A ‘One-in-a-Million Voice’: Lise Davidsen makes her eagerly awaited debut at the Metropolitan Opera
On 29 November Lise Davidsen makes one of the most anticipated debuts of the season as Lisa in Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades at the Metropolitan Opera.
The production has in the past featured some of the most acclaimed sopranos of our time such as Karita Mattila, Maria Guleghina, Adrianne Pieczonka and Raina Kabaivanska.
Yusuf Evazyov joins Davidsen as Hermann whilst Vasily Petrenko makes his Metropolitan debut in the pit.
Ahead of her debut, The New York Times wrote a dedicated biographical piece titled 'Not Just a Voice. The voice' and hailing Davidsen “in a league of her own”.
It quoted, amongst others, Sir Antonio Pappano who recalled a rehearsal in London for Wagner’s Ring: “When she opened her mouth, we were all stunned. The voice has a light in it” while Esa-Pekka Salonen said: “When she sang the first phrase of the Tannhäuser, the Orchestra kind of collectively dropped their jaws: ‘Did that sound really come out of a person?’”
> Read the online version of The New York Times feature here
Davidsen also features as the cover star of this month's edition of Opera Now magazine, where she is dubbed 'A once in a generation Wagnerian' - click here to read more, and to subscribe.
In a moving Instagram post, Davidsen posted a photo of herself 10 years ago, jokingly pretending to sing outside the Met:
"I was in New York for the first time in 2009 visiting my best friend. Of course we wanted to see the opera, but we didn’t have enough money to go inside. As a good tourist, my friend took this photo of me pretending to sing in front of the opera. I’m serious when I say that at that time, I had never in a million years thought I would sing inside."
> Click here to see Davidsen's Instagram post
Last Sunday, Davidsen sung at Jessye Norman's memorial service, held at the Met, alongside Latonia Moore and Renée Fleming. Speakers included Jack Lang (the former French Minister of Culture who chose Norman to sing La Marseillaise in Paris in 1989 on the 200th anniversary of Bastille Day); Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall; and Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Met.
Performances of Queen of Spades run until 21 December. For further information, click here.
Stellar vocal line-up for Romanian premiere of Peter Grimes at Enescu Festival
On 15 September, the Enescu Festival presents the Romanian premiere of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes featuring a stellar Intermusica cast including Lise Davidsen in her role debut as Ellen Orford, Christopher Purves as Balstrode, Michael Colvin as Bob Boles, and Huw Montague Rendall and Rhian Lois, making their debuts as Ned Keene and the Second Niece, respectively.
The concert performance will be combined with a visual story, imagined by multimedia director Carmen Lidia Vidu as a graphic film.
The concert also serves as a vehicle for legendary English mezzo-soprano Diana Montague to sing Mrs Sedley and share the stage for the first time with her son, Huw Montague Rendall, one of the most exciting and fast-rising young baritones of today.
The Enescu Festival is held annually in honour of the celebrated Romanian composer George Enescu. It is the largest classical music festival and competition in Romania and one of the largest in Europe.
Other Intermusica artist appearances at this year's festival include celebrated Romanian mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose alongside Armonia Atenea as Ramise in Handel’s Arminio; Yuja Wang with the Dresden Staatskapelle and Myung-Whun Chung, Midori in recital with Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Renaud Capuçon with Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège and
Gergely Madaras; and the Oslo Philharmonic, Vasily Petrenko and Leif Ove Andsnes, brought to the festival by Intermusica’s International Touring department.
The Grimes performance will be streamed live via the Enescu Festival website.
“Lise Davidsen has a vocal power that would be enough for two Elisabeths..." - reviews for Tannhäuser at Bayreuth Festival
Lise Davidsen made one of the most anticipated debuts of the summer on 25 July 2019 when she appeared at the Bayreuth Festival starring as Elizabeth in Tannhäuser. Her performance was met with huge acclaim by the public and international music press:
“Her Elisabeth will remain in the history books and some of us will be able to say "I was there" when Davidsen's trajectory compares with that of other great Wagnerians of the past, from Nilsson to Stemme passing through Flagstad, Varnay or Rysanek…. vocally it is a phenomenon worth following closely. Pure and warm voice, large and well-placed, of an attractive and hidden fragility. A voice in a million…”
“Lise Davidsen has a once in a century voice…Davidsen fascinates as Elisabeth with colours, body tension and an unmistakable timbre”
“… Elisabeth…sung by the soprano Lise Davidsen in an astonishingly mature Bayreuth debut at just 32”
New York Times
“…"The singing was outstanding... Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen beautifully lyrical as Elisabeth”
"...miraculous with every note she sings...”
“Lise Davidsen has a vocal power that would be enough for two Elisabeths. A new Norwegian century voice!”
“In her Bayreuth debut, Norwegian dramatic soprano Lise Davidsen brought exceptional crystalline vocal strength and emotional translucency to Elisabeth.”
The new production by Tobias Kratzer is conducted by Valery Gergiev and also stars Stephen Gould in the title role, Elena Zhidkova as Venus and Markus Eiche as Wolfram. Performances of Tannhäuser continue until 25 August.
Following her Bayreuth debut, Davidsen returns to the BBC Proms to sing Strauss Op.27 Songs with the Philharmonia, which also featured on her debut album. The highlights continue next season as she sings her first Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes at the Enescu Festival, followed by her Metropolitan Opera debut as Lisa in Queen of Spades. London audiences can see her in a solo recital at the Barbican, a new production of Fidelio opposite Jonas Kaufmann at Covent Garden and in concert appearances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia.
Lise Davidsen stars in Tannhäuser in debut at the Bayreuth Festival
Lise Davidsen makes one of the most anticipated debuts of the summer on 25 July 2019 when makes her first appearance at the Bayreuth Festival starring as Elizabeth in Tannhäuser. The new production by Tobias Kratzer is conducted by Valery Gergiev and also stars Stephen Gould in the title role, Elena Zhidkova as Venus and Markus Eiche as Wolfram. Davidsen made her debut as Elizabeth earlier this season at Opernhaus Zürich and sang the role again at Bayerische Staatsoper. Two of Elizabeth’s arias, “Dich, teure Halle” and “Allmächtige Jungfrau” also feature on her self-titled debut album for Decca, which was released in May to rave reviews and debuted at Number One on the UK Classical charts.
Following her Bayreuth debut Davidsen returns to the BBC Proms to sing Strauss Op.27 Songs with the Philharmonia, which also featured on her debut album. The highlights continue next season as she sings her first Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes at the Enescu Festival, followed by her Metropolitan Opera debut as Lisa in Queen of Spades. London audiences can see her in a solo recital at the Barbican, a new production of Fidelio opposite Jonas Kaufmann at Covent Garden and in concert appearances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia.
Performances of Tannhäuser continue until 25 August. The opening night will be streamed live on the BR-Klassik website - click here for more details.
Lise Davidsen's debut album on Decca Classics tops UK Classical Charts
Lise Davidsen'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 Davidsen 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, Davidsen 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.”
Davidsen 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.
Watch Davidsen recording Four Last Songs with Salonen and the Philharmonia below:
Intermusica artists star in the Royal Opera House’s 2019/20 season
The Royal Opera House announced their 2019/20 season on 14 May 2019, unveiling a wide range of new commissions, world premieres and revivals, supported by a diverse range of ticketed and free daytime events, activities and festivals for people of all ages. The season is the first full season since the completion of Covent Garden’s three-year Open Up initiative and features 13 new productions (including two world premieres). Among the new works is the world premiere of Jules Maxwell The Lost Thing, an adaptation of Shaun Tan’s picture book. The production is staged in association with Candoco Dance Company, the commission features a cast of disabled and non-disabled singers, dancers and musicians.
>Click here to see full details of the Royal Opera House’s new season.
Following his critically acclaimed performances in Billy Budd in April, Jacques Imbrailo returns to the Royal Opera House to star as Albert in Massenet Werther from 17 September. Benoît Jacquot’s production is conducted by Edward Gardner and also features Stephanie Wake-Edwards, who begins her debut season as a Jette Parker Young Artist with the role of Käthchen.
Rhian Lois returns to Covent Garden on 25 September to perform as Jerusha in Gerald Barry The Intelligence Park at the Linbury Theatre. Conducted by Jessica Cottis, the production is the first of Barry’s opera in London since 1990.
On 14 October, Evelino Pidò conducts the premiere of a new production of Donizetti Don Pasquale from Damiano Michieletto. The production stars Bryn Terfel and is co-produced with the Opéra national de Paris and Teatro Massimo, Palermo. The performance on 24 October will be broadcast live to cinemas around the world as part of the Royal Opera House’s Live Cinema Season.
Leo Hussain made a critically acclaimed debut at Covent Garden in 2016 helming the Royal Opera’s first production of Enescu Oedipe. He returns to the Royal Opera House on 1 November to conduct David McVicar’s production of Die Zauberflöte, which also features Hongni Wu as Zweite Dame. Wu is currently a member of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme, with other roles in the 2019/20 season including Flora in La traviata, Karolka in Jenůfa and Tebaldo in Don Carlo.
Tim Mead returns to the Royal Opera House to star in David McVicar’s new production of Britten Death in Venice from 21 November. Performing under the baton of Sir Mark Elder, Mead performs the role of Apollo opposite Mark Padmore and Gerald Finley.
Gregory Kunde performs one of his signature roles at Covent Garden from 9 December, starring in the title role of Verdi Otello under the baton of Sir Antonio Pappano. Keith Warner’s production also stars Freddie De Tommaso, who makes his Covent Garden debut as Cassio.
Pamela Helen Stephen, Vlada Borovko, Hongni Wu and Stephanie Wake-Edwards join the cast for Richard Eyre’s production of La traviata from 17 December. Stephen takes the role of Annina, while Borovko stars as Violetta on 1 February 2020. She also returns to star as Musetta in three performances of La bohème directed by Richard Jones on 7, 11 and 13 February. Wake-Edwards and Wu share the role of Flora.
Lise Davidsen sings her first lead role at the Royal Opera House from 1 March 2020 when she stars opposite Jonas Kaufmann in a new production of Beethoven Fidelio. The production is directed by Tobias Kratzer, who directs Davidsen in Wagner Tannhäuser at this summer’s Bayreuth Festival. The production will be broadcast live in cinemas on 17 March.
Hongni Wu and Stephanie Wake-Edwards join the cast of Janáček Jenůfa from 24 March 2020. Directed by Claus Guth and conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, Wu takes the role of Karolka while Wake-Edwards sings the Herdswoman.
Ruxandra Donose returns to the Royal Opera House for two productions next season. On 27 April, she joins Christof Loy’s production of Wagner Tristan und Isolde to sing the role of Brangäne under the baton of Semyon Bychkov. She then returns on 29 June to star in Don Carlo as Eboli. Nicholas Hytner’s production also features Hongni Wu as Tebaldo.
Stephanie Wake-Edwards continues her debut season as a Jette Parker Young Artist with the role of Kate Pinkerton in Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s production of Puccini Madama Butterfly from 22 June. This co-production with the Gran Teatre del Liceu is conducted by Dan Ettinger.
Hongni Wu and Stephanie Wake-Edwards round off the season alongside their colleagues on the Jette Parker programme with the Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Performance on 18 July.
Intermusica at the 125th BBC Proms
The BBC have announced the programme for the 125th BBC Proms, launching eight weeks of music-making of the highest quality, over 80 concerts and a host of world premieres. The festival also marks 150 years since the birth of Proms founder Sir Henry Wood and the 50th anniversary of the moon landings. As ever, Intermusica is well represented at the festival, with 24 artists taking part and our International Touring team bringing two world-class orchestras to the London stage. All concerts will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and several will be televised on BBC Four. See below for full details.
Mark Wigglesworth is joined by Nicola Benedetti and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain on 25 July. Wigglesworth conducts the London premiere of Lera Auerbach Icarus (2011) followed by Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet Suite. The concert will be televised on BBC Four on 28 July.
