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
Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ is back with a new studio album. She has chosen 13 songs from Norway, Sweden and Denmark. "Nordic Winter Night" was recorded the last six months in Oslo and Trondheim with Kjetil Bjerkestrand as producer. Photo: Cornelius Poppe, Scanpix.
Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ is ready with the album "Nordic Winter Night". And Sissel had to ask her kids before releasing her new record. Because when you release an album in four languages, it presents challenges.
"Yes, everything that is Norwegian is a challenge. I've sung Swedish quite a few times before, but Danish and Icelandic were a bit new â€“ even though I've lived in Denmark for 16 years. But I don't speak Danish," says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸, who is ready with a new album, where she has collected Nordic songs that she has carried for a long time.
Nervous about Danish
And she sings in Norwegian, Swedish, Icelandic and Danish. But when Sissel was about to release her new album, she was especially nervous about her second mother tongue â€“ Danish. She has lived in Denmark for many years, but helped her daughters to check their language.
"I was a little nervous when I was going to perform these Danish songs for my little daughters for the first time. Because I kind of had to ask, 'Is this Danish?'" laughs Sissel. "Yes, Mom â€” it's Danish. A little," the daughters replied.
- As for Icelandic, I received expert guidance. I've sung Icelandic before on the "Innerst i soulen" album. There sang an Icelandic hymn. But when you don't have the language around you on a daily basis, it's a little different. But Icelandic is actually very close to our own language," says Sissel.
It's been a long time since we've heard Sissel sing in Norwegian on record, and it's also going to be a long time before we get a pop record again from her. Now she wants to get back to her roots and make more classical music and the kind of folk tunes that we hear on "Nordic Winter Night".
- Yes, quite a lot has happened. And where I am now I feel is very right.
Many to choose from
Sissel had a number of melodies with her in the studio when she was making her new record. And it's not easy to pick out songs when you have so many in stock.
- Yes, it was really "kill your darlings". We recorded 22 songs together with the Trondheim Soloists and my band and other contributors. But it was incredibly difficult to end up with 13 songs.
- You could release double albums?
- Yes, indeed I could. So it's kind of good to know that I might not have to go into the studio so much in the next two years.
- Does that mean the rest will also be released eventually?
- Yes, you shouldn't ignore it. But new songs keep popping up. And I feel that where I have ended up now, especially with this collaboration with Kjetil Bjerkestrand, here I feel that I can really frolic and play, endlessly, says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
It came as a shock to entertainer Eddie Skoller, when his wife suddenly quit. When Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ divorced the almost 60-year-old Eddie Skoller. She was the one who wanted to end the relationship.
"I'll honestly admit that I didn't quite understand what was happening when Sissel left me. Intellectually, of course, there were no problems. I understood it with the brain. But emotionally, I couldn't quite understand it, but I can today," he told B.T.
Today, the divorce has come so far away that Eddie Skoller easily understands that it was mainly the age difference that was the biggest challenge for marriage.
"There's a lot more going on for a woman between the ages of 20 and 35 than for a man like me between the ages of 45 and 60. And if, for example, Sissel had been 30 years old when we met, everything would probably have been different," he told the newspaper.
The relationship between Eddie Skoller and his ex-wife is now fine, says the entertainer.
Oct. 9, 2012 - 18:40 PM
Eddie Skoller: I was a father in Sissel's life
They were solid material in the magazines and their love story was the one the Danes could talk about. Therefore, the shock was great when Eddie Skoller and Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ suddenly announced their divorce.
"When I met Sissel, she always said to people when they asked about the age difference: The heart has no wrinkles. And that's right, too.
- But in retrospect, it is probably few relationships where the age difference is so large and where one partner is so young which lasts, says Eddie Skoller. He admits that after the divorce he constantly wondered what went wrong between him and Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
"Sissel was only 20 at the time and I was 45. And what she needed back then wasn't just a boyfriend. It was just as much a father, someone who could make decisions for her and help her.
- And there I was ideal, you could say, because I had a lot of experience. Also from show biz. She wanted to be separated from her parents because she had started as a child star. And over time, I became kind of chairman of the board in her life because she needed it and wanted it.
Became the dominant
"She pushed it over to me and was glad I bothered to take care of it.
"But at some point you get into a modus operandi, and in retrospect, I probably should have said sooner, 'OK, now it's your table. I don't mind being on the board. But you have to take the chairmanship yourself. Now you have to take responsibility for your own life and your own decisions and your own career." And because I didn't, I became the dominant one.
"I didn't feel that she had actually reached the point where she wanted to make the decisions," he says, pointing out several times that he did not do it out of ill will.
"The divorce has taught me that you have to love and respect each other's opportunities. And if you don't keep that in mind all the time, you can easily come to dominate each other.
- After the divorce, Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ stayed in Denmark because of the children. But two years ago, she moved back to Norway, where she lives with her boyfriend and tax lawyer Ernst Ravnaas. And the children Ingrid and Sarah live both in Denmark and in Norway, and it works, he says.
"To go back to my elderly mother, she taught me how important it is to behave. And I have taken that on board as well. Today I can say with my head held high that the children have never heard me say a bad word about Sissel, nor do I think they have heard her say anything bad about me.
"On the whole, I feel really good about all three of my ex-wives. And my children and grandchildren mean everything in the world to me. They fill me with love and are also the reason why I moved on when Sissel left me," he says.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Eddie Skoller: What I learned from my divorce from Sissel
The sensational love affair between the 20-year-old singer and 45-year-old entertainer Eddie Skoller foundered, but not without learning.
When Eddie Skoller began his love affair with 20-year-old Norwegian nightingale Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸, it was something that attracted attention. The relationship turned out to be far more viable than most people guessed, but it ended in divorce. A divorce that Eddie Skoller can see the reasons for today.
"(...) at some point you get into a modus operandi, and in retrospect, I probably should have said sooner: 'OK, now it's your table. I don't mind being on the board. But you have to take the chairmanship yourself. Now you have to take responsibility for your own life and your own decisions and your own career." And because I didn't, I became the dominant one," he tells BT.
"The divorce has taught me that you have to love and respect each other's opportunities. And if you don't keep that in mind all the time, you can easily come to dominate each other.
After the divorce, Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ stayed in Denmark because of the children. But two years ago, she moved back to Norway, where she lives with her boyfriend and tax lawyer Ernst Ravnaas. And the children Ingrid and Sarah live both in Denmark and in Norway, and according to Eddie Skoller, it works well.
"Sissel has good taste -- Last week, Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ got married for the second time. Now, ex-husband Eddie Skoller is bragging about her new husband in the clouds.
Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ (44) said yes to her Norwegian boyfriend, tax lawyer Ernst Ravnaas (53), in Hov church last week. Sissel's Danish ex-husband, Eddie Skoller, 69, is not surprised by the golden throat's choice of a new husband.
"He's really a great guy, so there's nothing to say about her taste," the popular comedian and musician told Danish newspaper BT with a smile.
The resemblance between Sissel's ex-husband and new husband is striking.
"I take that as a big compliment," he said.
Skoller was not at the wedding herself, but their two daughters Ingrid (17) and Sarah (13) were there when mom got her new husband.
"It was a very low key and easy wedding, so I knew full well that I wasn't going to be there. Our children were there, and it should have been a great wedding," he says, explaining that he has a good relationship with Sissel and her new husband.
