”A clear answer to why we should see and hear this [The Queen of Spades], comes after the first intermission when Hege Høisæter gets a musical space as the Countess. She both plays and sings the old witch brilliantly, supported by a costume where the rigidity gives dramatic meaning. She takes the command musically, gets the conductor and the orchestra down in pace into a musical weight and nerve. ”(Hild Borchgrevink, Dagsavisen, 11/9 2018)
”Hege Høisæter is magnetic as the nostalgic and bitter, ageing Countess.”(Maren Ørstavik, Aftenposten 13/9 2018)
“The bottomless maternal love mixed with all the bad things she hardly dares to think of – bitterness, regret, perhaps even hatred – is fabulously performed by Hege Høisæter.”(Aftenposten, Ballerina, 2017)
Born in Bergen, Norway, Hege Høisæter studied at The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and at The Norwegian Opera Academy in Oslo.
She has been a soloist at The Norwegian National Opera 2002-2016 and has had many guest appearances at the same house since then.
Important roles at The Norwegian National Opera: Sextus (La Clemenza, Mozart), Carmen, Cornelia (Giulio Cesare, Händel), Auntie (Peter Grimes, Britten), Gräfin Geschwitz (Lulu, Berg), Ottavia (Poppea, Monteverdi), Kabanicha (Katya Kabanovà, Janàcek), Jocaste (Oedipus Rex, Stravinsky) and Mescalina (Grand Macabre, Ligeti), with conductors such as Rinaldo Alessandrini, Alessandro De Marchi and John Fiore.
She has had leading roles and had written music for her by distinguished Norwegian composers such as Gisle Kverndokk, Glenn-Erik Haugland, Ole-Henrik Moe and Rolf Wallin, both on and off the opera stage.
Hege sang Suzuki in Madama Bytterfly at The Oscarsborg Opera in 2016. In September 2017, she sang the leading role Edith in Synne Skouen’s «Ballerina» in its world premiere at the Norwegian National Opera, followed by The Countess in Tchaikovsky’s ”The Queen of Spades” at the same house 2018.
She made her Swedish debut and role debut as Erda in ”Das Rheingold” at Göteborgsoperan in 2018 and as Schwertleite in 2019. Hege sang Erda in 2020 and First Norn in 2021 in the Gothenburg Ring-cycle, directed by Stephen Langridge.
Hege made her Folkoperan debut in Stockholm as Mrs Grose in Britten’s “Turn of the Screw”, winter 2023.
Hege sang JEŽIBABA in RUSALKA in spring 2023 at Bergen National Opera. Scenekunst wrote:
“Det sier sitt at det er skurken som utgjør forestillingens høydepunkt, nemlig Hege Høiseters storrøykende, alkoholiserte Cruella de Vil-aktige Ježibaba, sunget med virtuos råhet og voldsom kraft.” (Scenekunst)
Aside from opera productions, she offers one-woman shows like «Royal Divas DOOMED» — performed to great acclaim in London in February – and «Hello!»; an adaptation of Cocteau/Poulenc’s La voix humaine.
Hege Høisæter is also a devoted chamber musician with appearances domestic and abroad.
“Earth Light” – a new CD with Norwegian contemporary songs is out (Lawo Classics, 2019). Songs by Synne Skouen, Kjell Mørk Karlsen, Gisle Kverndokk and Rolf Wallin, as well as Carl Gustav Sparre Olsen, and Thomas Sleeper.
New tasks awaits at DNO&B in autumn 2023.