Hubert Francis


"...gave an extraordinary performance [as Hauptman]... "

Opera Magazine, Henry Bacon, July 2019

"Australian Hubert Francis is a spectacular, turgid Captain... "

Göran Forsling, Seen and Heard International, 27 March 2019

"Portrayed as so bloated as to require being carried around, the Herod of Hubert Francis boasted a strong, musical tenor. "

John Allison, Opera Magazine, April 2019

"Hubert Francis is a brilliantly nasty Spoletta. "

The Times, Anna Picard, 11 January 2016

"Hubert Francis played a dignified Laios. "

Opera Now, Owen Mortimer, August 2016

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UK-based Australian tenor, Hubert (Hugh) Francis begins the 2018-19 season in the role of Herod Salome at Israeli Opera. The artist travels to Helsinki to sing to role of Hauptmann in a new production of Wozzeck at Finnish National Opera before returning to The Royal Opera House Covent Garden to revive his appearances as Spoletta Tosca.

Highlights of recent seasons include his appearance with Karita Mattila as the Hauptmann at Helsinki Festival; the role of Herod at State Opera of South Australia; and as 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.

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 recently appeared in a new production of The Nose and later took on the challenging parts of Lucas and Raoul (c) The Exterminating Angel. Perhaps his most notable appearance is as Spoletta, a role he sings often, and which can be seen on DVD in Covent Garden’s new production starring Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

Wozzeck, Finnish National Opera

March 2019

Captain Hubert Francis and the Doctor of Tapani Plathan, are comic caricatures whose roots are in Commedia dell’arte.

Hannu-Ilari Lampila, Helsingin Sanomat, 23 March 2019

Australian Hubert Francis is a spectacular, turgid Captain...

Göran Forsling, Seen and Heard International, 27 March 2019

...gave an extraordinary performance [as Hauptman]...

Opera Magazine, Henry Bacon, July 2019

Salome, Israeli Opera

January 2019

Portrayed as so bloated as to require being carried around, the Herod of Hubert Francis boasted a strong, musical tenor.

John Allison, Opera Magazine, April 2019

Tosca, Royal Opera House

February 2018

Hubert Francis’s new Spoletta...stood out.

The Guardian, Fiona Maddocks, Sunday 25 February

Oedipe, Royal Opera House

May 2016

Hubert Francis played a dignified Laios.

Opera Now July/August 2016, Owen Mortimer

Tosca, Royal Opera House

January 2016

Hubert Francis is a brilliantly nasty Spoletta.

Anna Picard, The Times (11 Jan 2016)

... the smaller parts which have been strongly cast: ... the ruthlessly efficient, servile, Spoletta of Hubert Francis, all added significantly to the tension-filled realism of this Tosca.

Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International (12 Jan 2016)

... Hubert Francis’ appropriately nasal Spoletta ...

Dominic Wells, Opera Britannia (11 Jan 2016)

[This revival] maintains solid dramatic standards, with some of the secondary roles – ... Hubert Francis’s watchful spy Spoletta ... – particularly strong.”

George Hall, The Stage (11 Jan 2016 )

As always, the ROH has done the smaller roles proud, with ... Hubert Francis’ all-too-convincing Spoletta...

Melanie Eskenazi, musicOMH (10 Jan 2016)

Hubert Francis as Spoletta is a distinct solid role in the supporting cast.

Gustavo Gabriel Otero, L’Ape Musicale, (20 Jan 2016)

Hubert Francis, reprised his unpleasant and menacing Spoletta…

Claire Seymour, Opera Today, (22 Jan 2016)

Wozzeck, Helsinki Festival

August 2015

Hubert Francis had the most physical role as the grotesquely fidgeting captain.

Jukka Isopuro, HS (30 Aug 2015)

Boris Godunov, Philharmonia Orchestra

April 2015

The singer who made the biggest impression was Hubert Francis in the role of the slippery boyar Prince Shuisky. Rolling his tongue around the Russian text with relish, he presented exactly the extrovert characterisation required. His manipulation of Boris, informing him of a Pretender to the throne, was deliciously wicked.

Mark Pullinger, bachtrack

It was tenor Hubert Francis who most convincingly inhabited his role as the sinister and slightly mincing Prince Shuysky, his delivery on occasion like a pantomime villain threatening to upstage Ivashchenko.

David Truslove, Classical Source

The tenor of Hubert Francis was delectably slimy and slithery as Shuysky ... This daring and accomplished semi-staging, strong as a shot of vodka...

Hilary Finch, The Times

Tosca, Royal Opera House

July 2013

Jeremy White and Hubert Francis repeated their sharply etched Sacristan and Spoletta.

Opera Magazine

Nixon in China, RTE NSO, Dublin

May 2014

Hubert Francis captures the erratic and authoritarian side of Chairman Mao.

Pat O'Kelly, Irish Independent

Hubert Francis' Mao is poised and articulate.

Terry Blain, Bachtrack

We had a sensitive performance from Hubert Francis as Mao Tse-tung

Keris Nine, Opera Journal

Hubert Francis negotiated Mao Tse-tung’s high tessitura with fluent ease.

Opera, Ian Fox

Salome, Opera South Australia

August 2013

The other standout of the night is the Herod of Hubert Francis, impeccably sung, with a clownish charisma and exuberant physicality.

Ewart Shaw, The Advertiser

Madama Butterfly, Grand Théâtre de Genève

March 2013

Le ténor Hubert Francis, avec sa voix puissante et bien projetée, parvient à élever le personnage de Goro au dessus de la caricature.

Emmanuel Andrieu,

Hubert Francis’ Opera Repertoire


Nixon in China (Chairman Mao)


Fidelio (Florestan)


Wozzeck (Captain, Drum Major)


The Rape of Lucretia (Male Chorus)


Rusalka (Gamekeeper)


Oedipe (Lajos)


From the House of the Dead (Luka Kuzmič/Kedril/Hlas)
The Makropoulos Case (Vitek)


Burning Waters (Poole)


Karl V (Ferdinand)


The Greek Passion (Yannakos)


Playing Away (Terry Bond)


The Marriage of Figaro (Don Basilio)


Boris Godunov (Shuisky)


The Gambler (Marquis, 1st Croupier)


La fanciulla del West (Trin)
Madama Butterfly (Goro)
Tosca (Spoletta)


The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya (The Bearhandler)


Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (Zinoviy/Shabby Peasant)
The Nose (Ivan)


Die Frau ohne Schatten (Hunchback)
Elektra (Young Servant)
Salome (Herod, 1st Jew, 2nd Jew, 3rd Jew)


The Queen of Spades (Hermann, Chekalinsky)


Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Harlekin)


Les vêpres siciliennes (Thibault)


Das Rheingold (Loge)


The Rise and Fall of the City Mahagonny (Toby Higgins)

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