Lise’s self-titled debut album recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen is out now on Decca Classics. Featuring works including Strauss Four Last Songs and arias from Ariadne auf Naxos and Wagner Tannhäuser, the album celebrates the legacy of song throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The album reached No. 1 in the UK Classical Charts on Friday 7 June which makes Lise the first operatic soprano to top the charts in music history.

An eagerly anticipated release, the recording has already garnered outstanding acclaim:

“…her promise is boundless and the sheer beauty of her voice is enthralling”
Telegraph, May 2019

“This album only reinforces the fact that she is one of the greatest vocal talents to have emerged in recent years, if not decades.”
Gramophone, May 2019

“No emerging soprano has made quite the same stir recently as Lise Davidsen. Here, finally, is her first solo CD. It covers Wagner and Strauss repertoire recorded by many of the greatest voices – and yet several of Davidsen’s versions go straight towards the very top of the playlist. It’s not just the voice – though that is special in itself, gleaming and electric in tone, and buoyed by a seemingly endless supply of breath. It’s also the way she is able to create a still fulcrum even while all Wagner and Strauss’s orchestral manoeuvres churn around her.”
Guardian, May 2019

“Only 32, Davidsen is being hailed as the next great Wagnerian soprano because of her clarion, multi-colored voice with its seemingly unlimited capacity to soar over heavy orchestration.”
Associated Press, May 2019

Of the release, Lise said: “I can only hope this recording brings as much pleasure to listeners as it was for us musicians to make. I would like to thank Esa-Pekka, the musicians of the Philharmonia and everyone at Decca for being such great partners who have supported me at every moment. I look forward to this being the start of a wonderful long-term relationship with them.”

Lise is the first Scandinavian soprano to sign exclusively with Decca Classics since Birgit Nilsson, whose centenary was celebrated in 2018. She is also the first Norwegian singer to join the label since her compatriot Kirsten Flagstad made acclaimed late recordings for Decca in the 1950s, and famously recorded Strauss Four Last Songs at the composer’s request shortly before his death in 1949. The significance of the Philharmonia is also notable; the orchestra performed the premiere of Strauss’s iconic song cycle alongside Flagstad at the Royal Albert Hall in May 1950.

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Lise steps in this week to give two performances with Zubin Mehta and the Staatskapelle Berlin, singing Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs at Berliner Staatsoper on 9 June and the Berliner Philharmonie the following day.

Strauss’ famous songs feature on Lise’s debut album for Decca, which was released on 31 May and met with great reviews, with the Guardian calling the album “stunning” and “worth the wait”. She returns to them again in October with the Orchestre de Paris and conductor François-Xavier Roth.

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Lise’s debut album for Decca Classics is out now. You can also purchase the album from Presto Classical and Amazon. The recording celebrates the legacy of song throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, with Lise singing iconic works including Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs and arias from Ariadne auf Naxos and Tannhäuser.

The much-anticipated release has already been met with great acclaim from the music press:

“Only 32, Davidsen is being hailed as the next great Wagnerian soprano because of her clarion, multi-colored voice with its seemingly unlimited capacity to soar over heavy orchestration.”
Associated Press
, May 2019

“…her promise is boundless and the sheer beauty of her voice is enthralling”
Telegraph
, May 2019

“This album only reinforces the fact that she is one of the greatest vocal talents to have emerged in recent years, if not decades.”
Gramophone
, May 2019

“No emerging soprano has made quite the same stir recently as Lise Davidsen. Here, finally, is her first solo CD. It covers Wagner and Strauss repertoire recorded by many of the greatest voices – and yet several of Davidsen’s versions go straight towards the very top of the playlist. It’s not just the voice – though that is special in itself, gleaming and electric in tone, and buoyed by a seemingly endless supply of breath. It’s also the way she is able to create a still fulcrum even while all Wagner and Strauss’s orchestral manoeuvres churn around her.”
Guardian
, May 2019

Tracklist

From Wagner’s Tannhäuser (Role: Princess Elisabeth)

  1. “Dich, teure Halle”
  2. “Allmächtige Jungfrau” (Elisabeth’s Prayer)

From Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos (Role: Ariadne)

  1. “Es gibt ein Reich”

Strauss’ Four Lieder, Op. 27

  1. Ruhe, meine Seele!
  2. Cäcilie
  3. Heimliche Afforderung
  4. Morgen!
  5. Strauss: Wiegenlied / Op.41 No.1
  6. Strauss: Malven / TrV 297, AV 304

Strauss’ Four Last Songs:

  1. Frühling
  2. September
  3. Beim Schlafengehen
  4. Im Abendrot
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Lise will sing her first leading role at the Royal Opera House next season when she stars opposite Jonas Kaufmann in a new production of Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio. In Tobias Kratzer’s new production, Lise plays the role of Leonore, who disguises herself as a prison guard, ‘Fidelio’, to rescue her husband Florestan from political imprisonment. Fidelio premiered in 1805 and blends domestic intrigue, determined love and the cruelty of an oppressive regime, all characteristic of Beethoven’s “middle period”. The opera went through three versions during Beethoven’s career, and some of the music was first written as part of an earlier, never-completed opera.

