© Rosa Frank

Steve Davislim


Management: Australasia

Website: http://www.stevedavislim.com

“A perfectly balanced tenor…Davislim possesses a superbly powerful lyric voice, perfectly balanced in all registers with a touch of blithe dramatic expression in delicate passages. Particularly impressive was the way in which he immediately swung into completely different emotional moods from song to song: employing supple lines, delicate then powerfully lively to express Schubert’s ‘An Mignon’ then suddenly fulminant in ‘Der Musensohn’.”

Martin Preisser, Tagblatt (Switzerland), 8 January 2019


Missa Solemnis, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden

“The splendid tenor voice (Steve Davislim) rose mellifluously with lyric brilliance.”

Gerhard Hoffman, Online Merker, 1 December 2018


Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Simone Young

“In Benjamin Britten's orchestral song cycle Les Illuminations, setting poetry by Arthur Rimbaud, Steve Davislim sang with a noble sound of rich bloom and a natural feel for expressive gesture and stylistic poise.”

Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald, 15 August 2018


Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Teatro di San Carlo

“...Tenor Steve Davislim was her attractive fiancé Belmonte, singing the role of ardent lover with a mellow and rich tone. Davislim was handsome and elegant and brought out also the thoughtful side of a role which is demanding for deep breath and firm tone control.”

Lorenzo Fiorito, Bachtrack, 31 October 2017


Winterreise, Adelaide Festival 2017

“...Davislim’s performance was mesmerising: it was a rare opportunity to be so close to such brilliance.”

Greg Elliot, In Daily, March 2017


Bruckner’s Te Deum, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Riccardo Muti

“The tenor gets most of the duties here and Steve Davislim assayed the challenging high tessitura with security, displaying a plangent tone and expressive poise.”

Lawrence A.Johnson, Chicago Classical Review, 24 June 2016


The Rake’s Progress, Finnish National Opera, Helsinki

“…Helsinki scores well…with the assured elegance of Steve Davislim’s Tom. The tenor’s singing has ease and depth, sophistication and communicative grace. More than anybody else involved, Davislim seems to have understood that Stravinsky’s neoclassicism was just a vehicle for expressing something he passionately wanted to say.”

Shirley Apthorp, Helsinki Financial Times, March 2016

Beethoven 9, Orchester Wiener Akademie

“…Tenor Steve Davislim was elegant and secure, which is a long shot from the usual taxed-sounding, dying-swan-like efforts one gets to hear from tenors in this work.”

Forbes Magazine, September 2015


Turbulent Heart, Melba Recordings

“…as powerfully sure in the lower notes and as he is shining in the highest… add to this exemplary French diction and phrasing, an expressive use of rubato, a warm tone colour, a natural musicality”

Gérard Condé, OPÉRA (France), February 2010


Benjamin Britten Folksong Arrangements, Melba Recordings

“I would simply add that Davislim, Young and Melba Recordings have (remarkably) excelled themselves; this release is worth several times its weight in gold.”

Howard Smith, Music and Vision Daily (U.K.), 19 April 2009


Winterreise, Melba Recordings

“I found this a spell-binding and compulsive performance”

John Miller, SA-CD.NET (UK), 14 February 2009


Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mozart, MET New York

“Steve Davislim made a very fine house debut as Pedrillo, singing with an appealing tenor and lively stage presence...”

Vivien Schweizer, The New York Times, 28 April 2008


Idomeneo, Mozart, La Scala

“Steve Davislim sang a beautifully poised and cleanly tuned Idomeneo, unfazed by the challenge of Fuor del mar.”

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 10 December 2006

Twice awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee award and Australia Council scholarship, Australia’s tenor Steve Davislim is among the leading tenors of his generation. He began his musical training as a horn player, then studied voice at the VCA under Dame Joan Hammond and started his professional career as an ensemble member of the Zurich Opera.  Now acclaimed throughout the world for his beautiful lyric voice, strong stage presence and remarkable agility he is in demand internationally on both concert and operatic stages.


2023 will see Steve Davislim’s long-awaited return to the opera stage in Australia when he performs the title role in Idomeneo, one of his signature roles, for Victorian Opera. He will also return to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in a role debut, as Loge in Das Rheingold, Simone Young conducting.


Most recently Steve returned to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to perform in Das Klagende Lied with Simone Young, and also sang in recitals with Daniel de Borah at the Melbourne Recital Centre and Ukaria. He was then invited to return to the Sydney Symphony in 2021 to perform the Schubert Offertorium and Mozart Requiem, again with Simone Young conducting. Further engagements included Liederabende in the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg with Malcolm Martineau, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis CD recording and tour with René Jacobs, Mendelssohn's Elijah with Thomas Hengelbrock in Zurich, the Walpurgisnacht with Andrés Orozco-Estrada with the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Britten's War Requiem in the Beethoven Festival Warsaw and Dvorak's Stabat Mater with Christoph Eschenbach in Berlin.