"It's really a great man she's found herself. I like him a lot, and that's important because I have a lot of contact with Sissel because we have two beautiful children together.
Fiddler of the Year
Sissel became really famous when she performed during the break at the Eurovision Song Contest in Bergen in 1986. The same year she released her first album "Sissel", and was named Spellemann of the year.
In 1993, Sissel married Eddie Skoller, but in 2003 the shock headlines appeared: Sissel and Eddie went their separate ways.
In 2006, Sissel began a short-lived relationship with Kapellmeister Kjetil Bjerkestrand (57). The two worked closely together for several years, but the relationship ended after two years.
House and cottage
In 2009 she met Ernst Ravnaas. The same year, Sissel bought an apartment of 190 square meters at Frogner in Oslo for NOK 8.75 million.
Two years ago they bought a beautiful house in SĂ¸ndre Land, and Sissel also owns a 90 square meter cabin in Geilo.
Sissel wants to keep her private life out of the public eye, but in an interview with Dagbladet in 2010 she said that she had a boyfriend.
"It's private. I think it's enough to say that I have a boyfriend and that I feel really good about him," she told the newspaper.
She received several offers to move to the United States and "make it big". But Sissel (45) said no - because of her children and her wish for a quiet, private life. Now she loves the life in western Oslo.
She has sold six million solo albums, been on stage with Sting, Willie Nelson and Celine Dion, sung with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras, and contributed with music on "Titanic", one of the greatest films in modern history. And now Sissel are sitting here in the corner of a small bakery surrounded by pensioners and Frogner-housewives.
- It's nice to have that kind of place like this, it 's probably my regular spot at the moment, she says. She is shrouded in an autumnal scarf, smiling and in good mood.
There are three years ago she moved back to Norway after 22 years in Denmark. Last summer, she got married again, with Ernst Ravnaas (54), and now they and Sissel's daughters, Ingrid (18) and Sarah (15), live here at Frogner in Oslo. In 2009, after more than 20 years from country to country, always on the move, she decided: I'm taking a break from everything. It was three years where she didn't do anything, just staying at home being a mother.
- I took three years off the calendar and did almost nothing. I did some concerts and put some plans for the projects I will be doing now, but I was mostly at home as a mom.
- You needed it?
- Yes , my girls had never experienced having me home nonstop. I had been living in a suitcase since I was 16 , and after the big tour with Odd Nordstoga I felt: "Now I have to stop. Now it goes way too fast". I needed to land in Oslo and find a family belonging in a new country and new environment.
Soon she is ready with a new Christmas tour, this time with concerts in Sweden.
- I am enormously looking forward to it. The challenge of Christmas concerts is to deliver the traditional Christmas songs, but also bring something new - without breaking with the atmosphere. Therefore, I have three backing singers from New York that brings the Gospel into the music.
Only 16 years old Sissel made the participants in the Eurovision Song Contest wane when she performed during the interval in Grieghallen. Who was this golden voice from Bergen?
That same year, the first album, "Sissel", came out, she was given an award and her career took off. But already as an teenager she felt the need of protecting herself from the world.
- As an 14-year-old, I saw a magazine which celebrities had shown off their home, and I thought: "What if that was me? It would have been absolutely terrible". Already then I understood that I will never share what is private with others.
- You've never had media in your home?
- Never. Setting up with husband and children, mom or dad? No, it makes me sick.
- How did you experience the media-pressure around your wedding and divorce?
- Yes, that's the way it is, I know it's coming. But I have always been clear on my boundaries.
- You secretly got married last year?
- Yes, it was quite secret. We wanted it as private as possible. It was a great day.
DIDN'T WANT TO MAKE IT BIG IN USA
Sissel has also declined - twice - to move and make it big in the United States.
- If I had accepted, my life would probably have been pretty different.
The first offer came when I was 18 and it was too early. I was too young.
The second time was right after singing in the "Titanic" movie. At that time I spent a lot of time in the USA and were invited to make several appearances. But I had small children and it was out of the question.
- Never regretted?
- Absolutely not. I can't imagine that I could have it much better, honestly! I've been doing so much exciting, been so privileged. Now I live in Oslo, it's quiet and peaceful, my children have a normal life. Such things are important to me.
- You never thought that you got married too early (24 years old with Eddie Skoller)?
- For me it has always been important to follow the heart, no matter what case. Sure I'm very naive, but ... She smiles.
- ... but if you follow your heart and the intuition, then you live a life. You can't calculate everything like a mathematical formula with two underscores below the answer.
When Sissel moved home in 2009 and decided to settle down in Oslo, there were some in her hometown Bergen that breathed a little heavily. Wasn't it there, below the seven mountains that Sissel belonged to?
- I have come closer ... But it was most convenient to stay in Oslo.
- It's still in Bergen you to grow old?
- You know the desire to get back to the roots. I know almost exactly which house I want to live in, up the hill by Skansen with the city view. I met the Mayor of Bergen, Trude Drevland on Lindmo and she said: "Sissel, now that house is for sale".
The laughter echoes in the walls of the bakery.
- Certainly she was ready for me to move.
Norwegian Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ has been singing Christmas concerts since the beginning of her career. For this year's big Christmas concert tour, she has brought in new blood in the USA and England, who will make sure that the Scandinavian Christmas songs are accompanied by solemn soul and gospel songs.
If Stig Rossen is Denmark's uncrowned Christmas concert king, Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ must be Norway's uncrowned Christmas concert queen.
The 48-year-old singer already performed in televised Christmas concerts in the early 1990s, where she was part of the "Christmas concert" caravan, which toured throughout Scandinavia for 10 years. After several other Christmas tours and a break of three years, she started her own Christmas concert tradition in 2013 with "Sissel's Jul", which after five years and several hundred thousand audience, members gets American and English spices poured into the recipe.
"This year I've decided to change the format a bit to get a slightly more intimate atmosphere on stage. That's why I bring three soul singers from London. Wayne Hernandez, who has performed with Tina Turner, Tori Amos and Madonna, Sharleen Linton, who has performed with Adele and John Legend, and Sherena White, who has sung for Kylie Minogue. They are all three choir singers of the highest international class", says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
She has also found a musician on the other side of the Atlantic. American keyboardist Tim Carmon is in Eric Clapton's band and has previously played with Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan.
- Tim comes from a completely different music culture and has a weight that will definitely have an impact on the show, says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
Her primary goal was not to get prominent names on the poster, but to push the songs in a more soulful and gospel-inspired direction.
- Soul music has an energy and drive that Nordic Christmas music does not have to the same extent. I think the two different approaches to Christmas music can complement each other. Where one often thinks of Nordic Christmas music as beautiful and solemn, soul music is more dynamic and festive, even though it is often about heart anguish. Hopefully, the audience can both sit at the concerts and hum along and tilt their chairs a little. My wish, like on Christmas Eve, is to give some surprises. Something the recipient likes, but they didn't know they wanted," says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
She appreciates that the four foreign musicians help create a new expression.
- The three English choir singers have a different type of voice than mine and a different musical background with soul, gospel and rhythm-n-blues. It always creates an interesting tension when cultures and different forms of expression meet each other and mix. The foundation of "Sissel's Jul" is well known, but what we are building on is new and exciting, says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
Amazing and awful Christmas
"A good Christmas song should put the listener in a special mood. Because Christmas is the most emotional of all our holidays", says the Norwegian.