Simon Halsey and his numerous choirs feature throughout the Proms. On 29 July, the BBC Proms Youth Choir joins Omer Meir Wellber and the BBC Philharmonic for Haydn The Creation. Halsey then prepares the singers of the London Symphony Chorus and Orfeó Català as they join Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO to perform Walton Belshazzar’s Feast on 20 August. The concert will be shown on BBC Four on 23 August. Finally, more than 600 singers will unite for the European premiere of John Luther Adams In the Name of the Earth (2018) on 8 September.
On 2 August, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Thomas Dausgaard perform Sir James MacMillan The Confession of Isobel Gowdie, which premiered at the Proms nearly 30 years ago in 1990. The concert will be televised live on BBC Four. MacMillan is currently celebrating his 60th birthday with a year of special performances – visit jamesmacmillan.co.uk to see the full MacMillan at 60 calendar.
Ben Gernon and the BBC Philharmonic (where he is Principal Guest Conductor) give two performances. On 5 August, Gernon conducts a programme of Malcolm Arnold Peterloo Overture, Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with soloist Alexander Gavrylyuk and excerpts from Tchaikovsky Swan Lake. They repeat the concert the following morning in a Relaxed Prom, in which the concert environment is adapted to better suit audience members with autistic spectrum conditions, sensory, communication or learning difficulties.
On 10 August, Lise Davidsen reunites with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra, with whom she recently recorded her highly anticipated debut album for Decca (out 31 May). She will sing Richard Strauss Op.27 Songs, which also feature on the album.
On 13 August, Martyn Brabbins conducts a special concert with personal significance: it features the world premiere of Pictured Within: Birthday Variations for M. C. B., a new take on Elgar Enigma Variations commissioned by the BBC to mark Brabbins’ 60th birthday. This unique work features a new set of variations by 14 living composers including Intermusica’s Brett Dean, Sally Beamish, Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Dai Fujikura – plus one distinguished mystery composer to write the theme. Brabbins also conducts Elgar’s original Variations as well as Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music and Brahms Song of Destiny, featuring the BBC Singers and English National Opera Chorus. The concert will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Four on 8 September.
Also on the 13 August, Martin James Bartlett performs in a late-night mixtape concert, exploring the fringes of Minimalism and meditative listening. Joined by 12 Ensemble, Tenebrae and director Nigel Short, Bartlett will perform the slow movement from Bach Keyboard Concerto in F minor; Chopin Nocturne in D flat major, Max Richter Vladimir’s Blues and Peteris Vasks Fruits of Silence.
Andreas Haefliger returns to the Proms on 19 August for the world premiere of a new Piano Concerto written especially for him by fellow Swiss musician Dieter Ammann. He is joined for the concert by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo. This new work is co-commmissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthaus Wien, Lucerne Festival, Münchner Philharmoniker and Taipei Symphony Orchestra.
Singers Sofia Fomina, Marta Fontanals-Simmons and Thomas Atkins appear in Glyndebourne Festival Opera’s production of Mozart The Magic Flute on 27 August. Fomina stars in the concert staging as Pamina while Fontanals-Simmons sings Second Lady and Atkins takes the roles of Second Priest and First Man in Armour.
Richard Egarr returns to the Proms on 30 August to conduct the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (with whom he has a long association) Handel Jeptha, part of a cycle celebrating the composer’s works. The cast features Tim Mead as Hamor and Cody Quattlebaum as Zebul.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner completes his epic five-season Berlioz series on 2 September, conducting a performance of his opera Benvenuto Cellini with his Monteverdi Choir and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique.
On 10 September, Intermusica brings the Czech Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov to the Proms. The concert features Smetana The Bartered Bride, the Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin and Shostakovich Symphony No.8.
Nicholas Collon and his Aurora Orchestra return to the Proms on 12 September presenting another eagerly anticipated major symphony from memory. This year they present Berlioz Symphonie fantastique in an immersive theatrical staging. Collon and the orchestra will give a repeat performance in a late-night Prom that same evening and BBC Four will record the first performance for broadcast on 13 September.
As the festival draws to a close, Intermusica’s International Touring team brings a second orchestra to London: on 13 September, Andrew Manze returns with his NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover for Beethoven Night, in which Manze conducts extracts from Fidelio and Symphony No.5, as well as music by Handel and Bach.
Lise Davidsen stars as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser at Bayerische Staatsoper
Lise Davidsen returns to Bayerische Staatsoper on 5 May 2019 to star as Elisabeth in Wagner Tannhäuser. 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.
Davidsen made her debut as Elisabeth in March at Opernhaus Zürich and returns to the role in July for her eagerly anticipated debut at the Bayreuth Festival, starring in a new production from Tobias Kratzer conducted by Valery Gergiev.
This month also sees the release of Davidsen’s debut album for Decca, which is released on 31 May. The album was recorded with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra (with whom Davidsen returns to the BBC Proms in August) and features Strauss Op.27 Songs and Four Last Songs as well as arias from Tannhäuser and Ariadne auf Naxos.
Davidsen gives a second performance of Tannhäuser on 12 May.
Lise Davidsen's self-titled debut album now available for pre-order
Lise Davidsen's self-titled debut album with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen is released on Decca Classics on 31 May, and is available to pre-order now.
With works including Strauss’ Four Last Songs and arias from Ariadne auf Naxos and Wagner’s Tannhäuser, the disc celebrates the legacy of song throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Davidsen 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 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, Davidsen 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 Davidsen makes debut as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser at Opernhaus Zürich
Lise Davidsen makes a hugely anticipated role debut on 23 March 2019 when she stars as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser at Opernhaus Zürich. Harry Kupfer’s production is conducted by Axel Kober and Davidsen sings opposite Stephen Gould in the title role.
Davidsen sings 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. Other highlights this season include debuts at the Royal Opera House in their Ring Cycle and in a highly acclaimed performance of Verdi Requiem; Sieglinde in Die Walküre in concert with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis; and at Oper Stuttgart as Liza Queen of Spades, a role in which she makes her eagerly awaited debut at the Metropolitan Opera next season.
Davidsen recently signed a major exclusive deal with Decca Classics and her debut album is slated for release in May 2019. In future seasons she performs in leading roles at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Bayreuth Festival, Wiener Staatsoper and Metropolitan Opera.
Intermusica Artists star in The Metropolitan Opera’s 2019/20 season
Five Intermusica artists feature in The Metropolitan Opera’s 2019/20 season, announced last week.
Lise Davidsen will make her Metropolitan Opera debut as Lisa in Tchaikovsky The Queen of Spades from 29 November to 21 December 2019. Also making their house debuts are Joélle Harvey in the role of Pamina in Mozart The Magic Flute on selected dates from 15 December, and Angela Brower singing the role of Octavian in Strauss Der Rosenkavalier on 28 December.
Mark Wigglesworth returns to the Met to conduct Gluck Orfeo ed Euridice from 20 October. Dolora Zajick, a regular at the Met, sings Kabanicha in Janacek Káťa Kabanová opening 2 May 2020.
Host of Intermusica artists to appear in Barbican 2019/20 classical season, including portraits for Yuja Wang and Antoine Tamestit
The Barbican has announced its 2019/20 classical season with a promise to deliver ‘a year of life-affirming musical experiences’.
Among the highlights is Yuja Wang, selected for the Barbican’s ‘Artist Spotlight’, who will perform solo and chamber repertoire across four concerts. On 18 November, Wang gives the London premiere of John Adams Piano Concerto, Must the Devil have All the Good Tunes (a work written especially for her) with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel. On 21 November, she appears alongside Andreas Ottensamer, Principal Clarinet with the Berlin Philharmonic. On 13 January, Wang performs with Gautier Capuçon in a concert featuring Chopin Introduction et polonaise brillante. The Spotlight series culminates in a solo recital on 31 March 2020: click here for complete details.
Antoine Tamestit has been selected for the London Symphony Orchestra’s Artist Portrait and will showcase his musical inspirations across three concerts. Sticking close to this season’s theme of ‘roots and origins’, he begins with a work written for him – Jörg Widmann’s Viola Concerto – on 19 April with Daniel Harding. On 11 June, Tamestit performs Berio Voci with François-Xavier Roth and three days later, the Walton Viola Concerto (which Tamestit refers to as his ‘special concerto’) with Alan Gilbert. The Portrait also includes four chamber concerts at LSO St Luke’s in May and June – click here for more details.
Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music begin their Beethoven 250 anniversary celebrations with the composer’s complete incidental music for Goethe’s Egmont on 2 October. They will be joined by violinist Viktoria Mullova on 20 November for Bach Violin Concerto No.1 alongside orchestral and vocal works by CPE Bach, JS Bach, Haydn and Grimani. Following Egarr’s critically acclaimed performances and recording of Castello’s First Book of Sonatas in 2016, he will conduct the Second Book in a concert on 22 April.
Following lauded Mendelssohn and Schumann cycles, Sir John Eliot Gardiner returns to the London Symphony Orchestra on 20 October, this time bringing together three works that define the ‘Czech sound’ – Janáček Ballad of Blaník and Glagolitic Mass along with Dvořák The Golden Spinning Wheel. Conductor and orchestra will then perform Suk Symphony No.2, 'Asrael', and Dvořák Cello Concerto with soloist Truls Mørk on 24 October. In the space of just one week in May, Gardiner and his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique will perform all of Beethoven Symphonies: starting with No.1, scheduled alongside Creatures of Prometheus on 11 May, the cycle will conclude on 16 May.
Also appearing in the Barbican’s 2019/20 classical season are pianists Daniil Trifonov (30 Apr 2020) and Kirill Gerstein (6 June 2020); conductors Martyn Brabbins (1 Nov 2019) and Ben Gernon (2 May 2020); singers Marta Fontanals-Simmons (3 Oct 2019), Lise Davidsen (10 Feb 2020), Mary Bevan (19 Mar 2020) and Tim Mead (10 Apr 2020); as well as Colin Currie (23 Oct 2019), Ning Feng (13 Feb 2020) and Simon Halsey, in his role as Choral Director of the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
Intermusica will tour the Oslo Philhamonic with Vasily Petrenko in October, marking their 100th anniversary season with concerts across major cities in Europe. They will appear at the Barbican on 22 October to perform Strauss Don Juan, Shostakovich Symphony No.10 and Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor with Leif Ove Andsnes.
Click here for complete season details.
Intermusica artists feature in the Southbank Centre's 2019/20 Classical Season
The Southbank Centre announced its 2019/20 Classical Season on 18 February, and Intermusica artists appear throughout. In addition to the Southbank Centre's world class annual programming, the new season also marks the start of Beethoven 250, the venue's year-long celebration of the composer's birth.
Southbank Centre Associate Artists Marin Alsop and Colin Currie both give multiple performances over the course of the season. On 9 November, Alsop conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Walton Belshazzar's Feast alongside Butterworth A Shropshire Lad and Elgar Enigma Variations. She then returns in April for Beyond Beethoven 9, in which she leads the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and a massed choir of 200 singers in two performances of Beethoven Symphony No.9 together with four new commissions between the movements of the symphony.
Beyond Beethoven 9 is part of All Together: A Global Ode to Joy, an initiative in conjunction with Carnegie Hall which take place on five continents with nine orchestras and sees the symphony reimagined as a “twenty-first century call for unity, justice and empowerment”. Read our full story on All Together here.
Currie first appears at the Southbank in the 2019/20 season at the International Chamber Music Series, recreating the premiere of Steve Reich Drumming at the Hayward Gallery with the Colin Currie Group on 6 and 7 December. He performs in the series again on 1 February 2020 alongside the JACK Quartet. Finally he joins the Philharmonia Orchestra for an Artist Portrait concert in their Music of Today series on 14 May.
Kirill Gerstein joins the London Philharmonic Orchestra in concert on 23 October to give the UK premiere of Thomas Adès Piano Concerto, performing under the baton of the composer himself. He then returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra on 13 February 2020 alongside Lahav Shani, who conducts Gerstein in Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini as well as Prokofiev Overture to War and Peace and Romeo and Juliet.
