Biography

LISE DAVIDSEN

“In a league of her own.”
Peter Gelb, General Manager, Metropolitan Opera.

Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen burst onto the international stage in 2015 by winning multiple prizes at the Operalia, Queen Sonja and Hans Gabor Belvedere competitions. These were swiftly followed by triumphant debuts at the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Teatro Alla Scala Milan, Bayerische Staatsoper, Wiener Staatsoper, and the Aix-en-Provence, Bayreuth and Glyndebourne Festivals.

These houses, and many others, extended invitations to Davidsen to return for multiple seasons – often multiple times per season: in summer 2021 she appeared in two productions at the Bayreuth Festival (Elisabeth Tannhäuser and Sieglinde Die Walküre) and will appear in the 2021/22 season in three productions at the Metropolitan Opera (Eva Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, title role Ariadne auf Naxos and Chrysothemis Elektra). Her widely acclaimed Met debut, as Lisa Queen of Spades, was described by the New York Times as:

“A radiant debut…singing with confidence, power and purpose, with both freshness and maturity…from her first rich, silky high note, mellow yet full-bodied, sailing out of the quintet in the first scene, Ms. Davidsen sang with poise and acted with subtle moodiness”

Despite the Covid crisis, Davidsen’s ascent has been unstoppable: in May 2021 she re-opened La Scala, Milan, with a solo concert under the baton of Riccardo Chailly, and Bayerische Staatsoper with a concert performance of the 1st Act of Die Walküre. In the same week she was awarded Female Singer of the Year by the International Opera Awards. Further highlights include 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; Elisabeth Tannhäuser at Bayerische Staatsoper, Opernhaus Zurich and a return to Bayreuth; and the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos at Aix-en-Provence Festival, Wiener Staatsoper and Glyndebourne Festival.

Davidsen’s performance as Leonore Fidelio in a new production at the Royal Opera House prompted their Music Director, Antonio Pappano to exclaim that she has:

“A one-in-a-million voice…when she opened her mouth, we were all stunned. The voice has a light in it” 

A frequent recitalist and concert performer, Davidsen has toured with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors as well as performing signature works such as Verdi’s Requiem at the BBC Proms, at the Royal Opera House with Antonio Pappano, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Fabio Luisi, and Philharmonia Orchestra and Edward Gardner; Vier letzte Lieder with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Wesendonck Lieder and Rückert-Lieder with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra; and Sibelius’ Luonnotar with the BBC Philharmonic at the BBC Proms. 

Born and raised in Stokke, Norway, Davidsen has been profiled in a full-length documentary for NRK, a Strauss film for the National Opera as well as appearing on major radio and television programmes such as Lindmo and Skavland. As well as frequent performances across the country, Oslo was the setting for her performance as part of the Metropolitan Opera’s Met Stars Live in Concert which was live-streamed internationally. Davidsen’s rendition of Grieg’s En Svane and Ved Rondane from the recital was then broadcast as part of the Norwegian King’s televised New Year Speech.

An exclusive Decca Artist, Davidsen’s discography includes two solo orchestral recitals for the label; complete recordings of Der Freischütz and Fidelio for Pentatone and Sibelius’ Luonnotar on Chandos. Filmed performances include Ortlinde Die Walküre and Fidelio from the Royal Opera House, and Elisabeth Tannhäuser filmed at the Bayreuth Festival. 

“One of the greatest vocal talents to have emerged in recent years, if not decades.”

Gramophone Magazine

Future performances include her house debut at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale, Florence, as Leonora Fidelio under the baton of legendary Zubin Mehta; her stage debut as Ellen Orford Peter Grimes in Vienna, a tour with Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons singing Vier letzte Lieder and three concerts at London’s Barbican Centre as part of their Artist Spotlight series. Future album releases include a recital with Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes for Decca which they will also perform across Europe.