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April 26   -   Guardian

Tenor Toby Spence recovering from thyroid cancer

The singer hopes to return to the stage in June

The tenor Toby Spence is recovering from thyroid cancer, it has been announced today. In a statement, his publicist said Spence was diagnosed in December 2011 following a routine medical check-up. An operation to remove his thyroid and several lymph nodes from his neck was successfully carried out in February. Spence is recovering well and his prognosis is excellent. It is hoped that future engagements will not be affected.

Spence said: "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 Nürnberg. 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."

Spence's next engagement is the English National Opera's Billy Budd, in which he will sing the role of Captain Vere. The production opens on 18 June.

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