God Has Sent To Us One Of His Angels --
Full Of Charm, Beauty And Grace --
Possessing The Voice Of A Heavenly Choir
--To Share With Us His Gift Of Music !!
WEB Site, click [ HERE ] **** Facebook page, click [ HERE ]
Click [ HERE ] to read an interesting article about Sissel
Click [ HERE ] to read an "Open Letter" to Sissel
Click [ HERE ] to read an "Open Question" for Sissel
Click [ HERE ] to read, "Sissel - Her Dream and Her Journey"
Click [ HERE ] to listen to a sample of Sissel's Performances
Let me start by acknowledging that I already realize that there will be some Christians who will take offense at or disagree with what I am about to write. That is OK by me, as it is REALLY intended to allow certain non-Christians to think about God in a different light !! Of course, maybe some Christians may want to consider it also ??
The point that I want to address is "serving God" or "submitting our lives to God" -- as in belonging to Him for Him to use as He wishes. Now, to MOST non-Christians and MANY Christians, this sounds like slavery, servitude and despotism - and allowing God to take away our "Free Will" and deprive us of being all that WE THINK we can (or want) to be.
I want to use a world renowned singer by name of Sissel Kyrkjebø from Norway (where she resides) to show that (in MY opinion, at least) exactly the opposite is true. In her life, because she IS willing to serve Him with it, He has filled it with extravagant, OVERFLOWING abundance !!
Having started singing professionally at age 16, she shows no signs of slowing down nor diminishing to date (2023) at age 54. She started as a "classical soprano" (although NOT formally trained as such), and branched out into pretty much ALL genres of music. She still sings classical, as well as an abundance of what some would call "inspirational" (hymns or religious) songs. However, she has branched out into popular, rock, folk, jazz, "old-time classics" and musical show tunes. She also does many strictly Norwegian performances and has sung in numerous languages.
She tours the world doing indoor and outdoor concerts and solo performances, and often appears as guest soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She very frequently performs at Christmas concerts, and has accompnied various big-name singers. She sings mainly in English and Norwegian (which are her main languages), but has also sung songs in Swedish, Danish, Irish, Italian, French, Russian, Icelandic, Faroese, German, Neapolitan, Maori, Japanese and Latin.
Sissel has been described as possessing one of the most "crystalline, pure voices" that one will ever hear, with a wide vocal range, sweeping down from mezzo-soprano notes to the F natural above soprano C. Many YouTube commentors (including myself) describe her singing as "Angelic". Added to this is a talent that can embrace just about EVERY type and mood of song with perfection. In every performance, she has a smile that would melt the coldest of hearts, an almost angelic face and demeanor, and eyes and charisma that would captivate almost ANY living soul (assuming that they are actually ALIVE) !! On top of this, she possesses an almost unearthly beauty that grows more enchanting with the passage of years. In my view, she was far more beautiful and had a much richer and fuller voice in her 40's than in her 20's
If all of this wasn't enough, she is described by most - both on and off stage- - as being a very modest, humble, caring, REAL and sincere woman. She is always joyful, happy and radiates a positive energy and love of life and others that infects all around her with the same energy. She is described as sweet, caring, warm, compassionate, loving, and "a superior human-being" whom humanity can be proud to have produced. She loves and values her family (husband and 2 daughters) - and despite her overwhelming fame and schedule - cherishes her home, her privacy and being alone with her family - to which she gives high priority in her life. She has stated that her home and private life will NEVER be open nor available to satisfy public curiosity and/or consumption.
She enjoys spending time with Nature in her beloved Norway VERY much. However, above all, she LOVES to sing, and some have commented to the effect of, "THAT was the purpose of her coming into this world". It is certainly HER purpose. She has stated that, "I have loved music and singing ALL of my life, and that the Joy of singing is my food and drink". Also that, if the joy should no longer be there, she would stop singing. She definitely does NOT do it just for the money, the success nor the fame !! When she was young (around 19), she was offered an opportunity to come live in the United States, and they would make her into another, "Super rich, super popular singing idol" !! She declined, saying that wasn't the path that she saw for her life. She said that she wished to remain free to pursue her OWN musical future in a manner that she felt fit and belonged to her. In other words, she wasn't interested in being made into someone's "Musical Money Machine"!! She stated in an interview that, "I never wanted to be a 'star' -- all that I ever wanted and want to do is to sing."
Bottom line, she loves and honors God, and believes and confesses that her talent was and is a gift from Him to be returned back to Him and to the World as a demonstration of His Love and Beauty for them. I believe that the underlying principle of her life is summed up in an "inspirational" song that she sings often, by the name of, "My Tribute (To God be the Glory)". A few of the words are, "All that I Am and Ever Hope to be - I owe it ALL to Thee!!"
