Ariadne auf Naxos - behind the scenes with Lise Davidsen

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Heading up the cast of Festival 2017’s Ariadne auf Naxos is rising star Lise Davidsen, making her Glyndebourne debut in the vocally challenging title role.

In our new short video we chat to Lise about the role, and take a look behind the scenes at the rehearsals.


An award-winning voice

Lise Davidsen is one of the most talented young singers in the world today, and comes to Glyndebourne fresh from winning a string of international awards for her exceptional voice. She has won Placido Domingo’s prestigious Operalia World Opera Competition and was awarded first place in the Queen Sonja International Music competition in her native Norway.

Her recent recital at Wigmore Hall received a rapturous response, with the Financial Times praising her ‘awesome voice’ and bachtrack calling it an ‘explosive London recital debut’.

‘Ariadne has been a dream role for a long time’ says Lise, ‘I’m very excited and maybe a bit scared that I finally get to do this wonderful role in a full production. Glyndebourne’s unique setting makes it a great place for a story like Ariadne’.


Lise Davidsen in rehearsals. Photo: James Bellorini


Jane Austen-land

‘I feel every rumour about Glyndebourne has come true’ says Lise, who is currently in rehearsals. ‘When I go home from rehearsals I walk from here to Lewes over the hills and it’s like being in Jane Austen-land. I feel everyone is calmer here, and I think that’s good.’

Katharina Thoma, who directed the original run of Ariadne in 2013, has returned to helm this year’s revival. ‘Since we have the stage director with us there’s room and time to make it personal for everyone’ says Lise. ‘There are so many new singers, so even though it’s a revival it feels like a new production.’


Director Katharina Thoma and Angela Brower (Composer) in rehearsals. Photo: James Bellorini


‘Ariadne really believes in love’

Katharina Thoma’s production adds a unique spin to the opera, relocating the action to a country house (very much like Glyndebourne) in the 1940s. As Lise explains, ‘Ariadne in this production wakes up in hospital because she has tried to take her own life, and she’s left by her husband who’s probably gone to war. She believes that he won’t come back so therefore there is no life for her either.’

For Lise, this is a timeless tale, ‘When you take it down to losing someone you love or being lost or abandoned, that fits any time. I think that’s what I like about [Ariadne] – she really believes in love, and I like that.’


Ariadne auf Naxos is on stage from 25 June – 27 July.

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