The German tenor, Markus Schneider-Francke, commenced piano studies at the age of 8 and made his operatic debut as a boy soprano in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, at the Stadttheater Freiburg. He began studies in Musicology at the Universität zu Köln, before transferring to the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, where he studied singing with Professor Arthur Janzen and conducting with Professor Johannes Hömberg. He has received further vocal tuition from Christoph Prégardien, Professor Berthold Schmid, Professor Stewart Emerson, Diane Forlano, and Francisco Araiza and is currently under the tuition of David Harper.
Markus Schneider works both as a singer, a choir director and a singing teacher. He gained an extensive repertoire from the Renaissance to the modern era. Among his first opera roles: Tamino in the W.A. Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. From 2012 to 2014, he was an ensemble member of the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden. He debuted many roles there, including Der Steuermann in Wagner's The Flying Dutchman and the role of Toni in Hans Werner Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers directed by Dietrich Hilsdorf, which opened the 2014 International May Festival.In 2014 he made his debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper München, singing the role of Tanzmeister in R. Strauss‘ Ariadne auf Naxos. He has performed as a guest artist with several other theatres across Germany, in particular the Stadttheater Pforzheim, and was a member of the Festspielensemble in Bregenz.
In the current season Markus Francke will perform several important role debuts, including Hans in Smetana’s „The Bartered Bride“ at the Stadttheater Nordhausen, and the role of the Regista in Luciano Berio’s „Un re in ascolto“ at the Staatstheater Kassel. Later this year he will perform at the Prinzregententheater in Munich in a concert with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, under the direction of Ulf Schirmer.
From the time of his studies in Cologne, Markus Francke has built a very successful career as a concert artist. He is a highly respected interpreter of Baroque music, his specialty lying in the Evangelist roles of J.S. Bach. He boasts a vast repertoire of works spanning from the Renaissance period through to contemporary music. In 2014 he performed his first Verdi's Requiem in the Philharmonie in Cologne and sang in Luigi Nono’s Prometeo with the SWR Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart under the direction of Ingo Metzmacher in Amsterdam and in the Tonhalle Zürich.
As a sought-after soloist, Markus Francke has performed in some of the most prized venues in Europe (including France, the Czech Republic), Russia and Israel. He has sung at he Kölner Philharmonie with B. Britten’s War Requiem, the Kölner Dom with J.S. Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium (BWV 248), an the Munich’s Prinzregenttheater with J.S. Bach’s Mass in B minor (BWV 232)., as well as at the the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela; the Cathedral in Reims; the Philharmonie in Berlin; St. Michaelis and St. Nikolai in Hamburg; the Liederhalle in Stuttgart; anf the Frauenkirche in Dresden. He gave concerts with the Deutschen Barock-Solisten.
Markus Francke has sung under the direction of conductors such as Ingo Metzmacher, Asher Fish, Steuart Bedford, Helmuth Rilling, Reinhard Goebel and Marcus Creed. Orchestras of note include, the Barockorchester L'arpa festante, Concerto Köln, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln and SWR Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart.
Besides Markus Francke holds for many years a training post for singing at the Universität Siegen.