Daniil Trifonov also gives two performances at the Southbank Centre. On 31 October, he performs a solo recital of Schumann, Beethoven and Prokofiev at the Royal Festival Hall. On 22 March 2020, he joins Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony as the soloist for Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.4, part of Tilson Thomas' final season at the head of the orchestra.
In 2020 Lise Davidsen performs with the long-standing chiefs of both the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Vladimir Jurowski. On 19 March, she joins Salonen and the Philharmonia to sing Mahler Humeresken, a collection of settings of poems from Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Then on 4 April she performs Beethoven Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II with Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, part of the Beethoven 250 series.
Also appearing in the Southbank Centre's 2019/20 season are conductors Charles Hazlewood (28 September), Geoffrey Paterson (21 November), Andrew Manze (7 December), Mark Wigglesworth (4 February 2020), Emmanuel Krivine (14 February 2020), John Wilson (27 February 2020), Thierry Fischer (10 March 2020) and Nicholas Collon (16 May 2020); violinists James Ehnes (9 October) and Leonidas Kavakos (27 February 2020); singers Sofia Fomina (19 October), Susan Bickley (30 November), Mary Bevan (15 December), Susanna Hurrell and Simon Shibambu (15 January 2020), Patricia Bardon (1 February 2020), Joélle Harvey (20 February 2020) and Wallis Giunta (11 June 2020); pianists Andreas Haefliger (15 March 2020) and George Li (3 May 2020); and cellist Kian Soltani (27 February 2020).
Intermusica is proud to co-promote the International Chamber Music Series with the Southbank Centre, a relationship which has lasted for almost 30 years. Click here to read our full summary of the series in the 2019/20 season.
Click here for complete details for Southbank Centre's 2019/20 classical season.
Lise Davidsen makes role debut as Sieglinde in Die Walküre with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
On 31 January and 2 February, Lise Davidsen makes her role debut as Sieglinde in concert performances of Die Walküre Act I under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis. Davidsen is joined by fellow cast members Simon O’Neill and Brindley Sherratt.
Davidsen’s recent highlights include debuts at Oper Stuttgart as Liza Queen of Spades, at the Royal Opera House in their Ring Cycle and in a performance of Verdi’s Requiem. Concert highlights include Verdi Requiem at the BBC Proms, Strauss Opus 27 songs with the Oslo Philharmonic at the Edinburgh International Festival, Vier letzte Lieder with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and Agathe Der Freischütz with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and Marek Janowski.
Later this season Davidsen makes her Bayreuth Festival debut as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser and also returns to Zurich Opera and the Bavarian State Opera in the same role. Her debut album with Decca Classics is slated for release in Spring 2019.
Host of Intermusica artists featured in international Best of 2018 press picks
2018 was another fantastic year for Intermusica artists, with many singled out by the world’s top publications and broadcasters in their end-of-year highlight features. Read a selection below:
Daniil Trifonov featured in a plethora of publications including The Guardian, Sunday Times, New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, Arts Fuse, Seen & Heard and New York Classical Review. His recent release on Deutsche Grammophon, Destination Rachmaninov: Departure, with Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, was widely praised, as was his ‘Decades’ recital at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, which Alex Ross of The New Yorker called “playing of unreal beauty”. A recital with mentor Sergei Babayan was highlighted in Boston Classical Review, with Trifonov deemed “among the most sensational keyboard artists of his generation” and Babayan “second-to-none in his own right.”
Also popular amongst critics was Sir John Eliot Gardiner, whose Carnegie Hall appearance with his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, as part of Carnegie’s Berlioz Festival, drew glowing commentary. Gardiner’s Berlioz and Schumann exploration with the LSO, including an appearance at the 2018 BBC Proms, was similarly lauded (Arts Desk: “I reeled from… [Gardiner’s]… contributions … He sold instantly the ideas that wind and brass as well as upper strings… should stand”), and memorably enhanced by Antoine Tamestit’s take on Harold in Italy, which saw the soloist use theatrics to better inhabit the wandering eponymous hero (Tamestit’s Harold also came in for praise from Arts Desk, Limelight and New York Classical Review). Gardiner’s Verdi Requiem at the Concertgebouw and other venues was also mentioned by NRC and Seen & Heard.
British music champion Martyn Brabbins was singled out by several publications including The Guardian and Sunday Times, who included his releases of Tippett Symphonies 1& 2 (BBC Scottish Orchestra, Hyperion) and Ferneyhough: La Terre est un Homme (BBC Symphony Orchestra, NMC) in their recordings of the year round-ups.
Matthew Aucoin was picked out by WQXR for his opera Second Nature (on the topic of climate change) and “[making] the [classical] tradition more alive and urgent than ever.” Aucoin’s conducting skills impressed The New York Times, who noted his “instinct for tension” when conducting Peter Sellars’ Santa Fe Opera production of Doctor Atomic.
Colin Currie Group’s release of Drumming, the first on the new Colin Currie Records label, enchanted listeners with Arts Fuse calling it “one of – no, the – greatest recording of the piece to date” and The Boston Globe terming it “an ecstatic rendition…[which]…absolutely transports.”
Andrew Manze’s Mendelssohn symphony cycle with NDR Radiophilharmonie, where he is Chief Conductor, garnered praise from Arts Fuse, as did his moving War Requiem with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and NDR Radiophilharmonie at Liverpool Cathedral and in Hannover (one of Fiona Maddox at The Guardian’s Best of 2018), which saw British and German players unite to mark 100 years since the end of World War I.
Mark Wigglesworth was roundly praised by Seen & Heard (“typically first-rate conducting”), The Stage (“an exceptional musical performance”) and Arts Desk for his House of the Dead at the Royal Opera House; while over at English National Opera, Porgy and Bess, conducted by John Wilson, was a highlight for The Stage, The Guardian and Evening Standard.
Other notable recordings included Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s “eminently accessible” rendition of Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet (WQXR); Nora Fischer’s Hush – “radically unorthodox yet utterly gorgeous” (WQXR), Boris Giltburg’s Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2 with Royal Scottish National (Politiken); and Marek Janowksi’s “sumptuous Hindemith collection” on Pentatone (Arts Desk). Recordings by Francesco Piemontesi and Renaud Capuçon (Liszt Années de pèlerinage, Orfeo, and Bartok Violin Concertos Nos 1 & 2 with LSO, Hyperion) featured in The Sunday Times’ Classical Albums of the Year.
Lahav Shani’s new position as Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra was noted as a special moment by Seen & Heard and NRC, while Giancarlo Guerrero’s performances with Boston Symphony Orchestra (“a spectacular, kinetic reading”) and Curtis Symphony Orchestra (“at once authoritative and at the same time warmly collaborative") were noted by Arts Fuse and Seen & Heard. Mischa Maisky’s Jansen/Maisky/Argerich Trio performance at the Barbican was deemed “chamber music writ large” and “opulent” by Arts Desk.
Singers singled out by cultural commentators included Lise Davidsen for her “superlative” performance in the title role in a “long overdue feminist reassessment” of Ariadne auf Naxos at Festival d’Aix en Provence (Seen & Heard), as well as for her involvement in the Royal Opera House and Antonio Pappano’s Verdi Requiem – “the classiest perfection imaginable, crowned by the phenomenal Lise Davidsen” (Arts Desk).
Fellow dramatic soprano Iréne Theorin was noted in Seen & Heard as a “commanding Isolde” in Staatsoper Berlin and Daniel Barenboim’s Tristan und Isolde, as was Natalya Romaniw, who sang "with grace and conviction” in the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Testament alongside the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Kirill Karabits.
David Alden’s “fine Lohengrin” at the Royal Opera House was singled out by The Stage, as was Garsington’s first full-scale commission, The Skating Rink, featuring Susan Bickley creating the role of Carmen.
2018 ended well for Sir James MacMillan, whose Cumnock Tryst took the number one spot in Fiona Maddox’s Best Classical Music of 2018 list for its unique role in “revitalising a local community with world-class performances”. The Scotsman, looking ahead to 2019, noted “it’s going to be a big year for Scotland’s most high-profile composer” as MacMillan turns 60, celebrating with a host of concerts and new works.
Lise Davidsen makes role and company debut at Oper Stuttgart as Lisa in Pique Dame
On 6 January, Lise Davidsen makes her role and company debut at Oper Stuttgart as Lisa Pique Dame. Performances of Jossi Wieler’s production are conducted by Oksana Lyniv.
Davidsen’s upcoming highlights this season include her hugely anticipated Bayreuth debut as Elisabeth in a new production of Tannhäuser conducted by Valery Gergiev, a role in which she also makes returns to Opernhaus Zürich and Bayerische Staatsoper. Earlier this season she made her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in their Ring Cycle. On the concert platform, she makes her debut as Sieglinde Die Walküre with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis and with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Edo de Waart.
Recent operatic successes include 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.
Performances of Pique Dame run until 25 January.
Lise Davidsen & Sofia Fomina join Marek Janowski & the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra for Weber's Der Freischütz
On 29 and 30 November 2018, Lise Davidsen and Sofia Fomina perform Der Freischütz with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Marek Janowski. Davidsen sings the role of Agathe and Fomina sings the role of Ännchen in the performances in Frankfurt, which will later be released as a recording.
Davidsen made her debut in the role in 2016 at Opernhaus Zürich where she will return later this season in her role debut as Elisabeth Tannhäuser, a role she later performs at Bayerische Staatsoper and in her debut at the Bayreuth Festspiele. Other highlights include a role debut as Liza The Queen of Spades at Oper Stuttgart, Sieglinde in Die Walküre with the Antwerp and Toronto Symphony orchestras and Strauss Vier letzte Lieder with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.
This marks Fomina’s debut in the role of Ännchen and follows an acclaimed return to Bayerische Staatsoper as Gilda Rigoletto. Upcoming highlights include a role and company debut as Pamina in a new production of Die Zauberflöte at Glyndebourne Festival and a return to Bayerische Staatsoper as Fiakermili Arabella. Further ahead she makes her debut in the title role Manon.
Lise Davidsen sings Verdi Requiem at the the Royal Opera House
Lise Davidsen steps in at the Royal Opera House on 23 October 2018 to perform Verdi’s Requiem with Sir Antonio Pappano, the orchestra and chorus of the Royal Opera House and soloists Jamie Barton, Benjamin Bernheim and Gábor Bretz.
Davidsen most recently performed the piece at the 2018 BBC Proms with Andrés Orozco-Estrada and the London Philharmonic Orchestra to critical acclaim:
“...it was soprano Lise Davidsen who capped them all. Davidsen’s performance was extraordinary. She has a huge voice which can soar above the orchestra at will, but which she tamed to get the right balance in duets with Connolly...If anyone has the voice to make their plea for salvation reach heaven, it’s her.”
Bachtrack, September 2018
Following her debut at the Royal Opera House in The Ring Cycle, later this season Davidsen makes her Bayreuth Festival debut as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, as well as returning to Zurich Opera and the Bavarian State Opera in the role. Other highlights include Liza The Queen of Spades at Stuttgart Opera, Strauss’s Four Last Songs with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Sieglinde in Die Walküre with the Antwerp and Toronto Symphony orchestras and Wagner Wesendonck Lieder with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra.
In May 2018, Davidsen signed an exclusive recording deal with Decca, with her debut album being slated for release in spring 2019.
Lise Davidsen sings Vier Letzte Lieder with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Lise Davidsen joins the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko on 11 October 2018 to perform Richard Strauss Vier Letzte Lieder.
Recent highlights on the concert platform include a programme of Strauss songs with Vasily Petrenko and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra at the Edinburgh International Festival and her sensational return to the BBC Proms to sing Verdi Requiem with Andrés Orozco Estrada and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Following her debut at the Royal Opera House in The Ring Cycle, later this season she makes her Bayreuth Festival debut as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, as well as returning to Zurich Opera and the Bavarian State Opera in the role. Other highlights include Liza The Queen of Spades at Stuttgart Opera, Strauss’s Four Last Songs with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Sieglinde in Die Walküre with the Antwerp and Toronto Symphony orchestras and Wagner Wesendonck Lieder with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra.
