Mezzo-soprano Hege Høisæter was born and raised in the Norwegian city of Bergen. She studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and at the Norwegian State Opera Academy.
Since successfully launching her career as an operatic and concert soloist, Hege's principal parts have included Cornelia (Julius Caesar - Handel), Carmen (Bizet), Gräfin Geschwitz (Lulu - Berg), Ottavia (Poppea - Monteverdi), Miss Donnithorne (Maxwell Davies), Sextus (Titus - Mozart), Waltraute (Götterdämmerung - Wagner) and Jocasta (Oedipus Rex - Stravinsky).
She also took leading roles in world premieres of works by Gisle Kverndokk, Glenn-Erik Haugland and Ole-Henrik Moe. Hege has frequently appeared with conductors Rinaldo Alessandrini, John Fiore and Alessandro de Marchi and has collaborated with conspicuous success with instrumentalists Andjei Maevski (clarinet) and Vegar Anvik (following piano) in creative chamber programmes and with pianists Torhild Fimreite and John Lidal in the lieder and art song repertoire.
She has often been featured on national and international TV and radio, and has appeared regularly at The Casa dei Mezzo Chamber Music Festival at Makrigialos, Crete. Recently, Hege made a considerable impact through her creation of the leading role as Edith in the world premiere of Synne Skouen's Ballerina at The Norwegian Opera and Ballet in September 2017.
Having been a member of the soloists' roster with Norwegian Opera, Hege's career as a full time international soloist has brought her distinguished artistry to wider audiences. In September 2018 she returned to The Norwegian Opera and Ballet as The Countess in Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame, drawing the following opinion from the distinguished critic Hild Borchgrevink:
'One obvious answer as to why we should see and hear this opera comes when Hege Høisæter takes centre stage as The Countess: she portrays and sings the old character brilliantly.'
Dagsavisen, 10 September 2018
Hege will be appearing in all of the four Ring Cycle Operas to be mounted at the Gothenburg Opera during the 2018-2021 seasons - in the roles of Erda, a Valkyrie and the first Norn. Among future plans are Maddalena (Rigoletto, Verdi) for The Kristiansund Opera in 2019 and a unique Wagnerian opera project with the Arctic Philharmonic during the 2020 season.
A LAWO Classics solo CD-recording of Norwegian contemporary music, including several works commissioned and written especially for her, will be released in 2019. Hege has been invited to join the greatly successful Italian baroque ensemble Armoniosa on a new CD recording to be issued in 2019.
Top photo by Anna-Julia Granberg
Photos: Katja (Joerg Wiesner), Carmen (Erik Berg), Salome (Erik Berg), ULysses Vender Hjem (Erik Berg)
- Bartok: Bluebeard's Castle (Judith)
- Berg: Lulu (Gräfin Geschwitz)
- Bizet: Carmen (Mercedes)
- Bizet: Carmen
- Britten: Noye's Fludde (Mrs Noah)
- Britten: Peter Grimes (Auntie)
- Cage: Singer in Europeras 3
- Händel: Title role in Xerxes
- Händel: Julius Caesar (Cornelia)
- Händel: Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno (Disinganno)
- Haugland: Titlerole Rebekka
- Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel (Hänsel)
- Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel (Die Mutter)
- Hvoslef: The Clown (Barabbas)
- Janácek: Káta Kabanová (Kabanicha)
- Kverndokk: Fourth Nightwatch (Gunnhild)
- Kverndokk: Around the World in 80 Days (Fionula)
- Ligeti: Le Grand Macabre (Mescalina)
- Maxwell-Davies: Miss D (title role)
- Menotti: The Medium (Mrs Nolan)
- O-H.Moe: SHE (Blob 1 and 2)
- Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea (Ottavia)
- Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (Penelope)
- Mozart: Ramiro (La Finta Giardiniera)
- Mozart: Die Zauberflöte (2nd & 3rd Lady)
- Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (Cherubino)
- Mozart: La clemenza di Tito (Sextus)
- Osborne: The Electrification of the Soviet Union (Natasha)
- Stravinsky: The Rake's Progress (Baba)
- Poulenc: Les Dialogues des Carmelites (Old Prioress)
- Poulenc: La voix humaine
- Puccini: La Badessa + La suora zelatrice (Suor Angelica)
- Puccini: Mma Butterfly (Suzuki)
- Sciarrino: Infinito nero (one-woman piece)
- Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (Axinja)
- J.Strauss: Die Fliedermaus (Orlovsky)
- R.Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos (Dryad)
- R. Strauss: Salome (Herodias)
- Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex (Jocaste)
- Tcaikovsky: The Queen of Spades (Polina/Vilovsor)
- Turnage: Twice Through the Heart (Woman)
- Verdi: Rigoletto (Maddalena)
- Verdi: Othello (Emilia)
- Rolf Wallin: Elysium (The Neighbour)
- Wagner: Siegfried (Erda)
- Wagner: Rheingold (Flosshilde)
- Wagner: Der Fliegende Holländer (Mary)
- Wagner: Götterdämmerung (Waltraute)
- Wagner: Die Walküre (Fricka)
- G.B. Pergolesi: Stabat Mater
- G.Fr.Händel: The Messiah
- G.Fr. Händel: Judas Maccabbeus
- J.S.Bach: Christmas Oratorio
- G.Rossini: Stabat Mater
- G.Rossini: Petite Messe Solennelle
- W.A. Mozart: Requiem
- M.Duruflé: Requiem
- F.Mendelssohn: Elijah
- F.Mendelssohn: Paulus
- A.Vivaldi: Gloria
- G.Verdi: Requiem
Works with orchestra:
- Haugland: Og holt læt seld sjels gal
- O.-H.Moe: Frauenliebe und Erlebnisse
- Ravel: Sheherazade
- Berlioz: Les nuits d'été (Summer Nights), Op. 7
- Berlioz: La mort de Cléopâtre. H36
- Brahms: Vier ernste Gesänge
- Elgar: Sea Pictures
- Korngold: 4 Abschiedslieder
- Nystöm: Sångar vid havet
- Ravel: Shéhérazade
- Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben
- Wagner: Wesendonck-Lieder
Also songs by composers such as R.Strauss, Grieg, Sibelius, Schubert, Mozart, Wolf, Brahms, Britten, Weill, de Falla, etc.
No cuts or alterations of any kind should be made to this biography without the consent of Hege Høisæter.
- Rheingold at Gothenburg Opera
"Hege Høisæter's Erda was gripping."
- Niklas Smith - Seen & Heard International
- Hege Høisæter is magnetic as the nostalgic and bitter, ageing countess, and Konstantin Shushakov drew well-deserved spontaneous applause following his finely polished interpretation of Jeletskijs solemn declaration of love.
- Maren Orstavik, Norwegian Aftenposten
Opera "Elysium" composed by Rolf Wallin with libretto by Mark Ravenhill directed by David Pountney. Norwegian Opera 2016
- As a member of the Norwegian Opera for 42 years, I've watched many singers, some since they left the Opera School. I was responsible for lighting them for years. One of them was Hege Høisæter. I mean she is the most versatile opera singer I've ever seen. She mastered all roles with bravura.
- Gretar Sveinbjørnsson - Lighting designer