The German bass, Franz-Josef Selig, first studied church music at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Cologne. After graduating, he changed to the voice class under Claudio Nicolai. Already during his voice studies, he gave numerous concerts and was permanently engaged at the Aalto Theatre, Essen, where he was member at the ensemble until 1995. In 1992, he was awarded the "Aalto Stage Prize for Young Artists“.
Having joined the ensemble of the Aalto Theatre in Essen in 1989, Franz-Josef Selig has given guest performances at all great opera houses worldwide, such as the Wiener Staatsoper, the Royal Opera Covent Garden, the Milan Scala, the Staatsoper Hamburg, the Opéra de la Bastille and the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Théâtre de la Monnaie Bruxelles, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and the Frankfurt and Lyons opera houses. He sings the serious bass parts such as Sarastro, Komtur, Rocco, Osmin, Fasolt, Daland, Arkel and his most important roles, King Marke and Gurnemanz.
On the concert stage Franz-Josef Selig has worked with many renowned conductors, such as Antonio Pappano, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Christian Thielemann, Mariss Jansons, Herbert Blomstedt, Marek Janowski, Semyon Bychkov, Helmuth Rilling, Philippe Herreweghe, Colin Davis and René Jacobs, and with outstanding orchestras, such as Musica Antiqua Köln, Concentus Musicus Wien, and Stuttgarter Kammerchor.
During the 2006-2007 season, he performed at the Theater an der Wien (Sarastro / Die Zauberflöte) , Los Angeles Opera (Count Hermann /Tannhäuser), Paris (Fiesco /Simone Boccanegra), Hamburg (King Marke /Tristan und Isolde) and London (Fasolt /Das Rheingold) and appeared as Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro under Nikolaus Harnoncourt for the opening of the “House of Mozart” at the Salzburg Festival. He got re-invited by Salzburg for the Figaro revival under Daniel Hardings baton for summer 2007.
For the season 2007-2008, Franz-Josef Selig holds opera engagements in London (Das Rheingold), Hamburg (Simone Boccanegra), Paris (Tannhäuser under Seiji Ozawa and Parsifal at the Opera de la Bastille) and Japan (Tristan und Isolde guest performance of the Opera de la Bastille). The Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona as well as the Metropolitan Opera New York have re-engaged the bass for the year 2009, among others. The 2007-2008 concert season includes two invitations by Kent Nagano to Montreal for performances concertante of Tannhäuser and Das Rheingold respectively, as well as a tour with the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam under Nikolaus Harnoncourt (Schumann Faust Szenen) and guest performances with the SWR Freiburg, Sylvain Cambreling baton (Verdi Requiem) and again with the Orchestre National de Lyon under Jun Märkl (Tristan und Isolde - concertante).
Despite his world-wide concert and opera engagements Franz-Josef Selig 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 Early 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 productions - from J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) via Mozart's Zauberflöte, Weber's Abu Hassan and Ferruccio Busoni's Turandot to the DG recording of Wagner's Parsifal under Thielemann (Vienna, June 2005) - show Franz-Josef Selig’s broad artistic spectrum.