In May 2018, Davidsen signed an exclusive recording deal with Decca, with her first album being slated for release in spring 2019.
Lise Davidsen named Gramophone Magazine's Young Artist of the Year
Lise Davidsen has been named as Young Artist of the Year at the 2018 Gramophone Awards. Davidsen, who recently signed an exclusive recording deal with Decca Classics, received the award at the Gramophone awards ceremony on 13 September where she also performed with James Baillieu and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.
This season Davidsen makes her Bayreuth Festival debut as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, as well as returning to Zurich Opera and the Bavarian State Opera in the role. Other highlights include Liza The Queen of Spades at Stuttgart Opera and her debut with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, as Freia Das Rheingold, Ortlinde Die Walküre and Third Norn Götterdämmerung. As well as appearing at the Edinburgh Festival and the BBC Proms, she performs Strauss’s Four Last Songs with the Danish National and Stavanger Symphony orchestras and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Sieglinde in Die Walküre with the Antwerp and Toronto Symphony orchestras and Wagner Wesendonck Lieder with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra.
Her first album is slated for release in Spring 2019 and will feature Strauss Four Last Songs and arias from Ariadne auf Naxos and Tannhäuser.
Lise Davidsen sings Verdi Requiem in return to the BBC Proms
Lise Davidsen returns to the BBC Proms on 30 August to join the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrés Orozco‐Estrada in a performance of Verdi Requiem. Davidsen is joined by fellow soloists Karen Cargill, Dmytro Popov and Tomasz Konieczny.
Davidsen has previously performed Verdi Requiem with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, both under Edward Gardner, and with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Fabio Luisi. This season she makes her Bayreuth Festival debut as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, as well as returning to Zurich Opera and the Bavarian State Opera in the role. Other highlights include Liza The Queen of Spades at Stuttgart Opera and her debut with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, as Freia Das Rheingold, Ortlinde Die Walküre and Third Norn Götterdämmerung. As well as appearing at the Edinburgh Festival, she performs Strauss’s Four Last Songs with the Danish National and Stavanger Symphony orchestras and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Sieglinde in Die Walküre with the Antwerp and Toronto Symphony orchestras and Wagner Wesendonck Lieder with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra.
Earlier this summer Davidsen signed an exclusive recording deal with Decca, with her first album being slated for release in spring 2019.
10 Intermusica artists nominated for 2018 Gramophone Awards
The shortlist for the 2018 Gramophone Awards has been released, and there are 10 Intermusica artists included among the nominations. The winners will be announced at the Gramophone Awards Ceremony on 13 September.
See the full details of the nominees below.
Renaud Capuçon features on two nominated recordings in the Chamber category, both released on Erato. The first, of Brahms String Sextets, was recorded live at Capuçon's Festival de Pacques in Aix-en-Provence, while the second nominated record is a collection of chamber works by Debussy.
The Pavel Haas Quartet and Boris Giltburg are nominated for their recording of Dvorák Quintets, which was released by Supraphon. The recording was met with great acclaim upon release and was named Recording of the Month by BBC Music Magazine, Album of the Week in the Sunday Times and Editor's Choice by Gramophone.
In the Choral category, Joélle Harvey features on Arcangelo's nominated recording of three Magnificats from CPE Bach, JS Bach and JC Bach. Harvey was praised by Gramophone for her "uniformly dramatic and engaging singing".
Lise Davidsen features in the Concerto category, singing in the Incidental Music to Peer Gynt in the Bergen Philharmonic and Edward Gardner's album of Grieg, which also features the composer's Piano Concerto.
Martyn Brabbins is nominated for three awards this year. In the Contemporary category, he is nominated for his BIS recording devoted to the works of John Pickard and his NMC album of Howard Skempton The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. He is also nominated in the Orchestral category for his recording of Tippett's First and Second Symphonies, released on Hyperion.
In the Orchestral category, Colin Currie featured on Ondine's recording of Elliot Carter Late Works. Currie performed Two Controversies and a Conversation, a work for piano, percussion and chamber orchestra.
Mary Bevan's solo album, Voyages, is nominated in the Solo Voice category. Recorded with pianist Joseph Middleton, Voyages features a wide-ranging group of songs by composers including Bréville, Schubert, Debussy and Duparc.
Intermusica artists at the 2018 Edinburgh International Festival
The Edinburgh International Festival announced the programme for this year's edition on 15 March 2018, and as ever there is a strong Intermusica presence at the festival.
Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music return to the festival this year for a concert of Vivaldi and Telemann with Nicola Benedetti on 4 August. Egarr leads the ensemble from the harpsichord and is the soloist for Vivaldi's A major Concerto.
Carlos Miguel Prieto brings the Youth Orchestra of the Americas to Edinburgh for a performance with pianist Gabriela Montero on 7 August. Prieto conducts a programme of Chávez Sinfonia india, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 and Copland Symphony No.3.
Martyn Brabbins joins forces with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Edinburgh Festival Chorus on 9 August to celebrate the 90th birthday of composer Thea Musgrave. Brabbins conducts the Scottish premiere of Musgrave's Turbulent Landscapes, a journey through six Turner land and seascapes, and Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony.
Lise Davidsen travels to Edinburgh for her festival debut on 16 August. Davidsen joins Vasily Petrenko and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra to sing orchestral songs by Strauss, including "Cäcilie" and "Wiegenlied". Davidsen sang the same works with the orchestra in Oslo earlier this season and also recently joined them for Strauss Four Last Songs.
Roger Vignoles returns to Edinburgh, this time with soprano Dorothea Röschmann on 21 August. Vignoles accompanies Röschmann in a programme of Romantic songs by Schubert, Schumann, Beethoven and Wolf.
The Pavel Haas Quartet returns to the festival on 22 August to perform two landmark quartets: Schubert String Quartet No.13 'Rosamunde' and Ravel String Quartet. Shostakovich String Quartet No.7 completes the programme.
James Ehnes reunites with Stephen Osborne on 23 August for a recital at the Queen's Hall. Together they explore a programme of works by Brahms, Prokofiev, Debussy and Ravel. This is their second collaboration of the season after a critically acclaimed performance of Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time at the Southbank Centre's International Chamber Music Series.
Marin Alsop brings the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to Edinburgh for two concerts celebrating Leonard Bernstein's centenary on 24 and 26 August. The first features three works associated with him as a performer: Stravinsky The Firebird, Gershwin Piano Concerto with Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Schumann Symphony No.2. The second concert opens with birthday tributes to Bernstein from Berio, John Corigliano and John Williams and features three of Bernstein's works: his Serenade performed by Nicola Benedetti, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and Three Dance Episodes from On the Town.
Soprano Lise Lindstrom joins Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra to perform Mahler Symphony No.8 on 26 August. The performance also features the Edinburgh Festival Chorus and the NYCoS National Girls Choir.
Intermusica brings the Oslo Philharmonic & Lise Davidsen to the Edinburgh International Festival
Following the success of their appearance in 2015, Intermusica brings the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra back to the Edinburgh International Festival on 16 August 2018 for a concert at Usher Hall with Lise Davidsen. The concert is conducted by Chief Conductor Vassily Petrenko.
The orchestra open with Richard Strauss' tone poem, Don Juan, after which Davidsen joins them in a performance of his Op. 27 Songs, which include the famous Cäcilie and Wiegenlied.
Petrenko and the orchestra bring the performance to a close with Prokofiev Symphony No.6.
Intermusica at the 2018 BBC Proms
The BBC Proms returns this year on 13 July 2018, and as ever there is a strong Intermusica presence at the festival. This year sees returns for artists including Marin Alsop, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, John Wilson, Colin Currie and Antoine Tamestit, while Intermusica also brings the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the Baltimore Symphony to the festival as part of the Proms' celebrations of the centenary of Leonard Bernstein's birth. All concerts are broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
On 15 July at 7pm, Colin Currie and Martin James Bartlett join an array of previous winners and finalists for a concert celebrating the 40th anniversary of BBC Young Musician. Currie performs Steve Reich Drumming – Part I with Colin Currie Group members and fellow BBC Young Musician competitors Sam Walton, Aiden Spillet and Owen Gunnell, while Martin James Bartlett performs in Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals.
Susan Bickley renews her relationship with the London Sinfonietta and Sir George Benjamin at 3pm on 21 July in a Prom at the Roundhouse in Camden. Bickley performs in a programme featuring a quartet of war-themed premieres as well as works by Stravinsky, Messiaen and Ives.
Simon Halsey leads the BBC Proms Youth Choir once again this year in concert with Donald Runnicles and the World Orchestra for Peace at 7.30pm on 21 July. They perform Shadow, a new, First World War-themed commission from Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds. Also on the programme are Britten Sinfonia da Requiem and Beethoven Symphony No.9. Halsey returns in August for concerts with the London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle and in September with the City of Birmingham Symphony Choruses with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
On 25 July, Ben Gernon returns to the Proms with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Gernon, the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, leads the BBC Philharmonic in the world premiere of Tansy Davies What did We See?, an orchestral suite from the composer’s recent opera Between Worlds. He also conducts Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 ‘Emperor’ with soloist Paul Lewis and Brahms Symphony No.2. The concert starts at 7.30pm.
Martyn Brabbins conducts the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales in a programme celebrating English composer Hubert Parry at 7pm on 27 July. Brabbins conducts Parry’s Symphony No.5 and Hear my words, ye people! alongside works by his pupils Vaughan Williams and Holst. Tai Murray is the soloist in Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending, while soprano Francesca Chiejina and bass-baritone Ashley Riches also feature.
Andrew Manze returns this year alongside the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducting the orchestra in a London-focussed programme at 7pm on 31 July. The concert opens with Haydn Symphony No.104 ‘London’, and after the interval Manze conducts Vaughan Williams A London Symphony.
On 5 August, Brett Dean joins Thomas Dausgaard and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra for their Brandenburg Project. Over two concerts, the orchestra presents Bach’s six Brandenburg Concertos alongside six newly commissioned companion works. Dean performs as viola soloist in the second concert at 7.30pm, while his Approach – Prelude to a Canon is one of the companion works.
Nicholas Collon and his Aurora Orchestra make their annual appearance in a late-night Prom focussing on Shostakovich at 10.15pm on 6 August. Joined once again by BBC broadcaster Tom Service, Collon and the Orchestra unpack the composer’s Symphony No.9 before performing it from memory. The concert also features Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.2 with soloist Denis Kozhukhin.
Intermusica renews its relationship with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Sir Antonio Pappano at 7.30pm on 10 August, bringing them to the Proms as part of the festival's celebrations for the Bernstein centenary (Bernstein was the orchestra's honorary conductor for a decade). Pappano conducts the composer's Symphony No.1 'Jeremiah' alongside Haydn The Creation - Chaos and Mahler Symphony No.1.
Renaud Capuçon appears at the Proms at 7pm on 16 August alongside the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in its debut appearance at the festival. Capuçon is the soloist for Ravel Violin Sonata No.2, which has been orchestrated by Yan Maresz.
Marin Alsop conducts the Proms Scratch Orchestra in two free concerts at Maida Vale Studios on 26 August. The Scratch Orchestra, made up of amateur musicians and members of the BBC Concert Orchestra, performs movements from Shostakovich Symphony No.5.
Joshua Weilerstein returns to the Proms at 7.30pm on 26 August to conduct the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a tribute to Leonard Bernstein’s televised Young People’s Concerts. Utilizing words, projections and music, the concert features works including Stravinsky The Rite of Spring, Ligeti Apparations and Debussy La mer alongside works by Bernstein and Beethoven.
Wallis Giunta makes her Proms debut at 1pm on 27 August, leading a recital of works by Bernstein and his associates at Cadogan Hall. As well as works by Copland, Sondheim and Barber, the concert features the world premiere of a new song by British composer Bushra El-Turk, Crème Brûlée on a Tree, inspired by Bernstein’s recipe settings.
