Lyric dramatic soprano Lise Davidsen has attracted serious attention since she was crowned winner of both the Operalia and the Queen Sonja competitions in 2015. Growing up in Stokke, a rural town in south-eastern Norway, Lise has been an artist to watch since she began her musical training.
Lise began studying guitar and singing at age fifteen. At first she favoured the guitar but, with more training, singing took prominence. Lise’s early teachers included Mona Skatteboe and Runa Skramstad, who gave her an excellent foundation in classical music.
Lise achieved her bachelor’s degree in classical singing in 2010 from the Grieg Academy of Music in Bergen, Norway. During this time she worked with many notable singers including Bettina Smith and Hilde Haraldsen Sveen and joined the Norwegian Soloists Choir as a mezzo soprano, under artistic director Grete Pedersen.
While studying for a master’s degree at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Lise’s teacher, Susanna Eken, urged her to develop her voice for the world of opera as a soprano. Lise’s first major engagement as a soprano was in 2011 at the Young Talent Concert in Bergen, singing arias by Strauss and Wagner with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Rory Macdonald.
Lise made her Royal Danish Opera debut in the 2012/13 season as the Dog and Owl in The Cunning Little Vixen. She has since returned to sing Emilia Otello and Rosalinde Die Fledermaus, and was awarded the Reumert Talentpris. In the same season, she was a part of the Mozart residency at Aix-en-Provence, where she was instantly reinvited for the following year to work with Waltraud Meier for the residency A Tribute to Patrice Chèreau.
In 2014, Lise graduated from the Opera Academy in Copenhagen and had the honour of receiving the Léonie Sonning talent prize and Danis Singers Award 2014. She also received financial support from the Skipsreder Tom Wilhelmsen, Karen and Arthur Feldthusens and Sine Butenschøns Foundations.
2015 was a standout year for Lise; her breakthrough performances won her the first prize, Birgit Nilsson Award and Audience Prize at the Operalia competition in London, in addition to the first prize, the prize for the best performance of Norwegian music and the Ingrid Bjoner Scholarship at the Queen Sonja International Music Competition. She was also a triple winner at the 2015 Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Amsterdam and received the HSBC Aix-en-Provence Laureate and Statoil Talent Bursary Award in the same year.
The 18/19 season sees Lise make her Bayreuth debut as Elisabeth in a new production of Tannhäuser conducted by Valery Gergiev. The role is also a vehicle for returns to Opernhaus Zürich and Bayerische Staatsoper. Other highlights include her debut as Liza Queen of Spades at Oper Stuttgart and a company debut with Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in their Ring Cycle. On the concert platform she makes a highly anticipated return to the BBC Proms with Verdi’s Requiem together with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrés Orozco Estrada as well appearing at the Edinburgh International Festival with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko and a programme of Strauss songs. Further performances throughout the season include Vier letzte Lieder with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Stavanger Orchestra and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; an open air concert with Oslo Philharmonic; 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; Wesendonck Lieder and Rückert-Lieder with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra; and solo recitals with James Baillieu at Opernhaus Zürich and Schubertiada Vilabertran.