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Star soprano Lise Davidsen: opera productions cannot hide behind tradition

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tar soprano Lise Davidsen says that opera productions cannot “hide behind tradition” and praised those that continue to keep the genre fresh.

The Norwegian singer, 35, who is due to perform at this year’s Last Night Of The Proms, said opera can “do what theatre… (and) movies can do”.

Speaking to the i newspaper, Davidsen recalled hearing crowds in Bayreuth, Germany, boo non-traditional performances of operas by Wagner, who did not appreciate “radical” reinterpretations of the composer’s works – which she described as “disrespectful”.

“We can’t hide behind tradition,” she said.

“What theatre can do, opera can do; what movies can do, opera can do.

We can’t hide behind tradition. What theatre can do, opera can do; what movies can do, opera can do. I want us to keep on doing these new productions and I want them to keep on failing or succeeding

“I want us to keep on doing these new productions and I want them to keep on failing or succeeding.

“I think that’s the whole point. By trying, we learn something new for next time.”

Davidsen will perform alongside Dame Harriet Walter at the Last Night Of The Proms at the Royal Albert Hall on September 10, and said she had been “prepping like crazy” for the event.

“It’s the closest thing a classical singer can get to being a rock star,” she told the i.

“I’m very happy I’ve done a Prom before because I know the concept of the standing audience and how close they are to you.

“But this looks like a very, very different evening.”

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