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Niels Jørgen Riis  

tenor

Niels Jørgen Riis (tenor) was admitted to the Opera Academy in 1994 and finished his studies there in 1998. Immediately after graduating he was engaged as a soloist by the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, where he has sung among others the Helmsman in The Flying Dutchman, Fenton in Falstaff, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Alfredo in La Traviata and Leander in Maskarade. In addition he has been a soloist in performances of Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass with the Copenhagen Philharmonic, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR, and Nielsen’s Springtime on Funen with the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra. In 2001 Niels Jørgen Riis was awarded the Aksel Schiøtz Prize.

Live Dates

21/08/2015   BBC Choice for Maskarade
BBC Music Magazine har udvalgt Maskarade som månedens operaindspilning med udmærkelsen "Choice"
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03/06/2015   Video trailer: MASKARADE
New video from the recording sessions for Carl Nielsen's opera "Maskarade" in DR Koncerthuset
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01/12/2016   Opernwelt

CARL NIELSEN: Maskarade
"Brillieren kann vor allem Johan Reuter, als Heldenbariton gegenwärtig einer der Großen Europas"
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01/10/2016   Die deutsche Bühne

CARL NIELSEN: Maskarade
"Man hört einfach gerne wahnsinnig gerne zu. Selbst der dänischen Sprache!"
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30/08/2016   OperaLounge

CARL NIELSEN: Saul & David
”Michael Schønwandt ist der einfühlsame Sachwalter für diese Musik.”
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30/08/2016   Die Deutche Bühne

CARL NIELSEN: Saul & David
“Die filmisch hervorragend reproduzierte Inszenierung von David Pountney erzält in Breitwandformat”
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30/08/2016   Kurier für Karlsruhe

CARL NIELSEN: Saul & David
“Eine qualitative herausragende Aufnahme unter Leitung von Michael Schønwandt, die bestens dazu angetan ist, für hierzulande eher unbelichtete Werk zu werben.”
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30/08/2016   SWR 2

CARL NIELSEN: Saul & David
”Lohnenswert und anregend.”
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30/08/2016   Concerti

CARL NIELSEN: Saul & David
4/5 Stars

”Michael Schønwandt am Pult des mit brillianten Streichern aufwartenden Royal Danish Orchestra gestaltet die Melange aus archaischer Wucht, tänzerischer Eleganz und neoklassisch klarer Figuranenanalyse mit einer hervorragendem Ensemble sinnlich und nuanciert.”
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29/07/2016   Ballet Review

CARL NIELSEN Maskarade
[..] "The many pleasures of this very Danish score (with touches of Verdi’s Falstaff) seem to come naturally to Johan Reuter as Henrik, Niels Jørgen Riis and Dénise Beck as the lovers, and Anne Margrethe Dahl and Stephen Billing as Leander’s parents." [..]
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22/07/2016   Avant Scène Opéra

CARL NIELSEN Maskarade
[..] "Si la précision musicale et la prise de son ne peuvent rivaliser avec celles de l’enregistrement studio, voilà néanmoins le témoignage d’une soirée on ne peut plus festive."
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12/07/2016   Avant Scène Opéra

CARL NIELSEN Saul og David
[..] "Pour l'interprétation magistrale de Johan Reuter et la direction vibrante de Michael Schønwandt, ce premier DVD de l'œuvre s'impose avec évidence."
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07/07/2016   ConcertoNet.com

CARL NIELSEN Saul og David
[..] "The performances are on the whole impressive. Johan Reuter is one of today’s top baritones and he gives a thoroughly committed performance in the title role. Niels Jørgen Riis has a tenor that glows ecstatically [..]. Bass Morten Staugaard is most impressive as Samuel. The young Norwegian baritone, Leif Jone Ølberg, displays a notably attractive voice as Abner." [..]
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03/06/2016   Weekendavisen

CARL NIELSEN Saul og David
"DVD-optagelsen formidler nærbilleder af intens styrke, og ude i verden vil Reuters minespil lede tankerne hen på giganter som Brando og Welles, [..]"
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31/05/2016   The Wholenote

CARL NIELSEN Saul og David
"This exciting DVD presents Carl Nielsen’s remarkable opera Saul and David (1901) recorded live at the Royal Danish Opera, in a production celebrating Nielsen’s 150th birthday. It offers a stellar cast, Michael Schønwandt’s brilliant conducting, David Pountney’s provocative stage direction and optional English or Danish subtitles."[..]
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01/05/2016   Fono Forum

CARL NIELSEN: Saul & David
"Musikchef Michael Schønwandt und der gerne nach Unbekanntem gründelnde David Pountney haben die 1902 uraufgeführte, durchaus religionsskeptische Bibeloper "Saul und David" sehr ordentlich herausgebracht"
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07/04/2016   MusicWeb International

