Norwegian opera singer Lise Davidsen whose voice has been described as „one in a million,” performed to a packed house at the Bucharest National Opera on Tuesday in a charity concert to raise money for cancer patients.
The 35-year-old, who began the concert dressed in a flowing black dress changed into a shimmery gold gown for the second half, won a standing ovation at the end of the night.
The Spanish conductor José Miguel Pérez-Sierra conducted a program that included works by Giuseppe Verdi, Richard Wagner and Pietro Mascagni.
New opera star British-Italian tenor Freddie De Tommaso, 28, also received thunderous applause for his dramatic performance.
In December, he became the youngest ever tenor to sing the role of the painter Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca at Covent Garden. His debut disc, ‘Passione’ which he released in March 2021, hit number one in the classical charts and was met with huge critical acclaim.
The concert drew opera lovers and public figures such as Tova Ben Nun-Cherbis, the president of Bucharest’s Laude-Reut school, Sandra Pralong, presidential adviser for relations with Romanians living abroad, and Alexandru Muraru, the special government representative in charge of fighting anti-Semitism and xenophobia.
The money raised from ticket sales will be donated to the Iasi Regional Institute of Oncology. The concert was interspersed with prerecorded video interviews with doctors and relatives of cancer patients.
The event came at the end of two years of inactivity caused by the pandemic and also marked the 75th anniversary of the resumption of performances after World War II.
Called „opera’s newest star’ by the Economist, Ms Davidsen grew up in a small town in Norway in a non-musical family and her first encounter with opera was when she was 20.
She discovered singing in high school choirs and Christmas pageants and learned guitar when she was 15.
She became serious enough about music that she went to the Grieg Academy, a conservatory in Bergen where she saw her first opera. She continued her studies in Copenhagen where her voice teacher spotted her potential.
It isn’t her first performance in Romania. In 2019, she took part in the “George Enescu” International Festival.
In March, she sung at a special benefit concert at the Metropolitan Opera in New York to support Ukraine. The proceeds went to relief efforts.