Marin Alsop returns to the Proms at 8pm on 27 August as Intermusica brings the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to the festival for a concert of Bernstein and Shostakovich with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique return to the Proms at 7.30pm on 5 September for a programme of Berlioz. They are joined by Antoine Tamestit, who performs Harold in Italy, while Joyce DiDonato sings arias from Le mort de Cléopatre and Les Troyens.
Russell Braun joins the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Peter Oundjian at 7pm on 6 September as the baritone soloist in Britten War Requiem. Braun performs alongside Erin Wall and Allan Clayton.
Lise Davidsen stars in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence with Huw Montague Rendall
Lise Davidsen returns to the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos from 4 July 2018 at the Festival International d'Art Lyrique d'Aix-en-Provence. Davidsen is a former artist of the Académie d'Aix-en-Provence and heads a cast that also includes Huw Montague Rendall as Harlequin. Katie Mitchell's new production is conducted Marc Albrecht.
Davidsen has sung the role of Ariadne to great acclaim already this season at Wiener Staatsoper. Last season she sang the role for her debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, which was met with universal acclaim from the critics:
“It will surely go down as one of those 'I was there' moments... you may banish me to Naxos if she doesn’t become the most wanted Wagnerian soprano of her generation.”
“The sensation was the Ariadne of Lise Davidsen. The young Norwegian soprano’s voice, silken at the top, rich with deep mezzo colours, pours forth flawlessly as if in one clear, stupendous breath. It’s one of the greatest voices I have heard.”
Montague Rendall is currently a member of the International Opera Studio Zürich, where his roles include Nardo La finta giardiniera, Papageno (cover) Die Zauberflöte, Nazarener Salome and Yamadori in a new production of Madama Butterfly. Ariadne auf Naxos is his debut both as Harlequin and at Aix. Looking ahead he makes debuts in leading roles with Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Komische Oper Berlin and Garsington Opera.
Ariadne auf Naxos runs until 16 July.
Lise Davidsen signs exclusive recording contract with Decca Classics
Lise Davidsen has signed an exclusive recording contract with Decca Classics, it was announced on 15 May 2018. Davidsen releases her debut for the label in early 2019 performing Strauss Four Last Songs and arias from Ariadne auf Naxos and Wagner Tannhäuser.
Davidsen is the first Scandinavian dramatic soprano to sign to Decca since Birgit Nilsson, whose centenary is celebrated this year. She is also the first Norwegian singer to join the label since her compatriot Kirsten Flagstad made her acclaimed late recordings for Decca in the 1950s.
On signing to the label, Davidsen said: “I’m delighted to begin my recording career with Decca – a label which is home to many amazing singers who I admire. I’m looking forward to performing some of my favourite vocal repertoire and sharing my love of music with a wider audience.”
Dr Alexander Buhr, Managing Director of Decca Classics, said: “Lise Davidsen is a remarkable talent. Her astonishing voice, incredible musicianship and commanding stage presence make for truly spine-tingling performances. Decca has a history of nurturing and documenting many of the greatest voices of the last century and we are proud and happy to open a new chapter of that story with Lise.”
The announcement was made at an exclusive Decca event at London's iconic St Pancras Renaissance Hotel where the label also announced the signing of saxophonist Jess Gillam and composer Rebecca Dale. Click here to watch a video of Davidsen performing at the event.
Lise Davidsen sings Four Last Songs with the Oslo Philharmonic
Lise Davidsen returns to Oslo this month for two performances of Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the Oslo Phiharmonic Orchestra on 14 and 15 March 2018. Also on the programme for the concerts is the composer’s tone poem Tod und Verklärung. Davidsen also sang the Strauss' Op.27 Songs with the Oslo Philharmonic in February.
Davidsen returns to Strauss’ works again this summer when she sings the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos at this year’s Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, her debut at the festival.
Recent highlights for Davidsen include her debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in Ariadne auf Naxos and her Swedish debut in Beethoven’s famous Symphony No.9 with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic.
Lise Davidsen sings Strauss Opus 27 songs with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Lise Davidsen joins the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra on 8 February 2018 to perform Strauss’ Op. 27 songs under the baton of Vasily Petrenko. Davidsen is developing into a noted singer of Strauss, delivering critically acclaimed performances in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos in debuts at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Wiener Staatsoper:
“The discovery of the evening was Lise Davidsen, who achieved an impressive title role in her state debut.”
Wiener Zeitung, November 2017
Elsewhere this month, Davidsen continues her artistic residency with the Bergen Philharmonic when she returns with pianist James Baillieu for an opera recital. She also joins the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven Symphony No.9. Other performances this season include a new production of Ariadne auf Naxos at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Beethoven Symphony No.9 with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Vier Letzte Lieder with the Copenhagen Philharmonic.
Lise Davidsen continues artistic residency with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Lise Davidsen continues her artistic residency with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra on 7 December 2017, performing in recital with pianist James Baillieu. Davidsen and Baillieu last performed together for Davidsen's critically acclaimed UK recital debut at Wigmore Hall in May:
“This Rosenblatt Recital brought [Lise Davidsen] to the Wigmore Hall for her UK recital debut...her pianissimo is a thing of dreams, for she has the confidence to stay the vibrato, her soprano so perfectly centred and secure that she can aim for, and achieve, absolute purity of sound…her soprano is not only hugely powerful, gloriously silken and richly glossy, it is also an incredibly ‘dramatic’ voice...by the close of the recital, one could sense how much Davidsen wants to sing, and sing, and her joy was both beguiling and infectious.”
Opera Today, May 2017
Recent highlights include debuts at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Wiener Staatsoper in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos and at the Wexford Festival in the title role of Cherubini’s Medea.
Davidsen continues her artistic residency with the Bergen Philharmonic in January when she joins the orchestra and Chief Conductor Edward Gardner to perform Sibelius Luonnotar and Wagner Wesendonck Lieder. Other performances this season include a new production of Ariadne auf Naxos at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra as well as Strauss Op. 27 songs with the Oslo Philharmonic.
Lise Davidsen makes debut at Wiener Staatsoper in Ariadne auf Naxos
Lise Davidsen makes her Wiener Staatsoper debut this month, returning to the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos on 23 November 2017. The production, which is directed by Sven-Eric Bechtolf, is Davidsen's third Ariadne of 2017 and follows her critically-acclaimed Glyndebourne Festival Opera debut as Ariadne:
"It will surely go down as one of those 'I was there' moments... it’s Davidsen who makes the splash: you may banish me to Naxos if she doesn’t become the most wanted Wagnerian soprano of her generation.”
“The sensation was the Ariadne of Lise Davidsen. The young Norwegian soprano’s voice, silken at the top, rich with deep mezzo colours, pours forth flawlessly as if in one clear, stupendous breath. It’s one of the greatest voices I have heard.”
Other performances this season include a new production of Ariadne auf Naxos at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and an artistic residency with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. Other concert engagements include Beethoven Symphony No.9 with the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra as well as Strauss Op.27 songs with the Oslo Philharmonic.
Ariadne auf Naxos plays at the Wiener Staatsoper on 23, 26 and 29 November. Davidsen was recently profiled in the Washington Post - click here to read.
Lise Davidsen makes her role and house debut as Cherubini's Medea at the Wexford Festival
Lise Davidsen makes her latest role and house debut on 19 October 2017, singing the title role in Cherubini's rarely performed Medea at the Wexford Festival. This new production is directed by Fiona Shaw and conducted by Stephen Barlow.
Davidsen's recent debuts include her triumphant appearance at Glyndebourne in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos as well as Agathe in a new production of Der Freischütz at Opernhaus Zürich, Isabella Das Liebesverbot at Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires, Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana at Norwegian National Opera and her BBC Proms debut with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
This season Davidsen makes two house debuts in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos, at Wiener Staatsoper and Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. She also embarks upon an artistic residency with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. Other concert engagements include Beethoven Symphony No.9 with the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra as well as Strauss Op. 27 songs with the Oslo Philharmonic.
Performances of Medea run until 3 November 2017.
Lise Davidsen receives the Norwegian Critics' Association Music Award
Lise Davidsen has been awarded the Norwegian Critics’ Association Music Award for 2016/17, it was announced on 28 September 2017. She was nominated for her performance in the title role of Richard Strauss Ariadne auf Naxos with the Arctic Philharmonic in March 2017. Announcing the award, Norwegian music critic Hilde Halvorsrød said:
“Lise Davidsen carried the whole show on her shoulders. The interesting thing about Richard Strauss’ Ariadne character is that the text does its best to make fun of her existential longing for a man who will never return, ending in an equally intense longing for death. Strauss writes in a gay group from a parallel story that tries to cheer her up and lets the loose figure of Zerbinetta try to persuade Ariadne to do as herself: just find a new man or two. But the music is always on Ariadne’s side, and Strauss does not put anything in between when he paints her pain. She is standing alone in her own world, faithful to love, and does not bend for anything. That is why the Music Prize Prize for the 2016/17 season is so well deserved by Lise Davidsen.”
Lise is also nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize, which is awarded in alternate years and recognises outstanding Scandanavian musicians, ensembles and living composers. The winner is announced and the prize awarded in Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, on 1 November.
Intermusica's summer in reviews
2017 marked another highly successful summer for Intermusica's artists, who gave critically acclaimed performances at festivals all over Europe. Read a small selection of reviews below.
Brett Dean's Hamlet received its world premiere at Glyndebourne in June and was greeted with universal acclaim. The Sunday Times called it "the operatic event of the year", while in a five star review the Times wrote that “Dean’s skill at creating a supercharged orchestral subtext to each scene is matched by his immense theatricality. Quite apart from his unerring pacing of the story, he also creates at least a dozen moments where sheer sonority alone sends shivers up the spine… The overall impression is of a richly imaginative composer at the top of his game.”
Lise Davidsen made a critically acclaimed UK operatic debut in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in June. Described as possessing "one of the greatest voices I have ever head" by the Observer, Davidsen's debut was described as "one of those 'I was there' moments" by the Times.
Joshua Weilerstein made an "auspicious" debut at the Proms on 19 July, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra and his sister Alisa Weilerstein in a programme of Rebel, Berlioz and Pascal Dusapin. Classical Source praised his "admirably prepared and presented" Symphonie fantastique.
Nicholas Collon and his Aurora Orchestra returned to the Proms to perform another symphony from memory on 22 July. This time, they performed Beethoven Symphony No.3 ‘Eroica’, preceded by Strauss Metamorphosen. The Times called it “gripping stuff… an astonishing feat of concentration. With Nicholas Collon favouring speeds ranging from zippy to hair-raising, there was virtuosity all around the band too…an impassioned account of Strauss’s desolate but gorgeous Metamorphosen.”
The Pavel Haas Quartet made a stellar return to the Verbier Festival on 22 July, with Bachtrack praising the quartet for their "old-fashioned virtues of watchfulness, aural alertness and intense concentration... From the micro-perfection of its opening chord to an ethereally feathered final note, this was an Allegro con brio of unfolding joys."
Michel van der Aa was the Composer in Residence at this year's Lucerne Festival, with his works performed throughout the festival. The Luzerner Zeitung praised his "easy handling of current technological possiblities", while the Neue Zurcher Zeitung wrote that his "music theatre of beguiling opulence... might offer a view of the future of opera".
Mark Wigglesworth was joined by pianist Stephen Hough and the BBC Philharmonic at the Royal Albert Hall on 29 July to perform Brahms Piano Concerto No.1, David Sawyer The Greatest Happiness on Earth and Haydn Symphony No.99. The Sunday Times claimed that Wigglesworth demonstrated "the most authoritative conducting, instantly masterly, I’ve witnessed so far at these Proms, Bernard Haitink’s appearance apart. And Wigglesworth seems close to Haitink’s level... One knew all would be right about this account because Wigglesworth’s intensity was unanswerable.”
Sir John Eliot Gardiner had a busy summer, performing twice at the Proms as well as continuing the Monteverdi Trilogy tour at the Salzburg, Edinburgh and Berlin festivals. His Proms performance of Berlioz La damnation de Faust with the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique was described as "thrilling" by the Observer in a five star review, while the Salzburger Nachrichten praised the Monteverdi Trilogy performances at the Salzburg Festival: "The harmony and the symbiotic relationship of the performers and their conductor has reached a degree of perfection, which shows style, form awareness and playful freedom."
