Rhinegold Photo credit: Ray Burmiston/Decca Classics
Lise Davidsen's hugely anticipated second solo album is launched today and released in March

Ashutosh Khandekar

Soprano Lise Davidsen’s new album launched today

10:02, 5th February 2021


Decca Classics has announced that soprano Lise Davidsen will be  releasing her second studio album on 26th March 2021. Recorded in London during the summer and autumn of 2020, Davidsen is accompanied on her new album by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder.


Opera Now described Davidsen as ‘A once in a generation Wagnerian’ when she appeared as our cover artist in November 2019. In her interview, Helena Mattheopoulos wrote: ‘Davidsen’s purity of the vocal line, the perfectly sustained and supported pianissimi, the sheer musicality in her subtle changes of colour filled me with wonder. For here was not only a unique voice, one of the greatest in my long musical operatic experience, but also a true, sensitive artist.’

Davidsen has  managed to appear in several productions  in Europe during 2020 in spite of the pandemic. She made her highly-anticipated house and role debut at Deutsche Oper Berlin in September, singing  Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre.  Reviewing the production  for Opera Now, Hugo Shirley wrote: ‘Davidsen unleashed a voice of all-enveloping grandeur and size in a role debut for the ages – a performance that will have done nothing to quell curiosity as to when the soprano, still in her early 30s, will make the seemingly inevitable switch to Brünnhilde.’  Lise was also chosen at short notice to perform the same role at Opera de Paris in November, marking her house debut there.


Above: A supreme Wagnerian: Lise Davidsen makes her role debut as Sieglinde at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, with Nina Stemme as Brünnhilde


At a time when online access has been a lifeline for opera lovers,  the Norwegian soprano made her Met Opera virtual debut in August 2020, in a performance streamed live from Oslo’s Oscarshall, one of the city’s royal palaces palaces.

This year brings the promise not only a new album, but further live roles including Ariadne auf Naxos (Ariadne) with the Vienna State Opera, Tannhäuser (Elisabeth) with the Bavarian State Opera in Munich  and at Bayreuth, and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Eva) with the Metropolitan Opera. Davidsen will also reprise her role as Sieglinde in Die Walküre at this year’s Bayreuth Festival.

The new album, Beethoven • Wagner • Verdi opens with Leonore’s tormented aria ‘Abscheulicher!’ from Beethoven’s Fidelio. Davidsen performed the role to great acclaim in at the Royal Opera House in 2020, just before lockdown cut short the run. Following this, the soprano has chosen to present some of the great operatic heroines from the German and Italian repertoire: Verdi’s Leonora from La forza del destino; Cherubini’s Medea, a role that saw her 2017 Wexford debut, and Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana, revealing a flair for verismo. Verdi’s ‘Ave Maria’ from Otello provides the perfect mood-setting for Der Engel (‘The Angel’) the first of Wagner’s five Wesendonck Lieder – a signature piece for Davidsen, giving us a  a glimpse of her future Isolde.

Read our interview with Lise Davidsen in the November 2019 issue of Opera Now, available in our complete digital archive. Subscribe today.


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