In concert Steve Davislim has performed with some of the most reputable orchestras in Europe, Australia and the US including the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Melbourne, Sydney, and West Australian Symphony Orchestras; the Cleveland, New York, San Francisco, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Chicago Symphony Orchestras; the Royal Danish Orchestra, Scottish Chamber, the Symphony Orchestras of Zurich, Vienna, Turin, Leipzig, Madrid, Dresden, Paris, Rome (Santa Cecilia), Brussels, Lyon, Concertgebouw Amsterdam; at the BBC, Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony and Philharmonic and at the Barbican; Vienna, Munich, Berlin Philharmonic, all the radio orchestras of Germany and Holland, BBC, Radio France; and also at the BBC Proms, New York Lincoln Center Festival, Salzburg festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, Orange, Aix en Provence, Edinburgh and Lucerne Festivals.


Recent concert engagements include Les Illuminations with Simone Young and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with Christoph Eschenbach in Berlin, Paris and Warsaw, Bruckner’s Mass f-moll in Madrid, Beethoven 9 in South Korea and Vienna New Year’s concert, Die Walpurgisnacht and Elijah conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock in Paris, Beethoven 9 with the London Symphony Orchestra under Bernard Haitink, and with the Sydney Symphony, Schubert’s Die Winterreise at the Adelaide Festival, Beethoven’s Christus am Ölberge at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn, sang and stage-directed The Magic Flute with the Malaysian Philharmonic, The Song of the Earth in Vienna, performances of Messiah with the Melbourne and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras and in Vienna, Mozart arias/Mozart Requiem and Haydn’s Creation with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Mozart Requiem with the West Australian Symphony, Szymanovski Sinfonie no.3 in the Cologne Philharmonie and Paris, Bruckner’s Te Deum with Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Elijah/Walpurgisnacht with the Gewandhaus Orchestra. Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and 9th Symph., Zurich, Paris (Riccardo Chailly), Aix en Provence (René Jacobs), and Al Bustan Festivals. Role of Nero in World Premiere of “Poppaea” by Michael Hersch in Vienna and Basel with Wien Modern. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, evangelist and arias in Hamburg Elbphilharmonie with Münchner Bach Chor.

Engaged at the most prestigious opera theatres, he has appeared at the State Opera Berlin (Almaviva); State Opera Vienna (Tamino/ Die Zauberflöte); Hamburg Opera (Lensky/Eugen Onegin, Tom/The Rake’s Progress, and Almaviva); the Deutsche Oper Berlin (Görge in Zemlinsky's Traumgörge); Royal Opera House Covent Garden (Fenton/Falstaff); at La Scala a much acclaimed Idomeneo under Daniel Harding, the title role in the world premiere of Teneke by Fabio Vacchi under Roberto Abbado and the role of Tamino; at the Chatelet Paris the title role in Weber’s Oberon; at  Lyric Opera Chicago (Jacquino/Fidelio under Christoph von Dohnanyi ); the Met (Pedrillo/Die Entführung aus dem Serail); the Semperoper Dresden ( Tom/The Rake’s Progress, and Tamino); Opera Australia in Sydney (Don Ottavio/Don Giovanni, Lensky/Eugen Onegin, David/Die Meistersinger); L'Arbore di Diana at the Liceu Barcelona and at the Montpellier Festival; Max in Der Freischütz in Baden Baden with Hengelbrock;  Martinu’s Juliette at the Geneva Opera; and a Handel Opernpasticcio Armida e Rinaldo with the Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble on tour in Germany, Hungary and Spain.

Recent opera performances include Tamino in Die Zauberflöte for Semperoper Dresden and in Tokyo National Opera, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Naples, Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte in Geneva, the title role in a new production of La clemenza di Tito at the BBC Proms at Albert Hall and Glyndebourne Festival, Baron Kronthal/Der Wildschütz in Dresden, and Tom/The Rake’s Progress for Finnish National Opera.