As Christians, we often talk much about the quality of "Humility". In Sissel's case, a joke that I once heard is VERY apropos. It goes, "I love humility, but when you have SO much to be humble about, it is VERY hard" !! I believe (as do MANY who have watched and listened to her perform) that she does INDEED have "MUCH to be humble about" -- and yet (by God's grace) DOES manage to be a humble person. That is part of her immense charm !!
Returning to the opening of this article, here is a woman who has been blessed supernaturally by God, with a life and talent that staggers the average imagination. Her overall voice and singing talent is second to none. She has performed around the world in all manner of settings, has accompanied many big name performers in their own right, and is still in constant demand. She performs almost ALL types of songs with equal ease, perfection and sincerity -- from the most profound "spiritual" to the sensual and seductive. She is loved and adored by millions of fans worldwide.
It was noted by a YouTube commentor that when Sissel performs a song, she doesn't just SING it, she PERFORMS it - she becomes the song !! Like a chameleon, she takes upon herself the life, the spirit, the heart and the meaning of the song - and while she is performing it - she is transformed, transported, and BECOMES the song.
This came to me one day as I was meditating upon how she can do such a phenomenal job on such a wide variety of songs - from deeply inspirational to sensual and seductive - and do them ALL with absolute sincerity and inspiration. She isn't acting or pretending (as I once speculated) -- she is living and experiencing the SPIRIT of the song that she is performing !!
In my mind, Sissel isn't JUST a singer, a performer or an entertainer -- but she is a TRUE Artist. To me, an Artist is one who can take their Art - and so convey it in their medium - that others can sense, feel and become a part of what was in the Artist's heart, soul and spirit - what the Artist was feeling and experiencing !!
This Sissel does "par excellence" !! When she sings - at THAT moment - SHE is feeling and experiencing the Song and conveying that reality to her audience !!
Someone on YouTube commented to the effect that, when she sings in a language other than English (like her native Norwegian), even though you don't understand what she is saying, she literally "PULLS" you into her performance. Perhaps when we have eliminated the superficiality of the spoken word (which I was told is what most Americans concentrate on in songs), we are forced to experience OTHER channels of communication.
We pay more attention to the melody - to Sissel's body language - to the tone and inflection of her voice - to the expression on her face, her eyes, and her smile!
Beyond that, I believe that there is an even deeper level of communications - spirit-to-spirit - that can not even be sensed by the normal, external senses.
All of these together speak to us on a far deeper and more intimate level than mere words can ever do !!
I believe that one of the reasons why Sissel is a "MASTER of her Art" - one of the reasons for her phenomenal success and the overwhelming love and devotion that her fans and audience have for her - is her charismatic ability to communicate the heart of the song, her emotions and an element of her OWN heart and spirit to her listeners !!
Almost from the first time that I was introduced to Sissel's singing, I felt a growing spiritual connection with her. I recently realized what the connection consists of -- We both share the following attributes:
At her core, Sissel IS and always WAS a dreamer, a searcher, a seeker, an explorer and a wanderer in heart and spirit - on a "spiritual quest". She realizes that something of EXTREME value has been lost or misplaced - it isn't here anymore, it is missing - and she must search for and find it !! Her life will feel empty, incomplete, unfulfilled - with an aching, longing and yearning crying out inside until it is found. She doesn't know WHAT it is that was lost, WHEN or WHERE it was lost, or even HOW to begin the search. She only knows that she MUST search until either she finds it or she dies !!
I believe that it is THIS quality or "gift" (at least in part) that accounts for Sissel's mesmerizing power over her audience. She charismatically imparts this longing to her listeners, and induces them to feel a "part of her search and her journey". Only speaking and understanding English myself, I notice this quality far more when she is singing in Norwegian, where I am NOT distracted by the words of the song.
As I have viewed over 300 of her videos, I sense that this quality was ALWAYS there in many of the songs that she chooses and in her singing itself - and has grown more intense and prominent as she has matured. I believe that this is a "Spiritual Quest", and NOT to be fulfilled in ANY person, place or thing. However, in her 2020 "Trilogy", this longing has been personified into the concept of a dearly beloved who has departed to a great distance away.
In the first video, "I Rest My Eyes" - Sissel explains that this beloved has gone "far away", and she misses him intensely. In her emptiness and loneliness, she watches and longs for his return. Alas, he doesn't come.
