Since winning Plácido Domingo’s Operalia and Queen Sonja competitions in 2015, Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen has taken the classical music world by storm, with resounding debuts in venues such as Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Bayreuth, Aix-en Provence and Glyndebourne Festivals, Bayerische Staatsoper, Wigmore Hall and the Barbican, Wiener Staatsoper, the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall and Zurich Opera House. ‘It’s been a long time since a singer has generated as much buzz,’ wrote Gramophone in its review of her debut album for Decca, which debuted at number one in the UK Classical music charts. Released on 31 May 2019, her recordings of music by Strauss and Wagner inspired the magazine to declare that ‘she is one of the greatest vocal talents to have emerged in recent years, if not decades’.
Highlights of Davidsen’s 20/21 season include a streamed recital for the Metropolitan Opera as part of their celebrated series: Met Stars Live in Concert and several highly anticipated role debuts: Sieglinde Die Walküre in a new production at Deutsche Oper Berlin and in concert at Opera de Paris; the title role of Jenufa at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; and Amelia in a new production of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera at the Norwegian National Opera. Further appearances include Title role Ariadne auf Naxos at Wiener Staatsoper; Elisabeth Tannhäuser at Bayerische Staatsoper; a return to Bayreuth in Tobias Kratzer’s production of Tannhäuser and concert performances of Die Walküre; as well as a solo recital at Norwegian National Opera. Recitals future heavily in her schedule with appearances at Konzerthaus Dortmund and Palau de les Arts Valencia with James Baillieu; and together with famed Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsens in Bergen, Trondheim, Rosendal Chamber Music Festival in Norway and Turku Festival in Finland.
Last season Davidsen made a widely acclaimed company debut with the Metropolitan Opera as Lisa Queen of Spades and took on the role of Leonore Fidelio, first in concert with Yannick Nezet Seguin and Opéra de Montreal and then at the Royal Opera House, in a new production by Tobias Kratzer and conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. Further appearances included a role debut as Ellen Orford Peter Grimes at the Enescu Festival; Strauss’ Op. 27 with Philharmonia and Esa-Pekka Salonen at the BBC Proms; Vier letzte Lieder with Orchestre de Paris; Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with Gianandrea Noseda and the Wiener Symphoniker and with Vasily Petrenko and the Oslo Philharmonic; Sieglinde Die Walküre with Fabio Luisi and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and solo recitals in London (Barbican), Oslo, Copenhagen and Bergen.
Further recent highlights include her role debut as Elisabeth Tannhäuser which she performed at Opernhaus Zürich, Bayerische Staatsoper, and in a triumphant debut at the Bayreuth Festival where she was hailed by the international press as a “voice once in a century”; Lisa Queen of Spades at Oper Stuttgart; the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos at Aix-en Provence Festival; Wiener Staatsoper and Glyndebourne Festival; Agathe in a new production of Der Freischütz at Opernhaus Zürich; Cherubini’s Medea at Wexford Festival; Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana and Sancta Susanna in Oslo; and Isabella Das Liebesverbot at Teatro Colon.
Recent concert appearances include Verdi’s Requiem at the BBC Proms with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrés Orozco Estrada, at the Royal Opera House with Sir Antonio Pappano, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Fabio Luisi, and Philharmonia Orchestra and Edward Gardner; Strauss Op. 27 at the Edinburgh International Festival with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko; Vier letzte Lieder with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Stavanger Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic, and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Die Walküre (1st Act) with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis and with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Edo de Waart; Wesendonck Lieder and Rückert-Lieder with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra; and Sibelius’ Luonnotar with the BBC Philharmonic at the BBC Proms. Davidsen was an Artist in Residence with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra during the 2017- 18 season when her appearances included an open-air concert, Verdi’s Requiem and Wesendonck Lieder as well as recital performances.
A 2014 graduate of the Opera Academy in Copenhagen, she has studied under Susanna Eken, previously gaining a degree from the Grieg Academy of Music in Bergen. In 2015 Davidsen was crowned winner of both the Operalia and the Queen Sonja competitions. Her breakthrough performances won her the First Prize, the Birgit Nilsson Award and the Audience Prize at the Operalia competition in London as well as the prize for the best performance of Norwegian music and the Ingrid Bjoner Scholarship at the Queen Sonja International Music Competition. She is also a triple winner at the 2015 Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Amsterdam and a recipient of many awards, including the HSBC Aix-en-Provence Laureate, Statoil Talent Bursary Award, Léonie Sonning Music Prize, Danish Singers Award 2014 and the Kirstin Flagstad Award 2015. In 2018, Davidsen was presented with the prestigious Young Artist of the Year Award at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards.