roll this artist is on the moment". 

It thus comes as a shock to discover, as announced today,  that Spence was diagnosed the morning after his first performance as having thyroid cancer.

Said Spence today: "My cancer was diagnosed the morning after I'd been on stage for the first performance of The Royal Opera's production of Die Meistersinger Von N├╝rnberg. It was a shock, especially with the cancer being so close to my vocal cords. The surgery has been a great success. My thyroid cancer was readily treatable and I have been in the hands of a first class medical team at University College London Hospital. They are delighted with my progress since the operation. Although I have had to allow time for the natural healing process to take its course, I am encouraged by my progress so far and feel hopeful that I will return to full vocal strength in the near future. I look forward to being back on stage before long, and am grateful to all those who have shown me support and who have sent me their good wishes."

We join those hoping for a speedy return to the stage of this fine performer.