Born in Denmark, Boje Skovhus studied at the Aarhus Music College and the Royal Academy for Opera of Copenhagen and in New York. He rose to opera stardom after a last-minute appearance at the Vienna Volksoper when he substituted as Don Giovanni. Since then he has enjoyed a rapidly developing career on the world’s greatest opera stages.
He has been virtually adopted by the Viennese, and regularly performs at the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. He sings the major baritone roles, such as the Count in Le nozze di Figaro and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. He has spurred a revival of Ambroise Thomas’ Hamlet at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Vienna Volksoper, and Royal Opera Copenhagen, and the little-known baritone version of Massenet’s Werther. He also has made a specialty of Britten’s Billy Budd and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, including arias or scenes from them on his first opera disc (Sony Classics). Other leading baritone parts in his repertoire are Berg’s Wozzeck, Dallapiccola’s Il Prigioniero, Peter I in Zar und Zimmerman, Tarquinius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and Raimond in Othmar Schoeck’s Venus.
Skovhus also frequently appears on the recital stage and has recorded many recital discs. These include selections of Lieder by Hugo Wolf and Erich Korngold, a selection of songs by Robert and Clara Schumann (The Heart of the Poet), and the two great Schubert song cycles Schwanengesang and Die schöne Müllerin. After his 1997 New York recital at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center he was acclaimed as one of the great Lieder singers of his generation. He is particularly known for the energy and characterization he brings to the stage. He has appeared on many of the world’s great opera stages, including the Metropolitan in New York (debuting 1998 in Die Fledermaus), the Hamburg State Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opéra de Paris, Royal Opera Copenhagen, and the Bavarian State Opera.
He appears at major music festivals such as Die Salzburger Festspiele, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Edinburgh, the Vienna Festwochen, and the Feldkirch Schubertiade. On the orchestral concert stage, he has sung in Orff’s Carmina Burana, Britten’s War Requiem, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, and Schumann’s Scenes from Faust.