HomeLife StyleLise Davidsen, Star Soprano of the Met, Takes an Italian Turn

Lise Davidsen, Star Soprano of the Met, Takes an Italian Turn


It helped, Davidsen said, when the Met’s orchestra — led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, its music director — joined the cast in rehearsals. “You wouldn’t think that it takes 70 more musicians,” she added, “but they really help concentrate the way I sing.”

Nézet-Séguin and Davidsen have worked together since 2019, when she sang a concert “Fidelio” with him in Montreal. This “Forza” is their first staged collaboration. He called her “the dream singer,” not only because of her voice, but also because of “the million shades that she’s finding in it.”

What sets her apart from other sopranos, he said, is “really the combination of all those qualities in the service of every style.” And she is attuned and devoted to the specific sounds, and demands, of every composer she comes across, he added.

For now, the composers Davidsen is most comfortable with are from the German repertoire. But, as the “Forza” opening nears, she is confident about Italian opera, too. She also feels lucky, as a star singer offered roles without an audition, that she has the opportunity to sing Leonora on a stage like the Met’s.

“I know there are more obvious choices for this role,” she said, “so I really appreciate that they still want me to do it”; many singers wouldn’t get the chance, and “they become those one-role singers. If we’re able to trust other singers, then maybe the variety will be bigger as well.”

That’s especially important, she added, because she is aware that some won’t like her Leonora, or her Tosca next season.

“I fully stand by the fact that this is my take on them,” Davidsen said. “And if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. Then you go and see the next Tosca. It’s OK for me that it’s not for everyone.”



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