"For many people, Christmas is the unconditional highlight of the year. What they look forward to for the rest of the year. There is a tremendous anticipation and joy, which is very much associated with the music. No holiday has as many songs as Christmas", says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
She adds that there are of course also many who do not look forward to Christmas at all. And hate it for the same reason others love it.
"If you're sitting alone at Christmas, it can be incredibly difficult to endure. You can also sit at a Christmas table where a chair is empty for the first time. In this way, Christmas can be a painful time, which many people find out as they get older. As amazing and white as Christmas may feel, just as terrible and black it can be. Therefore, especially the soul songs have their justification with their soulful and slightly sad tones and rhythms", says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
And emphasizes that gospel music creates balance in the concert so that it does not become too sad.
- For me, gospel music is about joy and vitality. You can instinctively feel that when you hear the songs," says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
When she tours with Christmas music, audiences react differently in different countries.
- When I play a lesser-known Danish Christmas song in Sweden or vice versa, I can sense that it does not get the same reception as the songs they know. But they are met with great curiosity and respect. But Christmas songs are very much about recognizability and traditions, so I'm very aware of that when I choose songs", promises Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
Many wet Christmases
For Sissel KyrjkebĂ¸, Christmas is not about religiosity. It's first and foremost about being with family.
"I didn't grow up going to church at Christmas. It didn't start until I started singing in choirs that would perform on Christmas Eve in churches. Now it has become a tradition that my family goes to church, even if I don't have to sing, says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
Her childhood Christmas Eves took place in a small apartment in Bergen with her parents, brothers and grandparents when they were alive.
- Our apartment was so small that there was no room to dance around the Christmas tree. Instead, we sat down and sang. The first day of Christmas we always spent with some family who had a little more space so we could dance around the Christmas tree, says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ and laughs at the thought.
If you think that everyone in Norway celebrates white Christmas every year, think again.
"I was born and raised in Bergen, so I can't remember a single white Christmas. But rain, rain and rain. Just like the many years I lived in Denmark. White Christmas is for me something very special magical and dreamy. Now I live in Oslo, where there is often a white Christmas, and all other things being equal, it creates a different atmosphere, which I appreciate even more, precisely because I have tried it so rarely", says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
She doubts whether her 20 years in Denmark have affected the way Christmas is celebrated.
- I don't really think so. The Norwegian and Danish ways of celebrating Christmas are largely identical. There is a bigger difference between Swedish Christmas, is my clear feeling, says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
The musicians from England and the USA also put "our way" of celebrating Christmas into perspective.
"On a Christmas tour, it's inevitable not to talk a lot about traditions when you spend so much time together. Scandinavian Christmas is in many ways markedly different than in the US, but it is also interesting to hear about how they celebrate Christmas in England, says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
When she comes home from the Christmas tour, the quota for Christmas carols is not used up.
- I can easily participate without feeling nauseous when we sing Christmas carols. But it's nice to be able to put Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra or Nat King Cole on the facility and let them do a little of the work over the holidays. On Christmas Eve itself, I love listening to Mahalia Jackson. Her gospel music is perfect for the holidays, and especially at the end of the evening she is absolutely formidable to listen to, says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
If the audience at her concerts reacts as she does to Mahalia Jackson's music, she is satisfied.
- If they sit with a smile on their face and sense that well-known Christmas songs suddenly take on an extra dimension, the mission has succeeded. That certainly makes it interesting for me to perform with that ambition, says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
June 25, 2019, by Norway
About the death of the father: -- "It was a shock"
Popular singer Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ (49) is known for protecting her privacy. The 49-year-old singer has been one of Norway's greatest artists since she finished in 1986, and she is one of the few Norwegian artists to be nominated for a Grammy award.
This year, KyrkjebĂ¸ turns 50 and on that occasion organized a great interview with the Dagbladet.
There she tells, among other things, openly about the loss and lack of her father, Erling KyrkjebĂ¸, who died three years ago â€“ 84 years of age.
The father was a very important part of the life of Sissel and her two daughters, Ingrid (23) and Sarah (20). He was affected by Alzheimer's disease at the same time Sissel and her daughters moved from Denmark to Norway in 2011, and the decision to return to Norway proved to be the right choice for Sissel and her daughters.
The parents of Sissel, Erling and Laila (86) lived at that time in Bergen, but they moved to Frogner in Oslo and became their daughter's neighbors.
When Alzheimer's came sneaking in, it was demanding for the family, and her father slowly lost his ability to express himself.
"It's a disease where patients lose their words, but we talk together and we're okay until he dies." Alzheimer's disease is related, it's demanding â€“ also for the mother, says Sissel.
However, it was not Alzheimer's that her father died. He was severely affected by cancer throughout the body and was informed that he only had a few days to live.
He understood and took the death knell with fate. He understood that he had little time to spare. This made it much easier for us. Still, it was a shock, Sissel told the paper.
A week and a half after Sissel's father was diagnosed with cancer, he fell asleep with the family around him. He was stuck in his eyes, despite having received lots of medication. Then he closed his eyes, two hours later he died, reminding the 49-year-old woman about her father's death.
Protecting Your Privacy
The popular artist has, during her impressive career, conquered many hearts both here and outside the borders of Norway.
As mentioned earlier, she rarely shares her privacy, but last year she organized a rare interview with "Good Morning Norway," where she told the why.
The 49-year-old singer frankly said that it was important to distinguish between official and private Sissel. From the beginning of her career, she made a constant choice to take care of privacy, which she soon realized was important.
"Private life is my sanctuary. A place where I can recover, energize and relax. The official part of me is at work, and it's important that my privacy is a place where I can relax", she says, adding that all people have the need to be able to close the door of their home and disconnect without the others have access to it, she counted that time.
Early in her career, the "Watching the Fire Light" singer was certain she wanted to separate career and privacy. She told her "Good Morning Norway" that her choice was respected.
"I think people basically understand this very well, so I had no problem with that," she continued.
Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ said earlier that it is important for her to focus on her family and her two daughters. So it was not an easy choice to go back to Norway with the daughters.
Sissel lived in Denmark for 21 years, and during that time she went through a breakup when she and her husband, Eddie Skoller, divorced in 2004.
In an interview with VG in May, the artist explained that she herself felt ready to go home, but that it was a difficult choice to transfer her two children from her native Denmark to Norway.
It all started when I finished the album "To You". So I moved from Denmark to Norway with children. When you move with children, it is not easy for them. Although they have been very much in Oslo and can speak the language, it will be a bit different, said Sissel.
Although she spent a lot of time in Oslo during her childhood, there is still something to move there. The children, therefore, did not think the movement was simple, Sissel said.
"It's never fun to finish, there are some emotional things for both adults and children, but we've actually found a good solution for that," she continued.
In order to make the movement as easy as possible for the children, the 49-year-old made the decision not to travel. She wanted to take root with the children and give them the feeling that she was really there for them, she explained in the interview.
Today, everyone is very happy with how things happened and the artist explained that the result was as good as they expected â€“ in fact, even better.
"The two girls said they are incredibly happy to live in Norway, it's also their second home and where the mother comes from. They feel at home here and feel at home in Denmark, and I think this is important, she said.
Sissel remarried in 2013 with tax specialist Ernst Ravnaas in a secret ceremony at Hov church, a cross church of 1781 in the municipality of SĂ¸ndre Land, with no guest present.
Since her first solo album at 16, her musical journey has led to success both nationally and internationally. She has gained praise and recognition all over the world for her angelic and powerful voice. With varied collaborations from; opera legend PlĂ�cido Domingo, to the American rapper Warren G, there are few genres Sissel hasn't done. One might also recognize her voice from movies such as The Titanic, and The Lord of the Rings. Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ has a marvelous voice and a very interesting career. For Luxury Activist (and we are all fans here) she kindly accepted the exercise of our exclusive interview that you can read here below.
Luxury Activist (LA): Dear Sissel, we read that your passion for music arrived at a very early stage of your life, 9 years old? What has inspired you to embrace such a career?
Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ (SK): I have always had music around me. My parents loved music, and the radio was always playing. I grew up with all kinds of music; country, pop, rock, classical and folk. So the love for music came quite naturally. At the age of 9, I started in a children's choir where I got my very first musical training. We had a fantastic conductor, Felicity Laurence, from New Zealand. She has the philosophy that every child should have the opportunity to sing in a choir if they want to. No matter how they sing. The joy of singing and doing music together with others is essential. That is the inspiration of/for my career.
LA: You were born in Bergen, Norway. Do your origins have an influence on your work? If yes, in which sense?
SK: When born in Bergen it is hard not to be influenced by the beautiful nature and surroundings; the mountains, the ocean, the fjordsâ€¦ the rain â€¦and more rainâ€¦ and then the sunny days where everybody just pops out happy and full of life. Nature has always been, and still is, an incredibly important part of my life.
LA: You are a big star in Norway. You sold a total of 10 million albums and singles in your country whereas the total population is 5.4 million. How do you explain such a massive success?
SK: I am probably the last one to know about thatâ€¦. But a good portion of luck and perfect timing would be an educated guess. When I started at the age of 16, I sang a large variety of songs and music styles. Today it is called a crossover, but in the 80's, they didn't know where to put me. We only had one TV- channel at that time, so when I performed in the intermission at the Eurovision song contest in '86, well â€“ it was like everybody had seen it. I have been very privileged and lucky to have been able to have my singing career for a living for so many years.
LA: What advice would you give to a young Norwegian singer trying to start her/his career?
SK: Always believe in yourself, be true to yourself, and you know yourself best. Be modest and grateful for the people that you meet along the way, and for what you achieve. Be curious and playful and always do your best. Enjoy what you do.
LA: All your fans are in love with your crystalline voice and your professional peers are impressed by your large notes palette. Sometimes certain singers see their voice to evolve in time. Do you have any special preparation to keep your voice at the top level?
SK: Rehearsing, staying fit and healthy is always important. But equally important is to relax and live a good life. The voice is these 2 small mussels. They are inside your body, and they get affected both by the physical state as well as the mental state. It is hard to sing when you are down, tense or too sad. But at the same time singing can relieve stress, tensions and be so uplifting for everybody. So, it is about finding the right music for the right moment.
LA: Following your career for a while now, it is amazing to see how many different music styles you have worked with. From R&B collaborations, Pop and opera. What motivates you to sing in so many different styles and universes?
SK: I love music that touches my heart, my soul, and of all kinds of different styles and colors. There is so much to learn from different music styles. It is so fascinating to work with people that have a totally different background and music style than myself. We have always something in common: The love of music and what it has given us.
LA: What was the project or moment in your career that made you the proudest so far?
SK: I have been so lucky to have been part of so many amazing projects: singing on the score of the movie Titanic, the opening and closing ceremonies at the Winter Olympics at Lillehammer in '94, Christmas in Vienna with Placido Domingo and Charles Aznavour, Christmas in Moscow with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras. But my latest is no doubt my most ambitious project; Reflections. I released 50 songs, 50 music videos, and 50 talk videos explaining why I chose the songs. It was released once a week for 50 weeks. So the listener had a new song each week for a year available on streaming sites and on my web page Sisselmusic.com.
It is so great because people can watch it no matter where they live and what time zone. The Reflections project started in May 2019 and ended in May 2020. The songs are from the time frame 1920 till today. I picked the songs that had a special meaning to me. Reflections from life with all its emotions and happenings and stories. Music has a very special way of putting our emotions into words and can express our inner feelings.
During that period, July last year, I did a concert with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for their Pioneer day concert. There was a special song that I had been waiting for 5 years to sing. I needed the right moment and the right setting.
This song means a lot to me, and it is called "Slow Down". We performed the song in the middle of the concert. After singing it, the audience started clapping and suddenly 19000 people stood up. None of us was prepared for that response. We performed at the concert twice, and it happened both evenings. "Slow Down" is such a powerful song. It goes straight into your heart. So many people wrote me emails and messages about; how much the song has meant to them and has helped them. And especially during this pandemic, I have understood the power of this special song. It has a religious message, but it really doesn't matter what, or if, you believe at all. This song makes you slow down and breath. We all need that, now more than ever.
LA: Tell us something about yourself that not so many people know and it would be worth mentioning it?
SK: I can be very lazy, no matter how much I love my work. My dream has always been to live in the countryside. I grew up in a small flat with my family and my cat, right outside the city of Bergen. To have space, be in the fresh air of the countryside and have nature around me from I wake up till I go to bed, is now a dream come true.
LA: What can we wish you for the future?
SK: I hope my voice will keep on singing for many years to come. New projects are coming up. I have so many things I would like to do. That is why I started my web page Sisselmusic.com where I invite you to come into my musical world. I post videos, behind the scenes, new songs and I tell you about my thoughts, my inspirations and much more. Because of the great response to the song "Slow Down", I just started a "Slow Down Movement". People can share their 'Slow Down' moment to email@example.com, so I can repost some of them on my channels. In that way, we can inspire each other to slow down. No matter where you live in the world.
Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ sounds like paradise. Her voice reaches everyone's heart and soul and captivates your attention. She is a very passionate artist with a lot of generosity and talent. She will put happiness where there are any and will make you forget about those rainy days by putting some sunshine in your heart. Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ deserves all the fans she has around the world and we are all lucky to be able to listen to her beautiful voice.
JosĂ© Amorim -- Information sourced by the author for luxuryactivist.com. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available. Images are for illustration purposes only and courtesy of Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ and Kristin Saastad.
Interviewing Sissel Kyrkjebø is like being granted access to a vault where a rare rose-painted coffin stands on the top shelf, under a thin layer of stardust. A coffin that few have been allowed to study up close, much less been allowed to lift the lid off. Sissel Kyrkjebø has managed to keep the press breathless since she broke through as a 16-year-old without easing so much as a sliver of her private life. Sure, the adventurous career, which is almost unprecedented since Sonja Henie, is widely publicized. But Sissel hasn't exactly unfolded, whether it's her wedding to Eddie Skoller, daughters Ingrid and Sarah, her brother Bjorn who died suddenly, her divorce from Skoller, or her father who contracted Alzheimer's and passed away in 2016.
Most things about Sissel are private. Invariable. His gaze darkens a bit on questions that don't deal with the profession. She shows up for an interview dressed in jeans and a knitted jacket.
"So nice," Sissel says, greeting with that unmistakable Sissel smile.
She is tall and beautiful, and so popular that to say something unfavorable about Sissel Kyrkjebø would be the same as lighting a stave church or peeing on a glacier. Her image is as uncorrupted as Hardangervidda, if we disregard a pair of tight leather trousers in a duet with Espen Lind in the 2000s and her divorce from Eddie Skoller. Still, she hasn't commented on the breakup. Not the leather pants either, for that matter. But when asked 15 years ago, Sissel replied that she wasn't ready to talk about the breakup. Maybe it's time now?
"It's been so long since I divorced. I don't feel the need to talk about it," she replies.
She describes herself as light-hearted, with no lower limit to what triggers the tears. And she's happy to be moved by Disney movies, too. "I've inherited it from my mum. She and I can sit and cry together," Sissel said.
-- Social media can quickly become a world of illusion where you are not true to yourself
What was too early has become too late. The window has closed. And so it is with Sissel. What isn't about the job stays in the coffin. But perhaps there is a value in holding back, at a time when everyone should share everything?
"I've never been able to jump on the social media wave by sharing my private life. I don't feel comfortable with it, and only use it to elaborate on what is my profession. Social media can quickly become a world of illusions where you're not true to yourself. No matter what you do, you must always be true to yourself."
Let's take a step back to June 24, 1969 in Bergen. Sissel Kyrkjebø was born three weeks after US President Richard Nixon announced that he would withdraw 25,000 troops from Vietnam, and three weeks before Apollo 13 left Earth on its way to the moon. Laila and Erling did not know that they had become parents to the Christmas star herself, but gradually their daughter's talent began to shine through. At just three years old, she sang in the children's gospel choir. Mom had talked her in, despite the fact that the age limit was five years.
"Fortunately, I was tall for my age," Sissel says with a laugh.
It has etched itself into my memory, standing there neatly in line, while a grown man with glasses stood at the front and sang. The man was Rune Larsen, who is credited with discovering Sissel. By then he had gotten 80's curls, she had turned 14 years old and had just started in "Sing with us" on NRK.
Adult men with curls have basically played a big role in private as well. Sissel met 45-year-old Eddie Skoller during a television show in 1989. He was the presenter, she guest. The couple married in Bergen in 1993 and moved to Charlottenlund outside Copenhagen. Four years later, her daughter Ingrid arrived. Two years later, Sarah arrived. Sissel talks about her toddler years. The importance of living in the present. Although she toured a lot, she tried to facilitate short journeys:
"It's not fun to go on tour and be away from the kids for two weeks. But at the same time, it's my job.
After 11 years of marriage, the couple went their separate ways. Skoller later told Jyllands-Posten: "Actually, we were the perfect couple, Sissel and I. I didn't mind playing second fiddle. For me, the breakup came like lightning from a clear sky." But as Sissel says, "there were some dark clouds in the sky I didn't see." In 2011, Sissel and her daughters moved to Oslo.
"I was very ready for it. I took a break from my career for two and a half years and was just at home. I wanted the girls to know I was there when they got home from school. Everything was new to them here. They had never lived in Norway, even though it was my homeland."
Ever since the children were born, Sissel had done her utmost to make sure they spoke Norwegian. They spoke Danish with her father, which naturally was, but Sissel herself never laid about under the age of 22 in Denmark.
"My daughters answer me in Danish when I speak Norwegian to them. Even after many years in Norway."
Sissel laughs and demonstrates with a couple of Danish phrases.
"They speak Norwegian with everyone but me."
The daughters are 23 and 20 years old. Sissel tinkers when she talks about having grown children. But at the same time, there's something about letting go.
"I've lived a life where I've traveled a lot. It's kind of been a preparation for what's coming now."
She smiles touched.
"I'm so lucky to see the girls grow up and shape their own lives. After all, life is incredibly vulnerable and goes in phases. Some phases have more uphill than straight ahead. When you have children, you just have to hope that you can give them enough ballast to build on."
-- A creative playhouse
As Sissel began to approach fifty, she had an idea. How about giving fans a new song every week for a year? A total of fifty songs, each with a music video and a video with personal reflections. Sissel describes "Reflections" as a creative playhouse, where she can unfold freely. With her daughters halfway out the door, she's also had time for that. But what's it really like to look 50 after its name?
"Just fine," Sissel assures.
- Great. I hope I'm related to my mom. She's 86 now and holding up really well.
"The First time ever I saw your face" is one of the songs in "Reflections". In the video, Sissel talks about the beauty of a song that isn't about hurt feelings, but rather celebrates love: "A song celebrating the first time ever I saw your face. The first moment when I kissed your mouth, the first moment when I lay with you."
Sissel herself found love again in 2009, with tax lawyer Ernst Ravnaas. Also he a man with curls. The couple married in 2013 in Hov Church. The days in the apartment in Oslo often begin with Sissel walking the dogs, and if it suits herself that way, she and Ernst eat breakfast together. They spend their holidays and weekends at the white-painted country house by Randsfjorden.
"I would love to live in the countryside," says Sissel.
"But I have a man who has his job."
The country house reminds her of her childhood vacations with her grandparents, with fishing trips, rhubarb and currants.
"I grew up in a small apartment building in Bergen, so my relationship with the garden is a porch box. Being with my grandparents are golden-edged childhood memories. I dream of becoming like a grandmother when I become a grandmother myself. I want to recreate that good feeling. Something my own girls have gotten from my parents."
"With adult children, you can in principle become a grandmother before long?"
Sissel laughs thrillingly.
"Then I'll probably be crazy." My daughters also say it, "Mom, when you become a grandmother, you're going to take off completely." This cycle of life, it's both wistful and great.
Sissel remembers moving to Denmark at the age of 20. Everything was new. Still, she didn't feel lonely. "It was a wonderful time."
-- I love Christmas, but my outlook on the holidays has changed
We know her as "Soprano-Sissel", "OL-Sissel", "Titanic-Sissel" and not least "Jule-Sissel". How does it feel to be so attached to Christmas that many people think of her before they think of Jesus?
Sissel puts in laughing. The laughter resounds so loud and long that the journalist blushes and someone in the next room looks out.
"Christmas is a holiday whether you're a believer or not," says Sissel, revealing that the song she's most looking forward to on the upcoming Christmas tour is "O Holy Night."
"I love Christmas, but my outlook on the holiday season has changed. Christmas for me is also a cultural phenomenon, like American Thanksgiving, when family is together. Christmas is our community."
Some "Fanny and Alexander" Christmases à la Bergman have never been at their house:
"We're not that many in my family. The smallest Christmas we've had was when the girls and I celebrated together, just the three of us. It was really nice, too," Sissel said.
She adds something that is important to her:
"In the Christmas concerts, I want to give the Christmas spirit and touch. And make it clear that Christmas is all that we have together. That Christmas is for everyone. Whether I'm singing Clapton or about the Bethlehem child. Or Joni Mitchell's song "River." About the sore Christmas, when you are lonely or have heartbreak.
Sissel remembers a childhood hiking in the mountains every Sunday. She, her parents and her two big brothers. Most often it was rain.
"We didn't go to church every Sunday, but the hikes in the mountains were the best service for me. That's still the case. I get closest to faith in church and in nature.
