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Norway

Queen Sonja visits New York


Oskar Aanmoen/Royal Central

Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway visited the “Big Apple” this week. Although the Queen had only one official task in town, it is reasonable to believe that the Queen has spent more than one day in the city, probably to do some of the Christmas shopping for this year.

The Queen was present during the opera performance “Queen of Spades” at the Metropolitan Opera. The reason why Her Majesty was present at the opera was to see the Norwegian opera singer Lise Davidsen. Davidsen is one of the world’s best-known opera singers and has one of the starring roles in the opera which is now set up in New York. Davidsen and Queen Sonja know each other because Davidsen won the prestigious Queen Sonja’s International Music Competition in 2015.

The opera and Norwegian Lise Davidsen have received very good reviews. The New York Times calls the opera brilliant, while the New York Classical Review boasts of Davidsens`s startling voice and astonishing technique.

The Queen of Spades is an opera in three acts, seven scenes, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to a Russian libretto by the composer’s brother Modest Tchaikovsky, based on a short story of the same name by Alexander Pushkin, but with a dramatically altered plot. The premiere took place in 1890 in St. Petersburg. The plot is set to the era during the reign of Catherine the Great.

Queen Sonja has visited New York several times. Last year she was in New York during the first tour with the new Norwegian cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen. Every piece of art onboard the ship was hand-picked by Queen Sonja and her art foundation. Also in 2015, the Queen was in New York to open the exhibition “Prize Prints: The Queen Sonja Print Award” at Scandinavia House in New York, which also included some of her own works.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.