Below you'll find highlights from Sissel's long career, sorted by time period. Click through the timeline to learn more.
The nineties was an exciting decade for me.
Major events in my career took place; such as singing at both the opening and closing ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer-94, the collaboration with Plácido Domingo, The Chieftains, James Horner and Titanic, and being a featured artist with Warren G. on “The Rapsody – Prince Igor”. Just to name a few highlights.
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The Olympic Hymn – 1994
The Olympic Hymn was first performed in 1896, in the first modern Summer Olympic Games, Athens, Greece. (Music by Spirou Samara, original lyrics by Cortis Palamas).
At the ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer ’94, I had the honor of singing this song in Norwegian (nynorsk). In the middle of the opening ceremony it started to snow, and it was perfect timing so an american commentator shouted out: “WOW, WOOOOW!! How did they do that???”
He thought the snowing was a magic trick, but it was so real! Made by Mother Nature.
In 2024 this will be 30 years ago …
The translation is made by Halldis Moren Vesaas. https://snl.no/Halldis_Moren_Vesaas
Music arrangement by Frode Thingnæs.
Forsvarets orchestra was playing and a children’s choir singing along.
Sissel performing The Olympic Hymn at the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway -1994.
SE ILEN LYSE // FIRE IN YOUR HEART
This must have been the coldest Olympics up to that point! It was freezing cold, but also magic and memorable.
When the Olympic president said: “I hereby declare the winter Olympics at Lillehammer ended” …there was a common sigh of disappointment among the thousands of people who were there.
The euphoria at Lillehammer Olympics 94, was combined with the beautiful Norwegian nature and people. This feeling lives on in the Olympic theme song: “Se Ilden Lyse” // “Fire in your heart”
I met Plácido Domingo for the first time after his concert in Oslo Spectrum the day before the Opening Ceremony in Lillehammer. Just a short meeting. I asked him if he would join me in singing the English version of the Olympic Theme song: “Fire In Your Heart.”
The day after, he came to Lillehammer three hours before the Opening Ceremony.
In a hurry, we recorded the song in NRK´s lunchroom. Since this was “back in the days,” there was no such thing as sending the files over the internet. No, no! There was a guy from the record company waiting. The moment the song was recorded he took the tape and drove to the airport as fast as he could. He flew to Germany so the factory could press CDs so that this special version of the song could be released the day after.
Following the collaboration from the `94 Olympics, Sissel was invited to Plácido Domingo’s third annual “Christmas in Vienna” concert along with Charles Aznavour (December 1994).
This was such a wonderful time to sing with two great artists and singers/performers.
Later on, she was invited again to perform alongside with Domingo and another great tenor, José Carreras, at “Christmas in Moscow.” This was the first Christmas concert to be held there after the fall of the Soviet Union (2001).
VICTORY DAY – 08.05.1995
The one and only Celine Dion, and Sissel sharing restrooms on V-Day 08.05.1995.
Little did they know that their paths should cross once again in just a few years time …
The Rapsody – Prince Igor
In 1997 I was in New York with my family, and got a call from a German producer who asked me to join in on a very exciting project were they took classical arias, pieces and mixed them with rap music. A totally melting pot… and I loved it. The only problem was that I had to record it the next day, the day of our departure back to Scandinavia. So we planned to drop by the studio on our way to the airport. I rehearsed and rehearsed, but as the lyrics were in Russian, and I thought it was so hard without having anyone coaching me on the language. In the taxi on the way to the studio I looked at the drivers license , and it said IGOR! “- Are you Russian?” I asked him. “Yes,..?” -“Can you be my language coach in the studio?” ….- He was a good coach but a though one to please, so I was afraid we wouldn’t make our flight“ He said: “Just one more time on that a sound, and don’t worry, you will get your flight, I know all the shortcuts!”
So we did make it! Both the recording and the flight back home, thanks to a Russian cab driver in NY.
TITANIC – 1998
In 2023 this is 25 years ago….
I remember this so well! The first time I heard this special music. I met James in Universal’s big recording studio. We were all alone, sitting on the stool by the grand piano and there were sheet music on the many stands and the floor around us. He had just finished a symphony session for another movie. He turned to me and asked: I would like to play some lines that I would like for you to sing. And maybe you can hum along? – And so I did, and I got goose bumps by this haunting and emotional lines. I said: James, this is so beautiful! – You like it? Do you think you would like to sing this is in the movie? – I would love to! And then he looked at me and said, so humble , – you don’t know how grateful I am. And I replied,: I am the one to be grateful.
I will remember him forever, for his talent, kindness, all that he taught me and that he believed in my voice as his voice for the movie score of Titanic.
Since I watched the movie while I was singing, and it was so emotional , I had to take several breaks not to cry.
For me,- this is one of the most beautiful themes ever written in film music history!