You may have sung more in church than you have been to a service?
"Yes, maybe," says Sissel.
"Or... I feel at home in church. No one can take that faith away from me. It's nice to be part of a greater sense of security and know that you're not alone. It sounds naïve, but it's my child faith."
In addition to her child's faith, Sissel took home with her confidence that she would be able to shape her own life. The parents didn't interfere with the choices. She has tried to pass on the same to her daughters.
"You can't live your children's lives. When parents try, it's often done in the best sense. For example, whether the children have a talent. My parents were supporters and observers."
There has been no shortage of offers, but Sissel never succumbed to the temptation to take her daughters on the red carpet.
"I was very aware that the children were under my protection. They should be allowed to be themselves. We went to the movies together when there was no red carpet."
What about her upbringing, has she been itching to steer direction or spare her children heartache?
"Yes, sometimes," says Sissel.
"But at the same time, they're going through this and that. And that's how my parents sat when I was young. I want to be as conscious as mom and dad."
-- I never started singing to be a star
She is described as a "singer in everything from pop and folk music, to classical and hymns". And that's pretty descriptive. Someone who has sung with Odd Grythe, Neil Sedaka, Sting, Plácido Domingo and Warren G can hardly be accused of cultivating his genre.
"I never started singing to be a star, but because I loved to sing," says Sissel, and the tone reveals that a lack of label doesn't bother her in the slightest.
When Sissel released the album "Merry Christmas" in 1987, it sold an unimaginable 600,000 copies and stands as one of Norwegian music history's greatest successes. In total, she has sold six million solo albums, recorded music for blockbusters such as "Titanic" and "The Lord of the Rings" and toured the world. What's she like before she goes on stage? Nervous?
"No, but I get very tired. I have to have a place and go to bed and take a little rest. And then I get adrenaline."
Rock bands have whiskey on the raider, your requirement is a bed?
"I've been lying on the floor too. Then I go through the whole concert in my head, just like an alpine skier walking through the trail."
There have been times when she has been given an Iron Curtain. Sissel doesn't take it too heavily. Then she just makes up some text or starts over. It's not a matter of being so yourself. But in one field, she is unwavering: professional pride. Both in herself and in the people she works with.
"I'm a perfectionist."
She nods towards the journalist.
"You're also a perfectionist, since you're both recording the interview and taking notes. We should all be proud of our profession."
How do you react to them with a more slumsy attitude?
"They have to stand for that. For me, it's important to have respect for my profession and take it seriously. I'm lucky enough to be able to choose to work with people who are great at what they know and who are proud to deliver. But it's a performance profession. Someone said, 'You're never better than your last concert'."
She nods knowingly.
"It's pretty nasty. But at the same time, one must look at what the prerequisites are on this particular day, and not be too oneself. I've tried to pass this on to my girls as well. For example, when it comes to schoolwork, but also there you have to be conciliatory. You have to see the whole picture. What are the prerequisites right now? You can only do your best."
-- When you're in the middle of it, it's hard to lift your gaze
Stardust has been sprinkling over Sissel for almost 35 years. But she's also stood by some black holes. The year was 1999. Sissel was seven months pregnant with Sarah and was preparing for her 30th birthday. What were they going to eat? Who should they pray? Then came the phone call from her mother. The younger of her two older brothers had died, aged 36.
"I didn't understand anything. I broke down. 'Why?' I thought. I tried to push the question away, but it came back," Sissel told VG in 2003.
When shock strikes, and life more than butter, where does Sissel Kyrkjebø draw strength from? How does she get on?
"I derive a lot of my strength from my faith," Sissel says.
"But when you're in the middle of it, it's hard to look up. What you're going through is so energy-consuming that you can't make it. Then it is incredibly good to have faith and know that you are not alone."
"I try to remind myself that I can learn something from it. That when I come out the other side, I'll be much stronger. And that I'm not alone. I have my child faith at the bottom."
For someone who has been in the media spotlight since she was in her teens, does she possibly feel that fame has had a price? Is that something she's sacrificed? Sissel shakes her head.
"I don't know of any other life than this. I haven't missed a youth more than an athlete has."
- Athletes might experience...?
- I've got something else. I had it as the yolk in the egg and have been given so many opportunities and experiences.
Today, if with all her experience she should have given a piece of advice to herself at 16, on the steps of life, with all the sorrows and joys ahead of her?
"You have to be true to yourself. Always," Sissel says emphatically.
As it says in Mark's Gospel, "What does it benefit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?" That's my mantra.
06 Nov. 2019 at 10:46
Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸: Was afraid to walk through the stage floor
Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸: Was afraid to walk through the stage floor
But the Norwegian/Danish singing star with the velvety voice overcame her nervousness to stand alone in front of an audience and has long since sung her way into many hearts. She will shortly be embarking on her extensive Christmas tour.
Aarhus: Basically, there is something ambivalent about enjoying being on the big music stage and at the same time being sad about having to pack your suitcase to leave home.
But that's how Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ feels. She loves to stand and sing, but she also loves her home. The daily rhythm. The daily pursuits. Calm. The simple. All that we do not associate with a star of her caliber.
-No. I'm probably not that good at traveling. To pack your suitcase. But once I'm in it, it's wonderful," says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸, who must be ready with her suitcases on 17 November, when she begins her extensive Christmas tour in the Theater Hall in LillestrĂ¸m.
Then the tour will crisscross Scandinavia, where she will give 33 concerts in the time until 21 December, when she rounds off at the Concert Hall in Aarhus.
After that, for family woman Sissel, it's about coming home to Oslo and creeping back into everyday life. And celebrate Christmas with the family and take it easy.
- I love Christmas. But don't have performance anxiety. It should be completely slow down. Walks around in pajamas until well into the day. Baker cakes. Enjoying ourselves. Christmas is associated with music and family, she says about the holiday that she has celebrated with a tour for many years.
And she will continue to do so as long as she thinks her voice and physique will hold up to it.
The tour is preceded by a major effort to put together a concert.
- I start from scratch every time. There must be meaning and coherence in it. It shouldn't be the same concert, I just do it year after year, she emphasizes and adds:
- I always plan based on the idea that my Christmas concert is like Christmas Eve. Some packages one hopes to get. Others you have not wanted, but will be happy with anyway. There are songs that the audience expects. And then there are songs that they didn't expect, but which should be a good surprise.
Sissel herself almost goes into Zen after a concert. There is no rock-n-roll in it when she leaves the stage. Am not the type to party through to the early hours of the morning. And she never goes unprepared on stage. She prepares mentally as well as physically every time. For the body must be rested.
- After a concert, I retire to my room. Then I'm already preparing for the next concert. Lays me down and reviews from point to point the concert. That's how I do it every single time. And I'm not letting it down, even though it's concert number 30. It has to be as perfect as the previous ones," she says, acknowledging that this way she is not social when she goes on tour.
But she is anyway. Because it is very important to her that everyone on the tour team has a good time. That you can laugh together.
- They have been carefully selected by me, she says of the six musicians and the six in the crew behind the artists.
- It is so important that we can work with each other, so we do not have to spend effort on disagreeing and in this way drain each other of energy before we go on stage.
She has handpicked the musicians from the Norwegian and Swedish music scenes, while the pianist has been brought in from the United States.