John Wilson gave two performances at the BBC Proms this year, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and his John Wilson Orchestra. This year, Wilson led the JWO in two critically acclaimed performances of Rogers & Hammerstein Oklahoma! on 11 August: "no conductor appreciates the importance of an orchestration’s inner voices like Wilson, or is more adept at caressing a countermelody without letting it get in the way." (Spectator)
Andreas Haefliger returned to the Edinburgh International Festival this year, giving an "inspiringly commanding" solo recital in August: "Haefliger the thinker is also the pianist who held this audience enthralled until they leapt to their feet at the end, cheering." (Herald Scotland)
Also in Edinburgh, Richard Egarr led Iestyn Davies and the Academy of Ancient Music in two performances of Bach and Telemann. The Scotsman praised the performances, which were "delivered with a style and panache that lifted the notes clean off the page with their precisely pointed rhythms."
Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score® was presented at the Proms on 23 August in “an excellent evening of innovation” (Bachtrack), with a a multi-media exploration of the symphony directed by Beyond the Score founder Gerard McBurney presented alongside a performance of Dvorák Symphony No.9 ‘From the New World’ from the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder.
Leonidas Kavakos reunited with Riccardo Chailly on 25 August, as Intermusica brought the conductor and his Filarmonica della Scala to the Proms to perform Brahms and Respighi. Kavakos performed the Brahms Violin Concerto, a performance which was praised for the "the way he made the music breathe and sing in lyrical, expansive paragraphs while remaining continuously alert both to subtleties of meaning and absolute directness of expression." (Guardian)
Kirill Gerstein continued his partnership with Semyon Bychkov on 31 August, joining the conductor and the BBC Symphony Orchestra to perform Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.1:
"[Gerstein] delivered the slow movement with improvisatory freedom and dazzled with crystalline virtuosity in the finale." (Daily Telegraph)
Lise Davidsen gives first concert as Bergen Philharmonic's Artist-in-Residence
Lise Davidsen joins Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic in Bergen's City Square on 18 August 2017 for a free open air concert centred on the works of Grieg. The concert also marks the beginning of Davidsen's season as the orchestra's Artist in Residence, during which she gives performances of Wagner, Sibelius and Verdi alongside recitals with James Baillieu. She also joins Gardner and the orchestra for a recording session for Chandos in May 2018.
Davidsen then travels to Ireland for the Wexford Opera Festival, where she sings the title role of Cherubini Medea from 19 October. Elsewhere this season she also makes her debut at Wiener Staatsoper in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos and performs in concert with the Oslo Philharmonic.
Lise Davidsen makes her Proms debut with the BBC Philharmonic
Lise Davidsen makes her BBC Proms debut on 10 August with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of John Storgårds. Davidsen joins the orchestra to perform Sibelius Luonnotar and excerpts from Grieg Peer Gynt.
The concert marks Davidsen's second major UK debut of the summer, following her triumphant appearance as in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos at Glyndebourne:
"It's one of the greatest voices I have heard"
Observer, June 2017
"...you may banish me to Naxos if she doesn’t become the most wanted Wagnerian soprano of her generation"
Times, June 2017
After appearing at the Royal Albert Hall, Davidsen returns to her native Norway, where she opens the season as the Bergen Philharmonic's Artist in Residence. Davidsen starts her residency with an open air concert in Bergen's City Square with Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic. The residency, which continues throughout the season, features performances of Wagner and Sibelius as well as recitals with James Baillieu.
Other highlights in the forthcoming season include the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos in company debuts with Wiener Staatsoper and Festival d'Aix en Provence, the title role of Medea in Wexford and numerous recital and concert appearances including Strauss’s Op. 27 Songs and Vier letzte Lieder with the Oslo Philharmonic and Wesendonk Lieder with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra.
"It will surely go down as one of those 'I was there' moments": Lise Davidsen's Glyndebourne debut
Lise Davidsen made her Glyndebourne debut in the title role Ariadne auf Naxos on 25 June to universal acclaim, described as "utterly amazing" and set to be "the most wanted Wagnerian soprano of her generation".
Read the reviews so far:
“It will surely go down as one of those “I was there” moments. The Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen is still only 30. Now she has made her British stage debut in the title role of Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos…vocally she was in another league. So penetrating is the Davidsen instrument that by the end of the run there will be sheep in adjoining Sussex fields who are word-perfect on von Hofmannsthal’s libretto… her voice — impeccably rounded in tone with ringing top notes and a startlingly vibrant lower register — triggered full-body shivers… it’s Davidsen who makes the splash: you may banish me to Naxos if she doesn’t become the most wanted Wagnerian soprano of her generation.”
Times, June 2017
“Lise Davidsen, the inordinately talented young Norwegian lyric dramatic soprano, was magnificent as Ariadne, her journey from abandonment to love transcending the scenic nonsense around her.”
What’s on Stage, June 2017
“In the title role…young Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen surpasses all expectations that her recent competition triumphs have ignited: her voice is a magnificent organ, with stops that can produce great swells of firm tone as well as threads of delicately shimmering silver. Nothing is merely blasted out for cheap effect, and every phrase is shaped with sensitivity. She also emerges as a witty, expressive actress who moves with grace and dignity. What fabulous potential there is here.”
Daily Telegraph, June 2017
“Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen, making her festival debut…[has] a gorgeous bloom at the top matched to a sonorous, mezzo-ish middle and smoky low register: her deep “Totenreich” at the beginning of her main aria was awe-inspiring."
Bachtrack, June 2017
"In the title role, the Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen was utterly amazing…and sang with a voice so pure and so powerful that it had the audience enraptured and enthralled. Already the winner of several prestigious international singing competitions, she seems destined, with the appearance and voice of a Valkyrie, to become one of the greatest Wagnerians."
Daily Express, June 2017
"Davidsen’s gloriously full and shining soprano transforms Ariadne… It’s no effort for Davidsen to swell through Strauss’s elated vocal peaks, her soprano bursting with lustre, but she can hold her huge voice back, too, shaping cool threads of sound to convey Ariadne’s vulnerability."
Opera Today, June 2017
A revival of Katharina Thoma’s 2013 production, Davidsen is joined by Sir Thomas Allen, Erin Morley and Angela Brower with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Cornelius Meister.
Performances of Ariadne auf Naxos run until 27 July. The 2017/18 season sees Davidsen making her debut as Medea by Cherubini at the Wexford Festival whilst Ariadne becomes the vehicle for two major company debuts: Wiener Staatsoper and the Aix-en-Provence Festival.
Photo credit: Robert Workman
Lise Davidsen stars in title role of Ariadne auf Naxos in debut at Glyndebourne
Lise Davidsen makes her debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera on 25 June 2017, performing in the title role in Strauss Ariadne auf Naxos. Conducted by Cornelius Meister, Davidsen joins Sir Thomas Allen, Erin Morley and Angela Brower in the revival of Katharina Thoma’s production.
Davidsen reprises the role after a critically acclaimed performance with the Arctic Opera and Symphony Orchestra:
“Making her much-anticipated debut as Ariadne, Davidsen triumphed. She towered a head above everyone else in the Prologue and proved herself a fine comic actress, but she truly shone in the Opera. From her first pained cry as Ariadne, the voice blossomed into breath-taking beauty, with a creamy bottom register and glowing top. The ecstatic climax of 'Es gibt ein Reich' had my jaw on the floor, and she proved equally rapturous in the final duet.”
Bachtrack, March 2017
Click here to watch Davidsen performing “Es gibt ein Reich” during the run with the Arctic Opera and Symphony Orchestra.
So far this season, Davidsen has made a series of notable role and house debuts: Agathe in a new production of Der Freischütz at Opernhaus Zürich, Isabella Das Liebesverbot at Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires, and Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana at Norwegian National Opera. This summer she appears at the BBC Proms with John Storgårds and the BBC Philharmonic. Engagements next season include her Wiener Staatsoper and Aix-en-Provence debuts, as well as numerous concert and recital appearances, including a residency with the Bergen Philharmonic.
Performances of Ariadne auf Naxos run until 27 July.
"Ready to take on the world": Lise Davidsen's UK recital debut reviewed
Lise Davidsen’s UK recital debut at the Wigmore Hall has received fantastic reviews from critics, described as “thrilling” with “stunning power and presence”:
"This Rosenblatt recital at Wigmore Hall was something special. A beautifully judged programme – a healthy balance of showcase and substance – punctuated sets of songs by Grieg, Strauss and Sibelius with arias from Andrea Chénier, Tannhäuser and Cherubino’s Medea, among others. Davidsen made it clear in her ingenuous spoken introduction that this was a musical portrait not just of her current voice and self, but also a glimpse into the future."
The Arts Desk
"Ready to take on the world... It is already clear that Davidsen, 30, is set for a career in opera, and that the career will be a big one. The only question is how big. If it is to be commensurate with the size of her voice, it will be huge... There is no need to alert the Royal Opera to her vocal powers. They could probably hear this recital from there"
"If the stunning power, shining colour and absolute ease that she demonstrated in a well-chosen programme of song and opera are anything to judge by, Glyndebourne audiences are in for a tremendous treat this summer"
To book tickets to see Lise Davidsen as Ariadne auf Naxos this summer, visit the Glyndebourne website.
Lise Davidsen nominated for the 2017 Nordic Council Music Prize
Lise Davidsen is one of the nominees for the Nordic Council Music Prize 2017, it was announced on 26 April 2017. The prize is awarded for musicianship of the highest standard in alternate years to a piece of music by a living composer and to a musician or ensemble. The winner will be announced and the prize awarded in Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, on 1 November.
The first Music Prize was awarded in 1965 and it has been an annual event since 1990. The Nordic Council of Ministers appoints an adjudication committee to select the winner of the Prize, consisting of one member from each of the five Nordic countries. Last year’s winner was Hans Abrahamsen from Denmark for the song cycle “Let Me Tell You”.
The nomination is the latest in a series of awards for Davidsen, following her triumphs at the Operalia and Queen Sonia competitions in 2015. 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.
Lise Davidsen makes London recital debut at Wigmore Hall
Lise Davidsen makes her London recital debut on 9 May 2017 at the Rosenblatt Recital Series at Wigmore Hall. Accompanied by James Baillieu, Davidsen performs songs and arias by Grieg, Sibelius, Giordano, Verdi, Cherubini, Mascagni, Wagner and Strauss.
So far this season, Davidsen has made a series of notable role and house debuts: as Agathe in a new production of Der Freischütz at Opernhaus Zürich, Isabella Das Liebesverbot at Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires and Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana at Norwegian National Opera. This summer she makes a highly anticipated debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos and appears at the BBC Proms with John Storgårds and the BBC Philharmonic.
Engagements next season include her Wiener Staatsoper and Aix-en-Provence debuts as well as numerous concert and recital appearances, including a residency with the Bergen Philharmonic.
Intermusica at the 2017 BBC Proms
The BBC announced the line-up for the 2017 Proms on 20 April 2017, and as ever Intermusica artists and orchestras play a leading role in the festival. Every Prom is broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and on the BBC website, with select concerts broadcast on BBC television live or at a later date.
Simon Halsey’s Proms Youth Choir give the opening concert of the Proms on 14 July, performing John Adams Harmonium alongside the BBC Symphony Chorus and BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner.
Joshua Weilerstein makes his debut at the Proms on 19 July, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra at 7.30pm the Royal Albert Hall. Weilerstein conducts a programme of Rebel Les élémens – le chaos, Berlioz Symphonie fantastique and Pascal Dusapin’s cello concerto Outscape, for which he is joined by his sister, cellist Alisa Weilerstein.
Nicholas Collon and his Aurora Orchestra return to the Proms to perform another symphony from memory at 7.30pm on 22 July. This time, they perform Beethoven Symphony No.3 ‘Eroica’, preceded by an introduction from Tom Service accompanied by excerpts from Collon and the orchestra. The programme for the concert also includes Strauss Metamorphosen.
