Lise Davidsen

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About Lise Davidsen

Blessed with an immense voice, capable of filling any auditorium but also warm and nuanced, with an evenness across its massive compass, the young soprano Lise Davidsen is one of the most thrilling talents to have hit the opera circuit in the past few decades. Born in 1987 in Norway, she launched her career with sudden and decisive impact by winning a grand slam of major vocal competitions—the Queen Sonja (Oslo), the Operalia (London) and the Belvedere (Amsterdam)—all in the same year, 2015. Immediately Glyndebourne, Bayreuth and the New York Met pitched in with offers. Decca gave her an exclusive contract. And with a memorable Leonore in Fidelio, she confirmed her stardom—just as the pandemic struck, wiping engagements from her schedule. It was a setback but only temporary, allowing her breathing space to rethink what she wanted from her voice, having started out as a mezzo singing Bach and the Baroque before changing to the Wagnerian-scale dramatic soprano repertoire she sings today. Her recent stage roles include Wagner’s Sieglinde (Die Walküre, 1870) and Elisabeth (Tannhäuser, 1845), as well as the title roles in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos (1912) and Janáček's Jenůfa (1904), and Liza in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades (1890). But she also focuses on song recitals, which were a feature of her high-profile Barbican residency through the first half of 2022, exploring new ways of presenting the material with video and subtitles. Words matter in a song, she says. And they should be accessible on stage, not buried in a programme book.

Stokke, Norway
8 February 1987

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