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German bass Franz-Josef Selig initially studied church music in Cologne before taking Claudio Nicolai’s voice class there. While still a student, he regularly performed at the Aalto Theater in Essen as part of its ensemble from 1989 to 1995. Since then he has been a freelance artist, appearing at the major opera houses of Europe and the United States, including the Royal Opera House in London, Paris National Opera, La Scala in Milan, the Vienna, Bavarian, and Saxon Staatsoper companies, the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, San Francisco Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The works of Mozart and Wagner are at the center of Selig’s repertoire. For example, he appeared as the Commendatore in Don Giovanni at the Salzburg Festival in 2011, was part of the Met’s new Ring production in New York in 2011-12, sang Sarastro at Covent Garden under Colin Davis, and performed in Calixto Bieito’s production of Fidelio at Bavarian Staatsoper. In the summer of 2012, he will sing Daland in Bayreuth in a new production of The Flying Dutchman led by Christian Thielemann. In addition to his operatic engagements, Selig is a sought-after concert singer who has worked with such renowned conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Mariss Jansons, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Kent Nagano, and Simon Rattle and, in the field of early music, with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Philippe Herreweghe, and René Jacobs. One of the singer’s pet projects is the “Liedertafel” ensemble, in which he also performs with his colleagues Markus Schäfer, Christian Elsner, and Michael Volle, as well as Gerold Huber as pianist. Their work is available on CD. Selig has also performed on a series of complete opera recordings.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 18 August 2002 as Osmin in a concert performance of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Concerto Köln under David Stern.