You can clearly feel her respect for professionalism. Nothing should be left to chance. You always have to do your best. In doing so, she lifts her grandfather into the conversation.
- He worked as a dock worker in Bergen. Unloaded and loaded ships. He was solid and strong. And then he was proud of his profession. Of the work he did. The pride of your profession is so important, whether you are a painter or a musician. If you do it because others tell you to, you die. But if, on the other hand, it is an inner driving force, then it holds because it becomes authentic.
Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ - Born June 24, 1969 in Bergen.
Has sung in choir since she was four years old. She sang in children's choirs from the age of nine.
Her first solo performance was in a shopping center in Bergen when she was 11 years old, where she won her first local talent competition
In 1983, she appeared for the first time on television.
In 1986, Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ performed during the break during the Eurovision Song Contest, which took place in Grieghallen in Bergen. In the same year, Sissel's first album, "Sissel", was released.
She has made an impressive career, singing with big stars such as Placido Domingo and rapper Warren G.
She has sung a repertoire that stretches few Schubert over Andrew Lloyd Webber to the great pop ballads of Abba and Deep Purple.
She has received more than 20 Norwegian and international music awards.
On August 21, 1993, she married Danish-American Eddie Skoller, who was 25 years older than her. They divorced in 2004. The couple had two daughters, Ingrid and Sara. Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ moved back to Norway in 2010. Today Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ lives in Oslo with her husband, the Norwegian lawyer Ernst Ravnaas.
It is certainly also an inner force that drove the little girl from Bergen into the music scene, where she quickly developed into a world star.
Her parents didn't pace their little girl. They thought it was nice that she sang in a choir. It started when she was four years old and Mom promised the choir director that she would teach her little girl the lyrics. Throughout her childhood, Sissel has sung in choirs. From the age of 9-16 she sang in Bergen Teacher's College's Children's Choir, where she really learned to sing and learned the basic singing technique. Here she was trained to listen to the other voices in the choir. And that discipline has been of great help in his career.
But it was the child himself who took the initiative to enter the music scene solo. Because she was carrying a dream.
- It was during the summer holidays. My best girlfriends were on vacation. Mom and dad at work. I was bored. That's why I signed up for a kind of talent competition in a shopping center in Bergen. It was kind of down to earth. And my parents didn't know.
It wasn't until she asked her mother if she wanted to drive her to the center that her parents knew what their 11-year-old daughter was up to.
"Mom called my dad at work and put him into the case. And he said, "Well, can Sissel sing?" That way?
And yes. Posterity has shown that his daughter could.
It was a landmark event for Sissel as she stood singing in the shopping center. She remembers what summer dress she wore. And that the hair was braided in two braids.
When she was 13, she joined a youth program on Norwegian television, where she chose to sing the Barbara Streisand hit "Evergreen". She did not know English, but sang by ear.
Being like the others
The following year, she was spotted on a sing-along program on television. They were missing a soprano. It was the big chance for the girl from Vestlandet.
"That was when there was only one channel. So you risked being exposed quite a lot. That's why the TV crew turned to my parents to make sure I could mentally deal with it as well. Whatever they thought I could."
She was in the program for two years. Then came the big breakthrough.
- I got the job singing during the break in connection with the Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Grieghallen in Bergen.
Then it went fast. In the same year, the 16-year-old songlark from Bergen released his first album. Her career took off.
Nevertheless, alongside her singing career, she chose to take her high school diploma. High school meant a lot to her. Here she could be with peers with the same sorrows and joys, unlike the music scene, where she was always surrounded by people much older than she was.
"High school was a sanctuary for me. I was in an environment where I was one among many. Here I could retreat and be like all my comrades. School was an important base for me that I could always come home to."
Norwegian and Danish
Things started to move fast. The girl from Vestlandet not only sang her way through the Norwegian mountains, but also began to take the Danes by storm. She was only 20 years old when she fell in love with entertainer Eddie Skoller. The two married in 1993 and divorced about 10 years later. The couple has two girls, Ingrid and Sarah. And for the first years after the divorce, Sissel stayed in Denmark, but today lives in Oslo with her husband. There was too much commuting back and forth.
- I have lived permanently in Denmark for 20 years. This is where my girls grew up. So I also consider Denmark my home, which I enjoy coming home to, she smiles.
She loves Vendsyssel. Tversted, where she and Skoller had a summer house.
- There are lovely high ceilings and great nature, she says about the North Jutland landscape.
Although she has lived in Denmark for a long time, she does not speak Danish, but sounds Norwegian.
- Danish is a difficult language. I tried at first. But was laughed at. That's why I've stuck with my Norwegian.
In turn, her daughters are bilingual. Mom spoke Norwegian to them, and Dad spoke Danish. They replied in Danish.
- They have maintained that tradition. Even though they are in a company entirely of Norwegians, they answer me in Danish. Because they've been used to that.
She is in no hurry to figure out what they should be.
- They find out for themselves. It's just fascinating as parents to stand on the sidelines and watch how they find their way. They know that I will support them in what they are passionate about. Just like my parents did for me," says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸, who has long since dismantled the stage fright she felt when she had her first solo performances.
"I was terrified. Thought I was going to fall through the stage floor," says the world star, who has managed to run a great singing career in parallel with the need to be a very private person.
Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ has noticed a clear change in her audience after the last few years of lockdown of the world. But she also feels that they are there again - right there, at the end of the stage. And it's still magic that happens when she's in close contact with her audience. The kind of magic that can only happen at live concerts. This year she is up to date with new music, and shortly she will be embarking on this year's Christmas tour, where she will perform in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
When Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ looks at the year that has passed, it has been a year where she has returned to the audience. After more than two years of lockdown, 2022 has been a year where new habits had to be broken.
- We humans are habitual people, and it is clear to feel that the lockdown has given us new habits. When the world shut down, we didn't have a choice to stay inside, because we had to. Now we have become complacent. We can experience everything from the couch and we can choose whether we want to go out or stay at home. So now we need to practice new habits where we get out more, says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
She recalls the very first concert after the reopening.
"I felt unsafe. Do we really dare to do this?" Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ asks rhetorically.
The first steps were cautious, but once she felt the audience, she was also reminded why she loves to sing. With this year's Christmas tour, which kicks off in Sweden on 18 November, she is back where she left off the audience before corona. Back to square one, where you meet with the audience and feel the magic happen.
And it is magical when Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ sings. For four decades, she has captivated people with her angelic soprano.
Because Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ has always loved to sing. As a child, she sang for a time in four different choirs. At the age of 11, she won a singing competition at the local mall in Bergen, where she grew up. At the age of 16, she stepped onto the stage during the break at the Eurovision Song Contest in Norway and sang her way convincingly into the hearts of the people. That same year, she released her first record, and the rest is history.
A shining star
She has over 20 records behind her and a string of soundtracks. If you mention Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸, the vast majority of people over the age of 35 will get a blissful smile on their face and nod in recognition. They know exactly who Sissel is and what her voice sounds like. Even though it has been 14 years since she moved from Denmark and back to Norway.
But Sissel has left her mark on the Danish population with her special voice, which not only contains Christmas hymns, but everything from Irish folk music and pop to classical duets. Among other things, with the Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, with whom she sang at the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.