John Wilson makes the first of two appearances at this year’s Proms at 6.30pm on 25 July when he performs with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Wilson, the orchestra’s Associate Guest Conductor, leads the orchestra in a programme of Vaughan Williams Symphony No.9 and Holst The Planets.
Christopher Purves also makes two appearances at the Proms this year, with his first coming on 27 July. Purves joins Juanjo Mena, the BBC Philharmonic and the Crouch End Festival Chorus to perform the London premiere of Mark Simpson The Immortal, an oratorio inspired by Victorian séances.
Mark Wigglesworth is joined by pianist Stephen Hough and the BBC Philharmonic at 7.30pm on 29 July to perform Brahms Piano Concerto No.1, David Sawyer The Greatest Happiness on Earth and Haydn Symphony No.99.
Sir James MacMillan’s European Requiem receives its European premiere at the Proms at 7pm on 30 July from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and conductor Xian Zhang, with Jacques Imbrailo performing as the baritone soloist.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner returns to the Proms on 2 August with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, this time for a late night Prom at the Royal Albert Hall at 10.15pm. Gardiner conducts his ensembles in a performance of cantatas by Bach and Schütz.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner makes his second Proms appearance of the year at 7.30pm on 8 August, this time conducting the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique in a performance of Berlioz La damnation du Faust.
Lise Davidsen makes her debut at the Proms at 7.30pm on 10 August with the BBC Philharmonic and John Storgårds. Davidsen joins the orchestra to perform Sibelius Luonnotar and extracts from Grieg Peer Gynt.
John Wilson’s second Proms appearance this year comes on 11 August when his John Wilson Orchestra returns for its annual concert. This year, Wilson leads the orchestra in two performances of Rogers & Hammerstein Oklahoma!, at 2pm and 7.30pm.
Christopher Purves joins the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle for a performance of Schoenberg Gurrelieder at 7.30pm on 19 August. Also performing are three of Simon Halsey’s choruses – City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Chorus and Orfeó Català. Halsey also leads a Gurrelieder Proms Extra Sing Day at London Imperial College earlier that day.
Tim Mead returns to the Proms alongside John Butt and the Dunedin Consort for the third concert of the Proms’ Reformation Day at 7.45pm on 20 August. Mead follows last year’s Bach Mass in B minor with Bach St John Passion, singing alongside a cast that also includes Sophie Bevan, Nicholas Mulroy, Matthew Brook and Andrew Tortise.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score® appears at the Proms at 7.30pm on 23 August, with a performance of Dvorák Symphony No.9 ‘From the New World’ given by the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder alongside a multi-media exploration of the symphony directed by Beyond the Score founder Gerard McBurney.
Leonidas Kavakos reunites with Riccardo Chailly at 6.30pm on 25 August, as Intermusica bring the conductor and his Filarmonica della Scala to the Proms to perform Brahms and Respighi. Kavakos joins the orchestra for Brahms Violin Concerto, which is followed by Respighi Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome.
Joélle Harvey returns to the Proms as Glyndebourne’s production of Mozart La clemenza di Tito comes to the Royal Albert Hall at 7pm on 28 August. Harvey takes the role of Servilia, with accompaniment from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Robin Ticciati.
Intermusica is delighted to bring the Oslo Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko to the Proms at 7.30pm on 29 August. Petrenko conducts the orchestra in an all-Russian programme of Stravinsky The Firebird (1919 version), Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.4 and Shostakovich Symphony No.12.
The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra bring an all-Mendelssohn programme to the Proms this year from 1pm on 3 September. Conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado, the orchestra perform Mendelssohn Hebrides Overture, Violin Concerto with Isabelle Faust and Symphony No.5
Ben Johnson joins Sakari Oramo, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and an international cast of soloists for the Last Night of the Proms on 9 September. The Last Night begins from 7.15pm and will be broadcast live on BBC Two, and Johnson sings Kodály Te Deum.
Lise Davidsen makes her role and house debut as Isabella in Das Liebesverbot at Teatro Colon
Lise Davidsen travels to Buenos Aires this month to sing her first Isabella in Wagner Das Liebesverbot at Teatro Colon, her debut with the company, from 25 April 2017. Kasper Holten’s new production is conducted by Oliver von Dohnányi.
Davidsen’s run as Isabella is just one of a number of major role and house debuts this season, beginning with Agathe Der Freischütz at Opernhaus Zürich and also including Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana at Norwegian National Opera and the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos with North Norwegian Opera and Symphony Orchestra, a role that she reprises this summer for her much-anticipated UK debut with Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
Das Liebesverbot runs from 25 April until 2 May.
Ingo Metzmacher & Lise Davidsen nominated at the 2017 International Opera Awards
Ingo Metzmacher and Lise Davidsen have both been nominated for awards at the 2017 International Opera Awards, with both being selected as finalists for their achievements over the 2016 calendar year.
Metzmacher is nominated in the Conductor category. A highlight of 2016 for Metzmacher was Barrie Kosky's new production of Shostakovich The Nose at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Metzmacher’s conducting of this unique score was unanimously praised by the critics, with the Guardian commenting that "Ingo Metzmacher conducts the score with brittle brilliance, every orchestral effect raspingly precise."
Lise Davidsen is nominated in the Young Singer category following a year that included debuts at Oper Frankfurt in the company's Ring Cycle and as Agathe in Der Freischütz at Opernhaus Zürich, where Die Welt praised her "beautiful" and "beguiling voice".
The winners of the 2017 International Opera Awards will be announced on 7 May at the London Coliseum.
Lise Davidsen sings Strauss Four Last Songs in debut at the Concertgebouw
Lise Davidsen travels to Amsterdam this month to give her debut performance at the Concertgebouw, singing Strauss Four Last Songs with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Edo de Waart on 29 January 2017. They also perform the piece at the Tivoli Vredenburg concert Hall in Utrecht on 27 January.
Davidsen also sings Four Last Songs in February with the Oslo Philharmonic. Further highlights for Davidsen this season include her debut at this summer’s Glyndebourne Festival Opera in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos, which she also sings this season with Arctic Opera and the Philharmonic Orchestra. She also makes her role debut as Isabella in Wagner Das Liebesverbot at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.
Lise Davidsen debuts as Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana with Den Norske Opera
Lise Davidsen makes her role debut as Santuzza in Mascagni Cavalleria rusticana with Norwegian National Opera on 17 December 2016. Performing under the baton of Robert Trevino and directed by Kasper Holten and Paul Curran, Davidsen stars alongside fellow Intermusica artist Marita Sølberg, who plays the role of Nedda.
Santuzza is Davidsen's second role debut of the season. She opened the 2016/17 season with her role debut as Agathe in Weber Der Freischütz with Opernhaus Zürich to great acclaim:
“the soprano Lise Davidsen is wonderful, elegant, and moulded her part perfectly.”
Aargauer Zeitung, September 2016
“Agathe is the vocal surprise of the evening. [...] you will surely find her again in the German Wagnerian repertoire in the not too distant future. This supremely pure Agathe made an impression.”
Online Musik Magazin, September 2016
Cavalleria rusticana continues until 17 January.
“Lise Davidsen had terrifically strong projection and voice modulation. Her soprano has a silvery gleam, and her passages from high to middle voice were seamless.”
Bachtrack, October 2016
Lise Davidsen makes her debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra in Verdi Requiem
Lise Davidsen makes her debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra on 3 November 2016 in a performance of Verdi Requiem conducted by Edward Gardner at the Royal Festival Hall. Davidsen performs alongside soloists Karen Cargill, René Barbera and Alexander Vinogradov, as well as the Rodolfus Choir and the Philharmonia Voices.
Following her performance in London, Lise travels to Berlin to take part in the 23rd Grand Opera Gala in support of the German Aids Foundation at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 5 November. Davidsen sings alongside a star line-up that includes Patrizia Ciofi, Gregory Kunde, Edwin Crossley-Mercer and Michael Spyres, whilst William Spaulding conducts the choir and orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. The proceeds from the charity event will benefit the work of the German AIDS Foundation in Germany and the HOPE Cape Town project in South Africa.
Further engagements this season include Santuzza Cavalleria rusticana at the Norwegian National Opera, as well as the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos with both North Norway Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2017.
Lise Davidsen makes role debut as Agathe in Der Freischütz at Opernhaus Zürich
Lise Davidsen begins the 2016/17 season at Opernhaus Zürich, where she makes her debut as Agathe in Herbert Fritsch's new production of Der Freischütz on 18 September 2016. The role marks Davidsen’s first major debut in a leading role, ahead of a season which includes operatic appearances such as Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana with Norwegian National Opera in Oslo, Isabelle Das Liebesverbot with Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and her much anticipated Glyndebourne Festival debut in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos.
Concert appearances for Davidsen this season include Verdi Requiem with 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; a Rosenblatt Recital at the Wigmore Hall; and an appearance at the AIDS Gala in Berlin.
Further performances of Der Freischütz continue until 22 October. Click here for full details.
Glyndebourne 2017: Brett Dean’s Hamlet world premiere & Lise Davidsen’s UK debut
Glyndebourne Festival’s 2017 programme was announced on Tuesday 3 May, and features the world premiere of Brett Dean’s new opera Hamlet and Lise Davidsen’s UK debut in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos.
Brett Dean’s Hamlet, with a libretto by Matthew Jocelyn based on Shakespeare’s play, receives its world premiere on 11 June. Allan Clayton sings the title role with Sarah Connolly as Gertrude, Barbara Hannigan as Ophelia, Rod Gilfry as Claudius, Kim Begley as Polonius, and Sir John Tomlinson as Ghost of Old Hamlet. Neil Armfield directs and Vladimir Jurowksi conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The opera is a commission by Glyndebourne Festival.
Lise Davidsen makes her UK operatic debut as Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos in Katharina Thoma’s production, opening on 25 June. After her wins at the Operalia, Queen Sonja and Belvedere competitions, Davidsen has also been announced as an HSBC Aix en Provence Laureate, and the winner of the Gladsaxe Music Prize 2016 and the Statsoil Bursary Award. Other engagements next season include Agathe in a new production of Der Freischütz in Zurich, Four Last Songs at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam with Edo de Wart, Verdi’a Requiem in London with the Philharmonia and Edward Gardner, and Isabella Das Liebesverbot at Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires.
Full cast details of Glyndebourne Festival 2017 will be announced at a later date. Priority booking for the 2017 festival begins on 1 December, while public booking opens on 5 March.
Lise Davidsen makes company debut at Oper Frankfurt in the Ring Cycle
Lise Davidsen makes her debut at Oper Frankfurt in the theatre’s upcoming Ring Cycle, beginning with the role of Freia in Das Rheingold on 5 May 2016.
The cycle is conducted by Sebastian Weigle and directed by Vera Nemirova. Davidsen performs as Freia again on 1 July and also sings the Third Norn in Götterdämmerung on 16 May and 17 July.
Davidsen received universal acclaim last summer as the winner of Operalia and Queen Sonja competitions:
“Lise Davidsen, 28, is an extraordinary, distinctive dramatic soprano with a brilliant Wagnerian career ahead of her if her exhilarating performance of ‘Dich Teure Halle’ from Wagner’s Tannhäuser in this final is anything to go by. She has tremendous stature and presence, singing with a radiant tone that has an attractive, fluty purity and a laser’s edge that cuts through an orchestra playing at full tilt.”
Opera Now, September 2015
Next season Davidsen makes her house and role debut as Agathe in a new production of Der Freischutz at Opernhaus Zurich, performs Strauss Vier Laetzte Lieder at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam with Edo de Wart and makes her company debuts with Teatro Colon and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. In the future she makes major company debuts including at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, Aix en Provence Festivals and Teatro Real, Madrid.
Lise Davidsen sings at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony
Lise Davidsen returns to her native Norway to perform as part of the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize ceremony on 10 December 2015, the culmination of a week long programme of activities.
