Steve Davislim

Tenor
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Australasia
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© Rosa Frank

Australian tenor Steve Davislim is among the leading tenors of his generation. He started his professional career as a principal 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 saw Steve Davislim’s long-awaited return to the opera stage in Australia performing the title role in Idomeneo, one of his signature roles, for Victorian Opera. He also returned to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in a role debut, as Loge in Das Rheingold, Simone Young conducting, and featured at both the Port Fairy Spring Festival and the Tasmanian Chamber Music Festival in solo Lieder recitals.

Most recently Steve has been heard with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in Das Klagende Lied with Simone Young conducting, in recitals with Daniel de Borah at the Melbourne Recital Centre and Ukaria, 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, Philadelphia, Chicago, Zurich, Vienna, Turin, Leipzig, Madrid, Dresden, Paris, Rome (Santa Cecilia), BBC, Birmingham and London Symphony Orchestras; Scottish Chamber Orchestra; Concertgebouw Amsterdam; Munich, Berlin and London and Vienna Philharmonic; all the radio orchestras of Germany and Holland, Radio France; and at the BBC Proms, New York Lincoln Center Festival, Salzburg Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, Orange, Aix en Provence, Edinburgh and Lucerne Festivals.

Engaged at the most prestigious opera theatres, he has appeared at the State Opera Berlin (Almaviva/The Barber of Seville); 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 as 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, Tamino); Opera Australia in Sydney (Don Ottavio/Don Giovanni, Lensky, 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 Geneva Opera; Tamino for Semperoper Dresden and at Tokyo National Opera; Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Naples; Ferrando in Così fan tutte in Geneva; the title role in La clemenza di Tito at the BBC Proms and Glyndebourne Festival; Baron Kronthal/Der Wildschütz in Dresden, and Tom in Dresden.

He has worked with esteemed conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Claudio Abbado, Sir Colin Davis, Lorin Maazel, Simone Young, Theodor Currenzis, Valery Gergiev, Mstislav Rostropovich, Mikhail Pletnev, Sir Simon Rattle, Leonard Slatkin, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Bernard Haitink, Thomas Hengelbrock, René Jacobs, Armin/Philip Jordan, Marc Minkowski, Neeme Järvi, Myung Wung Chung, Sir Roger Norrington, Antonio Pappano, Sir Georg Solti, Riccardo Chailly, Peter Eötvös, William Christie, Andres Orozco-Estrada, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jeffery Tate, Franz Welser-Möst, Philippe Herreweghe,  Andris Nelsons and Christopher Hogwood.

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 Juliette 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 and the Vienna Philharmonic.

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“captivatingly suave bloom and mellifluousness melodic shaping of Steve Davislim’s voice as the mercurial Loge. His performance is a gem of fluid vocal characterisation”. 

Peter McCallum

“As the sardonic and mercurial god of fire, Loge, Vienna-based Australian-Malaysian Steve Davislim was excellent as he skittered engagingly and sung confidently with charm and fluidity”. 

Paul Selar

“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’.”

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

Gerhard Hoffman

“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

“...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

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

Greg Elliot

“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

Managed by Graham Pushee: Email Graham February 2024

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