During the course of a stage career that has spanned more than twenty years, Franz-Josef Selig has established himself on the international arena as one of the most well-known performers of serious bass parts - particularly Gurnemanz, King Marke, Sarastro, Osmin, Daland, Fiesco and Fasolt: “The outstanding singing was Franz-Josef Selig's King Mark, whose shattering performance of his long monologue was the emotional highlight of the evening, and which inspired the OAE to their most insightful, impassioned playing.” (The Guardian).
Bass singer Franz-Josef Selig first studied church music at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Cologne before taking voice classes under Claudio Nicolai. He was a member of the Aalto Theatre ensemble in Essen from 1989 to 1995. Franz-Josef Selig has been a freelance singer since then and has given guest performances at all of the world’s great opera houses such as Wiener Staatsoper, Royal Opera Covent Garden, La Scala di Milano, Staatsoper Hamburg, Opéra de la Bastille, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Metropolitan Opera New York, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Théâtre de la Monnaie Brussels, Deutsche Oper Berlin or Bayerische Staatsoper Munich.
2010/2011season Franz-Josef Selig's appearances included performances at the Salzburg Festival (Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro conducted by Daniel Harding), the Liceu Barcelona (Die Entführung aus dem Serail under Ivor Bolten/Christof Loy) and the Staatsoper Wien (Tristan and Isolde conducted by Sir Simon Rattle), where he will sing in Parsifal and The Magic Flute in 2011. Other stage productions during the 2010/2011 season include performances in Munich (The Magic Flute, Fidelio and Die Entführung aus dem Serail), London (The Magic Flute), Salzburg (Komtur in Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro) and the eagerly awaited new production of the Ring Cycle (Fasolt) at the Metropolitan Opera New York with James Levine and Robert Lepage. Operatic engagements will follow in Madrid, Paris and Bayreuth.
During the 2011/2012 season Franz-Josef Selig gave concert performances in Nice (Fidelio) and Berlin (Tristan and Isolde with Sir Simon Rattle, and Parsifal with Marek Janowski), as well as concerts with the WDR in Cologne under Jukka-Pekka Saraste, the SWR in Baden-Baden conducted by Sylvain Cambreling (both Beethoven's 9th Symphony) and in Sao Paulo under Claus Peter Flor (Verdi’s Requiem). In February-March 2012 he was Arkel in Robert Wilson’s production of Pelléas et Mélisande (websast live on medici.tv) under the baton of Philippe Jordan at the Opéra de Paris (available live on medici.tv).
Franz-Josef Selig has also worked with many other renowned conductors, such as Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph Eschenbach, Hartmut Haenchen, Philippe Herreweghe, René Jacobs, Mariss Jansons, Jun Märkl, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Antonio Pappano, Helmuth Rilling, Christian Thielemann and Franz Welser-Möst.
Despite his worldwide concert and opera engagements Franz-Josef Selig still finds time for recitals. A favourite project of the singer is the Liedertafel with Markus Schäfer, Christian Elsner and Michael Volle, as well as Gerold Huber as pianist. Of this quintet, a CD has been released at the label Orfeo. His affinity to Ancient Music can be seen in the cooperation with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the concentus musicus Wien, with Philippe Herreweghe, René Jacobs or the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.
Numerous CD and DVD productions – from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion via Mozart’s The Magic Flute (at the Royal Opera London under Sir Colin Davis), Don Giovanni ( at the Wiener Staatsoper under Riccardo Muti) and Le nozze di Figaro (at the Salzburger Festspiele under Nikolaus Harnoncourt), Weber’s Abu Hassan and Busoni’s Turandotto the DG recording of Wagner’s Parsifal under Christian Thielemann – show Franz-Josef Selig’s broad artistic spectrum.