CARL NIELSEN: Saul og David
"...admiration for a magnificent cast putting their all into a remarkable piece of early Nielsen, […] The upside of this performance is the quality of singing by both soloists and chorus and the magnificently powerful orchestra under the inspired direction of Michael Schønwandt."
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05/04/2016   Parterre Box

CARL NIELSEN: Saul & David
'An excellent cast, orchestra and chorus are led by conductor Michael Schønwandt. Baritone Johan Rueter commands the stage, giving an intense performance as Saul, riveting in his singing and acting'
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01/04/2016   Classica

Carl Nielsen Saul & David
4/4 Stars

[..] "Une réussite."
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02/03/2016   Forum Opera

CARL NIELSEN Saul og David
"Quant au Saül de Johan Reuter, ses qualités d'acteur impressionnent sans doute davantage que ses pures forces vocales, mais il n'en compose pas moins un mémorable personnage ravagé par le doute et la jalousie."
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02/03/2016   Gramophone

CARL NIELSEN: Saul & David
'Orchestra and conductor unroll their home composer’s score with richness and dexterity ... Hugely recommended'
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01/03/2016   Nouveauté

CARL NIELSEN Maskarade
4/4 Stars

[..] "Cette interprétation séduit totalement tant elle répand bonne humeur et humour tout en magnifiant les trésors de la partition." [..]
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02/02/2016   Kristeligt Dagblad

CARL NIELSEN: Saul og David
"På plussiden må noteres, at en række af legebarnet Pountneys påhit er meget virkningsfulde. Og hvad det musikalske angår er alt i de bedste hænder hos Det Kongelige Kapel og Operakor, dirigeret af Nielsen-specialisten Michael Schønwandt."
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01/02/2016   David's Review Corner

CARL NIELSEN: Saul & David
'Michael Schonwandt’s conducting once again shows that he is today’s leading Nielsen exponent'
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01/02/2016   Opera News

CARL NIELSEN: Maskarade
CRITIC'S CHOICE 'A pleasant discovery awaits many listeners'
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01/02/2016   Klassisk

CARL NIELSEN: Saul og David
"Saul er en splittet person, Johan Reuter fremstiller ham formidabelt. Michael Schønwandt skaber musikalsk perfekt indlevelse."
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22/01/2016   American Record Guide

CARL NIELSEN: Maskarade
CRITICS CHOICE 2016 "Chorus and orchestra are incontestably authoritative. The sound is superbly vivid. As I have said before, jaded opera lovers, who think there are no new discoveries to be had, should rush to secure this recording while it lasts. It, and the work itself, are irresistible!"
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01/01/2016   The Irish Times

CARL NIELSEN: Maskarade
4/5 Stars

"Well sung and interpreted as here, Maskarade deserves to be much more widely known."
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01/12/2015   L'Avant-Scène Opéra

CARL NIELSEN Maskarade
[..] "Malgré quelques faiblesses dans la distribution qui n'entachent pas gravement la réussite du projet, Schønwandt a donc eu pleinement raison de confir aux micros Dacapo sa novelle version de cette œuvre jubilatoire."
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01/12/2015   nmz – neue musikzeitung

CARL NIELSEN: Maskarade
"Überraschend ist die Fülle herausragender Opernaufnahmen, allen voran Carl Nielsens "Maskarade" exemplarisch unter Schønwandt"
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11/11/2015   Audiophile Audition

CARL NIELSEN: MASKARADE
5/5 Stars

"With the excellence of the cast, completely delightful and engaging, plus the radiant playing of the DNSO under Michael Schonwandt in sound that is state of the art and wonderfully balanced, this is simply the recording to own."
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10/11/2015   Opéra

CARL NIELSEN Maskarade
3/4 Stars

"[..] un excellent chef danois de réputation internationale (Michael Schønwandt) et une belle brochette de chanteurs, majoritairement danois."
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01/11/2015   Diapason

CARL NIELSEN Maskarade
[..] "je suis convaincu que cet enregistrement aura conduit de nombreux amateurs d'opéra vers cette célébration musicale de l'amour et de la vie."[..]
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01/11/2015   Oper!

Carl Nielsen: Maskarade
"(...) Und für die jüngste Einspielung der Maskarade sind es erneut Chor und Nationalorchester, die unter der federnden, buffoleichten und temperamentvollen Leitung von Michael Schønwandt diese melodiös funkelnde, vor witzigen tonsetzerischen Einfällen nur so sprühende Opernrarität für das dänische Label Dacapo aufgenommen haben. Entstanden ist eine Einspielung, die rundum überzeugt..."
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14/10/2015   Concerto Net

Carl Nielsen: Maskarade
4/5 Stars

"Maskarade, a lasting cornerstone within Danish culture"
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13/10/2015   Opera Now

Nielsen: Maskarade
"…interesting, enjoyable and worth investigating"
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06/10/2015   Diapason d'Or - Octobre 2015

