Lise Davidsen In Puccini’S Tosca. Photo: Thor Brødreskift

Rave reviews for Lise Davidsen's Tosca

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May 29, 2023

‘A Tosca for the history books’, said one reviewer after the opening night of the 2023 Bergen International Festival, where Lise Davidsen made her stage debut in the role.

Lise Davidsen is the artist in residence at the 2023 Bergen International Festival, and Tosca was the first of several events featuring the Norwegian star soprano.

With Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway present at the opening night, Lise Davidsen wowed the audience and critics, together with fellow soloists tenor Freddie De Tommaso and Sir Bryn Terfel and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Edward Gardner. The performance garnered rave reviews, with the Norwegian national broadcaster NRK calling it ‘historic’ and ‘a unique event’.

The Bergen International Festival, the flagship of music and theatre festivals in the Nordic countries, began its 71st edition on Wednesday 24 May. The opening ceremony was the celebrated What Is the City but the People?, directed by Richard Gregory. The performance was a living, breathing portrait of the city where 150 members of the community were presented through photos and text fragments on a giant catwalk. The event drew an audience of 3500.

The 15-day festival contains hundreds of individual events. Other highlights include the world premiere of Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse’s newest play, Inside the Black Forest, Polish pianist Hania Rani, Norwegian singer-songwriters Nils Bech and Sondre Lerche, and classical stars Gautier Capuçon, Bomsori, Fabio Biondi with his ensemble Europa Galante as well as Isabelle Faust with Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. The Festival composer is Anne-Marie Ørbeck (1911–1996), the first Norwegian woman to compose a symphony, whose works are seldom performed today.

The Bergen International Festival continues until 7 June, and will end with its signature work, Edvard Grieg’s Concerto in A minor.

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