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Rising Star Davidsen lg 1015
Davidsen bows in Munich this month
© Charlotte Gundersen

LISE DAVIDSEN was the hit of the finals concert at the 2015 Operalia competition at London’s Royal Opera House. After Davidsen’s billowing, lissome soprano sailed through “Dich, teure Halle,” rising with almost insouciant ease to a ringing top B, she was greeted with a roar of approval and affection from the audience that stopped the show cold. Davidsen was awarded the competition’s first prize and its Birgit Nilsson prize, as well as the Rolex audience prize. In his review of the finals concert in The Financial Times, critic Richard Fairman wrote that Davidsen “put her name at the top of the list of young singers of her generation.” Only twenty-eight years old at the time of her victory, Davidsen has the potential to be a genuine dramatic soprano — a vocal phenomenon who sounds at her best in the music of Wagner and Richard Strauss.

Raised in Stokke, a small town in southeastern Norway, Davidsen studied at the Grieg Academy in Bergen before moving to Copenhagen to study at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and the Opera Academy. While still a student, Davidsen made her debut with Royal Danish Opera, where she sang Emilia in Otello and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, among other roles. Earlier this year, she made her Norwegian National Opera debut in Hindemith’s Sancta Susanna and won three prizes at the Belvedere Competition in Amsterdam.

Next month, Davidsen makes her Bayerische Staatsoper debut as Ortlinde in Die Walküre — the same role that was an early assignment for another Norwegian soprano, Kirsten Flagstad. Spring 2016 takes Davidsen to Frankfurt, where she sings Freia in Das Rheingold and the Third Norn in Götterdämmerung. Her calendar also holds future engagements in Glyndebourne, Zurich and Oslo.

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