She has an impressive international career behind her, and this year alone she has released six new singles divided between "Trilogy I" and "Trilogy II - No farewell". Her audience can look forward to hearing another new single: "Winter Morning", which is among the new songs of this year's Christmas tour.
A song has a special meaning to her.
- When I wrote the text, I was describing my own winter morning. It's about those dark mornings when you get up early. There is a special calm and silence that, in some cases, can make us feel lonely. But in the morning you know that the sun is rising, and soon the light will come. It is about enjoying the tranquility, perhaps remembering gratitude, and seeing the positive in both what has been and what is. Because even though winter mornings can be dark, cold and tiresome, it's all about making the best of the day as best you can, says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
"Winter Morning" was recorded with The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. A 360-voice choir, and it is a big dream for Sissel to record Christmas music with exactly the choir, which is also called America's Choir.
- Imagine so many voices singing together. It's incredibly beautiful, and I've wanted to record Christmas music with The Tabernacle Choir for a long time," she says.
"Winter Morning" isn't just the seventh new single Sissel releases this year. It is also a song that she co-wrote with her husband, Ernst Ravnaas. He's a tax lawyer and hasn't worked with music before, so it was a bit of a surprise when he wrote "I Rest My Eyes" as a Valentine's gift to Sissel this year. But gradually the two have written more songs together.
Christmas in winterland
Although she has lived in Denmark for over 20 years, the Norwegian accent has not let go of her speech. She sings on the words when she talks with gentleness about the Christmas traditions she has created despite the fact that she is on a Christmas tour most of December every year.
- But it is always something very special to find the box of Christmas decorations. And one box has become two and three over the years. I like to buy Christmas decorations to take home from my travels. Little things that remind me of the places I've visited. Our nativity scene is global, because we have characters from all corners of the world, says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸.
When she goes on a Christmas tour, she's away almost until Christmas Eve.
"The last concert is December 19, so our Christmas is going to be very calm. In fact, it always is. For me, Christmas is first and foremost about being with your loved ones, and it's still nicest to be together when you're not stressed. So Christmas stress we don't have here."
She can easily bake Christmas cookies between Christmas and New Year instead of doing it before Christmas Eve. There she has better time, and they taste just as good, as she herself says.
When she lived in Denmark, Christmas was often more American than Danish-Norwegian, because for a number of years she was married to entertainer Eddie Skoller, with whom she also has her two adult daughters. Therefore, she has been eating turkey for Christmas for many years. But since she has moved to Norway, it has once again taken on a more Norwegian touch.
- There are certain dishes that we eat here in Norway at Christmas, but it is not the same across the country, as in Denmark. In Norway, what you eat at Christmas is more regional. We have a dish called pinnekjĂ¸tt, which is dried, salted lamb ribs that are steamed before eating. I have tried to present it several times to my Danish friends, but they are not quite as crazy about it as we are here in Norway, says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ laughing.
This year she will play her last Christmas concert in the Old Hall at the Royal Danish Theater in Copenhagen on 19 December. Only then can she begin to think about Christmas in her own home.
- On Christmas Eve we are going out to find a Christmas tree. It should be fairly straight and not too big. Then we decorate the tree, and then we are ready for Christmas tranquility. I grew up in Bergen, where it rained a lot in winter - just like in Denmark. And it is clear to feel that it makes a big difference that it is cold and snow-white in winter.
Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ has a long music career behind her, where she has toured the United States with the Irish group The Chieftains. Together with them, she has appeared in David Letterman's "The Late Show".
In 1997, she co-recorded the music for the film "Titanic". The film score itself sold 24 million copies.
She is Knight of the 1st Class of the Order of St. Olav - a Royal Norwegian Order of Merit awarded as a reward for distinguished merits of the fatherland and humanity.
Current with the Christmas tour "Sissels Jul 2022" in Denmark, Norway and Sweden and new Christmas album, "Winter Morning", with The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square on November 18th.
Today, Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ lives in a country house just outside Oslo, where snow is guaranteed for Christmas. This means that winter takes on a different meaning.
- There are many who have a cabin in the mountains that they visit in the winter and spend Christmas in. Then they can ski and make ice lanterns, says Sissel KyrkjebĂ¸ and draws a wish scenario for a Christmas that many people crave.
- Here where I live, many people have a kick support that they ride when they need to shop. It's really smart, because then they can have the basket of goods on the seat," she says.
SIssel Kyrkjebø (52) gained attention as a 16-year-old with songs such as "Love" and "Å Vestland, Vestland". 1986 was thus the year of her big breakthrough, and since then she has been one of the world's greatest artists.
Three years later, she met 45-year-old Danish humorist, musician and entertainer Eddie Skoller (74). After knowing each other for four years, the then 23-year-old Kyrkjebø Skoller gave her "yes" in her hometown, Bergen.
The marriage to Kyrkjebø was Skoller's third, and the couple lived together in Denmark. In a new interview with Dagbladet, the soprano tells how she invested in love back then.
"I've bet several times when it's been something I've believed in and the hope is right. The first time was when I was 20 years old, getting married and moving from Norway to Denmark. We have quite similar culture and language, but I didn't know if I would make friends there or what it would be like," the artist admits, adding that she likes to throw herself into new things.
"I like to be in control of my job, but I try to let go of control otherwise. If you have complete control, you lose parts of your life. For me, it was liberating to come to a new country, and to be something completely different than I was here," she continues.
The 52-year-old also eases the veil on what it was like to become a familiar face at an early age.
"I felt like I was sitting on a train that went very fast after I got to know each other. It was a lot of fun and exciting, but when I was 20 I felt like stopping a little bit. I traveled around for two months, and afterwards I realized I wanted to move to Denmark, which ended up getting married," she admits.
In 2004, however, the marriage ended, and after 21 years in Denmark, Kyrkjebø moved home to Norway.
-- This time, too, the star moved for love
In 2013, she married tax lawyer Ernst Ravnaas (67) for the second time. The wedding took place in a secret ceremony in Hov Church, a choir church from 1781 in Søndre Land municipality, without any guests present.
Earlier this year, it was announced that the singing star would release a song with her husband. The couple told VG that Ravnaas, who played the piano as a teenager, had imagined his wife's gentle voice and strummed out longing notes once she was on tour.
Kyrkjebø describes the song as beautiful, and started rewriting the lyrics to find the right story-line. It was the start of a collaboration that ends with a trilogy, where two of the songs have already been released: "I Rest My Eyes" and "The Journey".
-- Sold the apartment
Last year it became known that Kyrkjebø and Ravnaas had put their fashionable apartment at Frogner in Oslo up for sale.
They had lived in the 192-square-foot apartment since 2010, three years before they married. At that time, they forked out NOK 8,750,000 for the home, which has since gone through a number of upgrades.
Last year, however, Finansavisen reported that the home was eventually sold for this net sum of 32.5 million, three million above valuation. That's almost quadruple what the couple gave for the home eleven years ago.
Today, Kyrkjebø and Ravnaas live in Søndre Land. To VG, the artist has not hidden the fact that she felt more and more at home there.
"Then we thought to give it a chance, and with a home office and everything, we really got to test it. We noticed during the corona that we didn't miss so much coming into Oslo, we actually thought that it was most lovely to be on the farm, the artist continued to the newspaper."
|Sissel Kyrkjebř, 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 ].