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for its contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia. Davidsen will perform just before the award is given to the quartet, in the presence of King Harald V of Norway.
Read more about the events taking place during Nobel Week here.
Lise Davidsen named HSBC Laureate of the Académie of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence
Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen have been named as 2015 HSBC Laureate of the Académie of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, a scheme which supports young artists chosen from amongst the Académie’s most promising vocal talent. Each year, supported by HSBC France, the Festival provides the opportunity for the selection of young singers to perform throughout France and internationally, whilst offering them promotional and recording opportunities.
Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen is highly sought after, following her recent successes at the London’s 2015 Operalia competition (at which she was awarded first prize, the Birgit Nilsson Award and the Audience Prize) and the Queen Sonja International Music Competition, where she won first prize and the Ingrid Bjoner Scholarship for the best performance of Norwegian music. Earlier this week it was announced that she would receive the prestigious Statoil talent scholarship ahead of her Bayerische Staatosper debut on 28 November. Davidsen attended d’Aix-en-Provence Mozart Residency in 2013 and in 2014 returned to work with Waltraud Meier for the residency, A Tribute to Patrice Chèreau.
Lise Davidsen announced as winner of Statoil Talent Scholarship
Lise Davidsen has been announced as the winner of Statoil's talent scholarship. The scholarship’s objective is to open doors for talented musicians. The scholarship is worth NOK 1 million and will be presented at Statoil's Autumn Conference on 23 November 2015.
"Lise Davidsen has become something of a household name in the last six months; rarely has anyone made a bigger entrance on to the Norwegian and international music scene. She has won major singing contests in London and Oslo, while capturing the hearts of audiences. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to hear her sing 'live' have been struck by the power and purity of her voice, her sensitive musicianship and her strong stage presence," says chairman of the awaring jury Leif Ove Andsnes.
Statoil has supported talented classical musicians since 1990. Previous recipients of the classical music scholarship include Ole Edvard Antonsen, Mari Eriksmoen, Christian Ihle Hadland, Vilde Frang Bjærke, and Marianne Thorsen.
Lise Davidsen makes Bayerische Staatsoper debut as Ortlinde in Die Walküre
Lise Davidsen makes her debut at Bayerische Staatsoper on 28 November 2015 when she taeks the role of Ortlinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre under the baton of Simone Young. The cast also includes Klaus Florian Vogt as Sigemund, Hans-Peter König as Hunding and Thomas Mayedr as Wotan.
Davidsen had a triumphant summer this year, winning the Operalia competition in London, Queen Sonja Competition in Oslo and second place in the Belvedere Competition in Amsterdam.
"Lise Davidsen from Norway blasted everyone out of the water with a thrilling 'Dich, teure Halle' from Tannhäuser. Her performance was admirably direct and succinct."
Opera Now, September 2015
“Davidsen … her voice is unquestionably impressive – solid, even, rounded and shining – and her style refreshingly honest.”
Opera, September 2015
Later in the 2015/16 season, Davidsen continues with the Ring Cycle performances, this time at Frankfurt Opera in summer 2016 where she sings Freia Das Rheingold and Third Norn Götterdämmerung. Further ahead, she makes her debut in leading roles with Opern Zurich, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Den Norkse Opera and Teatro Real.
Further performances of Die Walküre take place on 2 and 5 of October.
Lise Davidsen performs at the Bergen Philharmonic 250 Anniversary Gala
Lise Davidsen joins the Bergen Philharmonic in their Anniversary Gala Concerts on 8 and 9 October 2015. One of the world’s oldest orchestras, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra dates back to 1765 and is celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2015. The concerts are conducted by Music Director Edward Gardner and Andrew Litton, who was at the helm of the orchestra from 2003 until 2015. The line-up also features Leif Ove Andsnes (piano) and Truls Mørk (cello).
The concerts are a welcome return to Bergen for Davidsen, who is an alumna of the city’s Grieg Academy of Music. Later this month Davidsen performs in concert for the Kirsten Flagstad Society and then goes on to make her Bayerische Staatsoper debut as Ortlinde in Die Walküre.
Lise Davidsen wins The Queen Sonja International Music Competition
Lise Davidsen finished a triumphant competition run by being crowned winner of The Queen Sonja International Music Competition by Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway in Oslo on 21 Friday 2015. Davidsen collected three prizes in total; the 1st prize (€40,000), the prize for the best performance of Norwegian music (€1,500), and the Ingrid Bjoner Scholarship for the best Norwegian participant (NOK 75,000). Her repertoire was 'Morro ma prima in grazia' from Un ballo in maschera and 'Dich teure Halle' from Tannhäuser.
Davidsen's victory in the competition follows hot on the heels of her success at Placido Domingo’s Operalia, where she won the first prize and was also awarded the Audience Prize and the Birgit Nilsson Prize. Earlier in the season Davidsen also competed in the prestigious Belvedere competition in Amsterdam, where she took home the Second Prize, the Audience Prize and the International Media Prize.
Davidsen received great acclaim from Sophie de Lint, Chair of the competition jury:
"As a member of the jury in a singing competition, one is always hoping to discover the new 'perle rare'. Lise Davidsen definitely is a special talent who will have a major impact on the opera world. The colour of her warm and velvety voice mixed with technical assurance and refined artistry make her absolutely unique among the new generation of singers."
Davidsen’s engagements next season include 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 as Freia Das Rheingold and Third Norn Die Götterdämmerung. Looking further ahead, she makes company debuts in leading roles at Opernhaus Zurich, Glyndebourne Festival, Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Teatro Real.
Lise Davidsen makes role debut as Freia in Das Rheingold with Odense Symphony Orchestra
Lise Davidsen, the winner of Opera 2015, makes her role debut as Freia Das Rheingold with the Odense Symfoniorkester on 4 September 2015 in a concert performance at the Carl Nielsen Hall, Odense. The concert, conducted by Alexander Vedernikov, is part of the build up to the Odense Symfoniorkester’s fully staged Ring Cycle performances to celebrate the opening of the Odeon Music and Theatre Hall in 2017. In this performance Davidsen sings alongside Thomas Johannes Mayer as Wotan, Lioba Braun as Fricka and Pablo Hunka as Alberich.
Davidsen’s engagements this season include two notable house debuts: at Bavarian State Opera as Ortlinde Die Walküre and at Frankfurt Opera for its Ring Cycle in summer 2016 as Freia Das Rheingold and Third Norn Die Götterdämmerung. Looking further ahead, she makes company debuts in leading roles at Opernhaus Zurich, Glyndebourne Festival, Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Teatro Real.
Intermusica artists reach finals of The Queen Sonja International Music Competition
Two Intermusica artists have reached the finals of The Queen Sonja International Music Competition on 21 August 2015. Soprano Lise Davidsen and baritone Alexey Lavrov join a line-up of five singers, whittled down from the 42 that made competed in the preliminary rounds.
The finalists are accompanied by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra on the main stage of the Norwegian opera house, and the finals will be broadcasted live on Norwegian television in the presence of Queen Sonja of Norway.
Lise Davidsen, who won the 2015 Operalia and Belvedere competitions, will sing 'Morrò, ma prima …' from Un ballo in Maschera and 'Dich teure Halle' from Tannhäuser, her winning aria from Operalia. Davidsen's 2015/16 season includes Freia in a concert performance of Das Rheingold with the Odense Symphony Orchestra 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 will sing Freia Das Rheingold and Third Norn Die Götterdämmerung.
Russian baritone Alexey Lavrov will perform ‘Vy mne pisali’ from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Silvio’s aria ‘E fra quest'ansie’ from Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci – a role he sings this season in Santiago and at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. Other engagements in the forthcoming season include Schaunard La bohème and Malatesta Don Pasquale, both at the Metropolitan Opera.
Lise Davidsen wins Operalia
Fresh from her breakthrough Belvedere Competition success, young dramatic soprano Lise Davidsen was crowned the winner of Plácido Domingo’s Operalia, as well as talking home the Audience Prize and the Birgit Nilsson Award, on Sunday 19 July 2015. In the gala concert, held at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, her ‘Dich, teure Halle, Grüss ich wider’ from Wagner’s Tännhauser won huge acclaim from members of the international jury and the audience alike. She was accompanied by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House with Plácido Domingo conducting, before he hosted the awards ceremony.
Watch her winning performance of ‘Dich, teure Halle, Grüss ich wider’ on Medici.tv, from 1.18.13, here.
Having been selected from nearly 1000 applications to take place in the finals in London before being whittled down to the 11 grand finalists, Davidsen is now part of a small group of Operalia laureates including Sonya Yoncheva, José Cura, Ana Maria Martinez, John Osborn, Joyce DiDonato, Nina Stemme and Rolando Villazon.
Plácido Domingo spoke to Classical Source about his ambitions for the competition before the grand final:
“My purpose in Operalia is to help identify not only the best voices, but also to discover those singers whose personalities, characters and powers of interpretation show that they have the potential to become complete artists. Individuals such as these become tomorrow’s stars.”
Classical Source, July 2015
Davidsen’s engagements next season include 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 as Freia Das Rheingold and Third Norn Die Götterdämmerung. Looking further ahead, she will make her debut in leading roles with Glyndebourne Festival and Opern Zurich.
Lise Davidsen through to the Operalia Grand Final
Fresh from winning three prizes at the 2015 International Hans Belvedere Singing Competition in Amsterdam, Lise Davidsen caused a stir last night in the semi-finals of Plácido Domingo Operalia competition at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, qualifying for the Grand Finals on Sunday 19 July.
In Sunday evening's Gala concert, the eleven finalists will perform on the stage of the Royal Opera House, accompanied by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House with Plácido Domingo conducting. The competition finals will bestow two $30,000 first prizes, two $20,000 second prizes and two $10,000 third prizes, with one male and one female singer receiving prizes in each category. In addition, one man and woman will each receive the $15,000 Birgit Nilsson prize for his or her performance of an aria by Richard Strauss or Richard Wagner. Two audience-prize winners, awarded by a poll of those in attendance at the finals concert, will receive watches offered by Rolex, the competition sponsor. Finally, Bertita and Guillermo Martinez from CulturArte de Puerto Rico will bestow the $10,000 CulturArte Prize.
Davidsen will sing her lauded interpretation of Wagner's 'Dich, teure Halle, Grüss ich wider' from Tännhauser.
Lise Davidsen wins three prizes at International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition 2015
Lise Davidsen has made a significant impact at the 2015 International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Amsterdam, winning the 2nd place prize as well as taking home the Prize of the International Media-Jury and the Audience Prize.
Davidson prevailed against competed against 1,312 singers who had auditioned in 60 cities around the world. Of these, 160 qualified as semi-finalists for the finals in Amsterdam last week, 15 of whom moved onto the grand finale.
Later this summer, Davidsen takes part in the Operalia competition at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Queen Sonja Music Competition in Oslo.
Off the competition platform, Davidsen makes two notable house debuts in the 2015/16 season, first at Bavarian State Opera as Ortlinde Die Walküre and then at Frankfurt Opera for its Ring Cycle in summer 2016. Looking further ahead she makes her debut in leading roles with Glyndebourne Festival and Opernhaus Zurich.
Soprano Lise Davidsen joins Intermusica
We are delighted to announce the signing of exciting young dramatic soprano Lise Davidsen for worldwide management, excluding Scandinavia.
A 2014 graduate of the Opera Academy in Copenhagen, Davidsen has attracted serious attention since the outset of her musical training. She made her Royal Danish Opera in the 2012/13 season as the Dog and Owl The Cunning Little Vixen by Janáček and has returned since to sing Emilia Otello and Rosalinde Der Fledermaus, a role for which she awarded the “Reumert Talent Prize” for 2014. Very recently she sang the title role of Sancta Susanna in Oslo and this month she was awarded the Kirstin Flagstadt Prize.
Next season she will make her house debuts with Bayerische Staatsoper as Ortlinde Die Walküre and Frankfurt Opera in their Ring revival. Future engagements include leading roles with Glyndebourne Festival, Opernhaus Zurich and Den Norske Opera.