He has worked with esteemed conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Claudio Abbado, Sir Colin Davis, Pierre Boulez, Rafaele Frühbeck de Burgos, Adam Fischer, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Theodor Currenzis, Valery Gergiev, Mstislav Rostropovich, Michael Gielen, Mikhail Pletnev, Sir Simon Rattle, Leonard Slatkin, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Bernard Haitink, Thomas Hengelbrock, Yuri Ahronovitch, René Jacobs, Armin/Philip Jordan, Lorin Maazel, Marc Minkowski, Neeme Järvi, Myung Wung Chung, Sir Roger Norrington, Antonio Pappano, Michel Plasson, Sir Georg Solti, Riccardo Chailly, Peter Eötvös, Marcello Viotti, Andrea Marcon, William Christie, Andres Orozco-Estrada, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jeffery Tate, Franz Welser-Möst, Philippe Herreweghe,  Andris Nelsons and Christopher Hogwood.


Other notable concert engagements include Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 with Christian Thielemann in Munich/Moscow, with Sir Simon Rattle in Baden Baden with Berlin Philharmonic, in Vienna’s Musikverein with Haselböck, also with Radio France, BBC Proms, Santa Cecilia Rome and Munich with Lorin Maazel also in Australia with the Melbourne and West Australian Symphony Orchestras; a tour with John Eliot Gardiner and the London Symphony Orchestra, Elijah with the Munich Philharmonic, Berlioz’ Requiem with Leonard Slatkin in Lyon, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang at BBC Proms and Maggio Musicale Florence with Hogwood, and with the Gewandhaus Leipzig; Liszt’s Faust Symphony at the Tonhalle in Zürich with Alan Gilbert and Radio France in Paris, with Myung Wung Chung, Schnittke’s Faust Cantata with Vienna Philharmonic and Mikhail Pletnev, Schumann’s Faust Szenen at La Scala and with Hogwood and the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig and BBC Prom with John Eliot Gardiner; Martinu’s Juliette with the Berlin Philharmonic, Candide and a recital of Die Schöne Müllerin with Gerold Huber in Vienna’s Konzerthaus; Haydn’s Creation with William Christie, Martin Haselböck on tour, and with the Sydney Symphony; as well as Handel’s Messiah at the Musikverein Vienna, Sydney, Washington also with New York Philharmonic with Peter Schreier; Chausson’s Poeme de lamour et de la mer with the Queensland Symphony, Schubert’s Lazarus on tour with Vienna Philharmonic to the Vatican etc.,  Messiah with the New York Philharmonic, Richard Strauss Orchestral Songs with the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with National Symphony Orchestra, Eschenbach at the Kennedy Centre, Mozart Requiem with Thielemann in Salzburg Festival, the Dvorak Stabat Mater at the Basilique Cathedrale de Saint-Denis festival in Paris, A Child of Our Time with Sir Colin Davis at the Barbican London, and St. Matthew Passion in Munich, Chicago, Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam,  Brussels, Paris, Boston, Madrid, Zurich and Milan etc. with Haitink, Schreier, Jacobs, Herreweghe, Chailly etc.


As an ensemble member of the Zurich Opera, his numerous roles included Almaviva Il barbiere di Siviglia, Steersman/Der fliegende Holländer, Camille/Die lustige Witwe, Tamino/Die Zauberflöte, The Painter/Lulu under Franz Welser-Möst, Don Ottavio/Don Giovanni and Ferrando/Così fan tutte with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Der Prinz in Heinz Holliger’s Schneewittchen.


His many recordings include Brahms Rinaldo (EMI) with Michel Plasson, Heinz Holliger's Schneewittchen (ECM), Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with David Zinman (Arte Nova), Beethoven’s Christ on the Mount of Olives and Mozart’s Requiem (Opus 111), Tippett’s A Child of Our Time with Sir Colin Davis (LSO Live), Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle (Harmonia Mundi), Wagner’s Flying Dutchman (Pentatone) with Janowski, Liszt’s Faust Symphony (Alpha) with Martin Haselböck,  Martin’s Le vin herbé and Haydn’s Creation (Harmonia Mundi) and Martinu’s Julietta under Charles Mackerras (Supraphon). He has made numerous recordings for the Australian label Melba, including a solo album of Richard Strauss songs with the State Orchestra of Victoria under Simone Young, Saint-Saens’ Hélène and Nuit Persane, Britten’s Folksongs and Schubert’s Winterreise, and several recordings for Deutsche Grammophon including Handel’s Lotario and Rodelinda with Alan Curtis, Bach cantatas with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Mozart’s Requiem under Christian Thielemann, and the tenor solos in Szymanowski’s Symphony No. 3, Lied der Nacht with Pierre Boulez with the Vienna Philharmonic.

Steve Davislim is managed by Graham Pushee:  graham@artsmanagement.com.au
February 2023
 This biography is for general information purposes only and not for publication.
Please contact Graham for an up-to-date biography to suit your needs.