In the second video, "The Journey" - she resolves to leave all that she has behind, and go to him. It is a long and dangerous journey - "across the ocean" - and she is ready to undertake this perilous venture in a frail, "sailboat". She isn't mindful of the dangers, or even of the fact that - when she gets there, she may not find him, he may have chosen another, or he simply does not want her anymore. She only knows, "I must search for my beloved or die of loneliness and a broken heart" !!
In the third video, "Home" - she finally arrives on the distant shore, her beloved IS there waiting for her, they are reunited and live happily ever after !! Sissel says that, "She loves happy endings" and, God Bless her warm and wonderful heart, that, "She wants EVERYONE to lead a happy, fulfilled life" !!
I have included these three videos in the collection at the end of this article.
The above stated facts can be verified by observing her performances in a number of videos which I have included at the end of this article.
On one end are six inspirational songs, "Ready to Go Home", "Crying in the Chapel", "To God be the Glory", "Amazing Grace", "Eg Ser" and "Slow Down". The sixth one - basically entreating us to, "Slow down, be still, silence the noise and clamor within, hear the quiet inner voice, and know that He is God" - was performed in 2019 during an appearance with the Mormon Choir. I have viewed over 300 of her performances on YouTube - and in this one, I will attest in my spirit, that God's Spirit moved through her in a divine and supernatural way in order to minister to those present. When she was finished, the ENTIRE audience of almost 20,000 gave her a standing ovation, which lasted for a number of minutes, they were so overwhelmed by what they had experienced.
"Eg Ser" is sung in Norwegian. Look at the end of this article for the lyrics. You will be surprised !!
In the middle are three songs intended to display her tremendous versatility: "Like an Angel Passing Through My Room", "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" (a song made popular by Judy Collins many years ago), and "O Mio Babbino Caro". The latter is an aria from Giacomo Puccini's opera, "Gianni Schicchi". She sings in Italian, and for icing on the cake, she even LOOKS Italian.
Following these are three haunting melodies sung in her native language, Norwegian: "Vår Herres klinkekule", "Alt det som skinner", and "Saknar Dig Nu". Even though you (like myself) will probably not be able to understand the lyrics, just relax, and enjoy the beauty and the emotion of BOTH the song and the singer !!
On the other end of the spectrum are five songs that would fit well in a French cabaret or being performed by a "torch-singer" in a nightclub -- "In Dreams", "I Will Wait for You", "Close to You", "When a Man Loves a Woman", and "Surrender". Believe it or not, Sissel is 42- 50 years old in these five performances.
Also, the last selection in the videos is a 24 minute interview. It is WELL worth watching, as I feel that it gives a good overview as to just who this person - Sissel - really is !!
This Link will also take you to a page of over 300 of her performances from YouTube, divided into 15 categories
To MY thinking, Sissel is a role model that ANYONE can aspire to emulate - male or female. She has achieved astonishing success in her chosen career and, far more importantly, as a superior PERSON !! In addition to her career - she loves and is devoted to God, her husband, her children and her home - and still has time to enjoy the beautiful outdoors of her native country, Norway.
At around age 19 (when her career was just beginning), she received an offer from an American music company that would have basically turned her into an "International Singing Super-idol". She declined the offer, more-or-less saying that she preferred to control her own career and life rather than to give them over to the "Musical Money Machine" to exploit her !!
For her integrity and faithfulness, God has given to her FAR more than those mongrels of greed and exploitation could or would have ever been able to do !!
She appears to be a person TOTALLY at peace with herself, the world and with God. She enjoys being - and epitomizes the essence of what the word "feminine" used to mean -- a VERY beautiful, capable, charming, gracious, intelligent, loving, modest, talented --- LADY !!
Adding to this list of attributes, she has charisma that mesmerizes and captivates almost everyone that comes into her presence. She leads a very exciting, fulfilling life - surrounded by beauty, luxury and acclaim. She and her husband are quite wealthy and have one or more beautiful homes, one of them being a large farm in the beautiful countryside of Norway. She loves God, her life, her family, her friends, her dogs and ESPECIALLY the purpose that she has been given to fulfill with her life -- Her singing !!
She has achieved ALL of what the "feminists" are clattering about (and MUCH more) without losing, in the process, her God-given humanity and that which distinguishes her as a woman -- her FEMININITY (in its BEST and fullest sense) !!
She is not out trying to be, nor protesting for, nor allowing OTHERS to twist and shape her into something that God did not make her nor intend for her to be - nor that she does not wish to be. She is VERY happy and proud to be what God made and intended her to be -- a VERY feminine and lady-like WOMAN !! Rather - she has spent her life discovering, developing and maximizing those VERY considerable gifts and talents which God HAS seen fit to entrust to her, and which she joyfully returns back to Him !!
