Lyric dramatic soprano Lise Davidsen has attracted serious attention since she was crowned winner of both the Operalia and the Queen Sonja competitions in 2015. Growing up in Stokke, a rural town in south-eastern Norway, Lise has been an artist to watch since she began her musical training.
Lise began studying guitar and singing at age fifteen. At first she favoured the guitar but, with more training, singing took prominence. Lise’s early teachers included Mona Skatteboe and Runa Skramstad, who gave her an excellent foundation in classical music.
Lise achieved her bachelor’s degree in classical singing in 2010 from the Grieg Academy of Music in Bergen, Norway. During this time she worked with many notable singers including Bettina Smith and Hilde Haraldsen Sveen and joined the Norwegian Soloists Choir as a mezzo soprano, under artistic director Grete Pedersen.
While studying for a master’s degree at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Lise’s teacher, Susanna Eken, urged her to develop her voice for the world of opera as a soprano. Lise’s first major engagement as a soprano was in 2011 at the Young Talent Concert in Bergen, singing arias by Strauss and Wagner with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Rory Macdonald.
Lise made her Royal Danish Opera debut in the 2012/13 season as the Dog and Owl in The Cunning Little Vixen. She has since returned to sing Emilia Otello and Rosalinde Die Fledermaus, and was awarded the Reumert Talentpris. In the same season, she was a part of the Mozart residency at Aix-en-Provence, where she was instantly reinvited for the following year to work with Waltraud Meier for the residency A Tribute to Patrice Chèreau.
In 2014, Lise graduated from the Opera Academy in Copenhagen and had the honour of receiving the Léonie Sonning talent prize and Danis Singers Award 2014. She also received financial support from the Skipsreder Tom Wilhelmsen, Karen and Arthur Feldthusens and Sine Butenschøns Foundations.
2015 was a standout year for Lise; her breakthrough performances won her the first prize, Birgit Nilsson Award and Audience Prize at the Operalia competition in London, in addition to the first prize, the prize for the best performance of Norwegian music and the Ingrid Bjoner Scholarship at the Queen Sonja International Music Competition. She was also a triple winner at the 2015 Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Amsterdam and received the HSBC Aix-en-Provence Laureate and Statoil Talent Bursary Award in the same year.
Lise’s 2015/16 season highlights included Freia in a concert performance of Das Rheingold with the Odense Symphony Orchestra and Alexander Vedernikov, as well as two notable house debuts: at Bavarian State Opera as Ortlinde Die Walküre and at Frankfurt Opera for its Ring Cycle in summer 2016, where she sang Freia Das Rheingold and Third Norn Götterdämmerung.
In 2016/17, Lise will make notable role debuts including Agathe Der Freischutz at Zürich Opera House, the title role Ariadne auf Naxos at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana at Norwegian National Opera. She will also reprise the role of Isabella Das Liebesverbot with Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires. On the concert platform she will sing Verdi Requiem with conductor Edward Gardner and the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, London, Strauss Four Last Songs with Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Edo de Waart at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam as well as making her recital debut in London at the prestigious Rosenblatt Recital Series at Wigmore Hall.
Looking further ahead, she will make her debut in leading roles with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Aix en Provence, Wiener Staatsoper, Den Norske Opera and Teatro Real, Madrid.
View calendar for full details on forthcoming performances.