Fidelio opens at the Royal Opera House on 1 March 2020 and runs until 17 March 2020. Click here for more details about the production.

Lise sings her second Elisabeth of the season this month as she stars in Tannhäuser at Bayerische Staatsoper, opening on 5 May. Romeo Castellucci’s production is conducted by Simone Young and features an all-star lineup of Klaus Florian Vogt in the title role, Ludovic Tézier as Wolfram and Elena Pankratova as Venus.

Tannhäuser was composed in 1845, the second of Wagner’s so-called “Romantic” operas after Der fliegende Holländer. Wagner based the opera on two German legends: the mythical German poet Tannhäuser and the Wartburg Song Contest, which was held in 1207.

Lise made her debut as Elisabeth in March and returns to the role of Elisabeth for a third time this season in July when she makes her eagerly-anticipated debut at the Bayreuth Festival.

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Yellow Lounge

Lise performs at Berlin nightclub Säälchen on 8 April as part of Yellow Lounge, Deutsche Grammophon’s initiative bringing classical music to alternative venues and unique locations in Germany and beyond. Lise will sing Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs accompanied by pianist Roger Vignoles.

The performance begins at 9pm CET and will be streamed live on Deutsche Grammophon’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Click here for more information.

Lise’s self-titled debut album is released on Decca Classics on 31 May and is available to pre-order now. You can also pre-order from Amazon and Presto Classical.

With works including Strauss’ Four Last Songs and arias from Ariadne auf Naxos and Wagner’s Tannhäuser, the record celebrates the legacy of song throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Lise is the first Scandinavian soprano to sign exclusively to the label since Birgit Nilsson, whose centenary was celebrated in 2018. She is also the first Norwegian singer to join Decca Classics since her compatriot Kirsten Flagstad made her acclaimed late recordings for Decca in the 1950s, and famously recorded Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs at the composer’s request shortly before his death in 1949. The significance of the Philharmonia is also notable; the orchestra performed the premiere of Strauss’s iconic song cycle alongside Flagstad at the Royal Albert Hall in May 1950.

Of the release, Lise said: “I can only hope this recording brings as much pleasure to listeners as it was for us musicians to make. I would like to thank Esa-Pekka, the musicians of the Philharmonia and everyone at Decca for being such great partners who have supported me at every moment. I look forward to this being the start of a wonderful long-term relationship with them.”

Watch some behind the scenes footage from the recording session in the video below.

Tracklist

From Wagner’s Tannhäuser (Role: Princess Elisabeth)

  1. “Dich, teure Halle”
  2. “Allmächtige Jungfrau” (Elisabeth’s Prayer)

From Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos (Role: Ariadne)

  1. “Es gibt ein Reich”

Strauss’ Four Lieder, Op. 27

  1. Ruhe, meine Seele!
  2. Cäcilie
  3. Heimliche Afforderung
  4. Morgen!
  5. Strauss: Wiegenlied / Op.41 No.1
  6. Strauss: Malven / TrV 297, AV 304

Strauss’ Four Last Songs:

  1. Frühling
  2. September
  3. Beim Schlafengehen
  4. Im Abendrot

 

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Lise returns to Zurich on 23 March to make her debut in Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser at Opernhaus Zürich. Lise stars as Elisabeth, the niece of the Margrave of Thuringia, who falls in love with the singing knight Heinrich Tannhäuser. Axel Kober conducts this revival of Harry Kupfer’s production, which also features Stephen Gould in the title role and Tanja Ariane Baumgartner as Venus, the Goddess of Love.

Lise sings the role of Elisabeth twice more this season, firstly at Bayerische Staatsoper in May and then in her debut at the Bayreuth Festival in a new production under the baton of Valery Gergiev. Kupfer’s production runs in Zurich until 5 April – click here for more information.

Lise will make her long-anticipated debut at the Metropolitan Opera in November, starring as Lise in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades. The production is directed by Elijah Moshinsky and is the MET’s first production of the opera since 2011. Lise made her debut in the role in January with Oper Stuttgart.

The Queen of Spades opens in New York on 29 November and runs until 21 December. Click here for more information.

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Lise reunites with Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic this month for two performances of Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs. The concerts take place at Bergen’s Grieghallen on 14 and 15 February. Lise is a regular guest of the orchestra and was Artist in Residence last season, singing Sibelius, Wagner and Grieg in concert as well as performing in recital with James Baillieu.

In contrast to the adolescent daring of his overture Don Juan, Strauss’s Four Last Songs were the composer’s resigned farewell to creative life and an elegy for Germany, destroyed by fascism and war.