It seems like her goal is is to be and give the VERY finest in what she is and what she does - and THAT she does in abundance. In every one of her performances that I have viewed, EVERYTHING - her person, makeup, hair, clothing, voice, presentation, stage set, music, instrumentation, and choral (vocal) accompaniment are ALWAYS done to the maximum of aesthetic and technical perfection !! !
A comment someone left on YouTube says it VERY well. This person stated that they had heard many of Sissel's CD/DVD's, but there was NO comparison to finally seeing and hearing her in a live performance. They said that they knew that here wasn't just another "singer/ performer/ entertainer" - but that they were honored to be in the presence of TRUE Greatness (a "Great Soul"). I WHOLEHEARTEDLY concur - 100% !!! I believe that one day, when she passes from this realm into the next, God will CERTAINLY say to her, "Well done Sissel, I am VERY pleased. You have returned a magnificent interest on the treasures that I entrusted into your care"!!
Please Click [ HERE ] to read a short article on my perspective regarding Sissel's Gifts and Talent, and the use that she has made of them throughout her life.
This is emphatically NOT a "prosperity teaching" which says, "Come to God and He will make you rich and prosperous and give you everything that your GREED can dream of" !! Quite the contrary -- I DESPISE that line of "christian" ??? teaching. It is merely to point out that serving God is an HONOR and NOT a "sentence". All talent comes from Him, and all riches and power belong to Him - and I believe that He takes joy in sharing them with one of His children whom He sees will use them wisely to bring honor and glory to Him as their Father.
Also, however, ABSOLUTELY do not mistake me for saying that if you truly love God with all of your heart, He will make you into another Sissel. Any true Christian knows that this is emphatically NOT so. God distributes His gifts and talents according to His plan and needs, understood ONLY by Him.
I have another short article [ HERE ], containing my musings one day on THAT topic. You might want to read it also ??
For those Christians who have made it this far in the article, I want to assure you in the STRONGEST terms that I do NOT intend that anything that I have written about Sissel so far makes her a Christian in the Biblical sense as, "One who has KNOWINGLY received the life-giving Spirit of God within themselves and has been reborn as a TRUE Child of God". Neither I nor anyone else (save her and GOD) can address that issue, for it isn't one that she chooses to address in public.
God showers His Gifts and Talents upon BOTH the righteous and the unrighteous. The sun and the rain descend equally upon ALL. God used young David to minister (by song) to a perplexed and troubled King Saul. The Spirit of God inspired David in the writing of the Psalms and claimed David as, "A man after His (God's) own heart" - despite David's sins, failures and imperfections.
It IS possible that in Sissel, God may have found ONLY an open, humble heart and spirit through which He can share His Love and Beauty to a hurting and lost world. I pray with ALL of my heart, however, that my first observation is the true one - that she HAS received God's free gift of eternal life - and I believe that God has placed it upon my heart to pray for her in this and other areas.
Lyrics for the song ****** "Eg Ser" ******
If you don't know the meaning of this song, it is about God - through Jesus Christ - entering into mankind through death, so that He might walk beside us during the trials of this life, and receive us as His own when we pass out of it.
Watch Sissel's face, her eyes, the expression of her voice. Throughout most of the song, they are very pensive and serious. Then, during the last stanza, joy comes into her face, and during the last line ("I have made death into life for you"), her face just shines with joy and happiness !!
I see that you are tired, but I cannot go every step for you
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combo to REALLY get the FULL enjoyment out of these treasures
|Sissel Kyrkjebø, the international singing sensation and national treasure of Norway, is established as one of the world’s leading crossover sopranos. Her angelic and powerful voice has made Sissel a national institution and she has sung all over the world, selling over ten million solo albums. She has contributed haunting vocal tracks for the soundtrack to Titanic and The Lord of the Rings, and has been performing duets with singers like Charles Aznavour, Andrea Bocelli, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, Mario Frangoulis, Josh Groban, Brian May, Neil Sedaka, Bryn Terfel and Russell Watson. |
In 2005, she was knighted by the King of Norway, as the youngest ever to receive this honour. In 2006, her album 'The Spirit of the Season' with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir went to number-one on the Billboard Classical Charts, and received a Grammy nomination. A very remarkable voice that only comes once in our lifetime.
For biography sites, click: [ HERE ], [ HERE ], [ HERE ], [ HERE ], [ HERE ], [ HERE ], [ HERE ] and [ HERE ].