Maskarade - Diapason d'Or
5/5 Stars

"La baguette alerte et subtile de Michael Schønwandt est aussi à l’aise dans le ton XVIIIe que dans la veine populair."
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01/10/2015   Klassiekezaken

Bruisende muziek
"Nielsen wilde Le nozze di Figaro, Falstaff en Die Meistersinger naar de kroon steken en dat is hem voortreffelijk gelukt."
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01/10/2015   Das Opernglas

Carl Nielsen: Maskarade
"Vom Danish National Symphony Orchestra unter der Leitung von Michael Schønwandt liegt nun das Werk des dänischen Nationalkomponisten in einer im vergangenen Jahr entstandenen beachtenswerten Einspielung vor..."
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01/10/2015   Ascolta

Carl Nielsen: Maskarade
"Det er blevet en helt rigtig Maskarade til tiden"
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01/10/2015   Gramophone

Carl Nielsen: Maskarade
THE SPECIALIST’S GUIDE TO… Nielsen beyond the symphonies

"Few works underscore Nielsen’s desire to overturn the old order better than this, a snapshot from 1906 of a changing Denmark that advocates art for all and freedom in youth. It’s full of marvellous tunes and orchestral joie de vivre, particularly in this new recording. Not many composers can tread the line between profundity and froth, but Nielsen does so deliciously even when the opera collapses into a cavalcade of partying."
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16/09/2015   The Guardian

CARL NIELSEN: Maskarade
4/5 Stars

"Cast, conductor and orchestra relish every bar"
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07/09/2015   MusicWeb International

Carl Nielsen: Maskarade
"The singing on this Dacapo set is just fabulous; it’s consistently accurate and imaginative… This gorgeous set confirms Michael Schønwandt as a Nielsen conductor of rare distinction; a Maskarade for the ages."
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03/09/2015   Magasinet Klassisk

CARL NIELSEN: Maskarade
6/6 Stars

"Denne udgaves virkelige trumfkort er Michael Schønwandt og det virtuost spillende DR Symfoniorkestret"
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01/09/2015   BBC Music

Nielsen: Maskarade
5/5 Stars

Nielsen for the modern age
"Micheal Schønwandt conducts with great detail and sweep"
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21/08/2015   Musicweb International

Nielsen: Maskarade
*RECORDING OF THE MONTH*
This is a wonderful set, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Offhand it’s hard to imagine a happier celebration of Nielsen’s 150th anniversary.
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21/08/2015   Pizzicato

NIELSEN: MASKARADE
5/5 Stars

"Die Sänger, die für diese Produktion engagiert wurden, bringen die Komödie auf hohem Niveau zu Leben und da auch Schoenwandt die leichte und spritzige Musik des Komponisten mit viel Sinn für den klugem Witz auf die höhere Qualitätsschiene hebt, ist alles vereint, um dem Hörer zwei vergängliche Stunden mit geistreicher, sprühender Musik zu garantieren."
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21/08/2015   Pizzicato

CARL NIELSEN: Maskarade
"Die Sänger, die für diese Produktion engagiert wurden, bringen die Komödie auf hohem Niveau zu Leben"
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29/07/2015   BBC Music Magazine

Nielsen: Maskarade
"This latest CD boasts probably the strongest cast on record so far. The mighty bass Stephen Milling catches the ageing paterfamilias Jeronimus’s comically fallible humanity likeably."
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24/07/2015   Gramophone EDITOR's CHOICE

Nielsen: Maskarade
"As with Scriabin, Nielsen’s anniversary invites us to reassess the composer with new recordings, in this case a fourth—and successful—outing on disc for Maskarade."
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17/07/2015   The Times

Simple and sunny - is this really Carl Nielsen?
4/5 Stars

"This exemplary new studio recording is a must-have… Here is a cast whose singing brings the comedy to life under the expert baton of Michael Schønwandt. Enjoy two hours of top-notch light music and brush up your Danish in the process."
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13/07/2015   SA-CD.net

Nielsen: Maskarade
"Throughout, Michael Schønwandt keeps an iron grip, particularly on the pacing of the sometimes quite complex interactions of soloists and choir. He also ensures that the many dances have rhythmic spring and lilt, and that there are plenty of major contrasts in both speed and dynamics as Nielsen’s score demands. The soloists are in top voice (...) Their comical mocking voices and sneering descriptions of character friends are well done and amusing. It is immediately obvious that the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Choir are also fired up, keeping the listener in thrall throughout the three acts."
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12/07/2015   Classical CD Choice

CARL NIELSEN: Maskarade
"This latest performance is one of the most exuberant and life-affirming that the piece has ever received"
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30/06/2015   David's Review Corner

Carl Nielsen: Maskarade
"The sound is excellent with ideal balance between soloists and orchestra which also reveals every small orchestral detail."
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09/06/2015   Politiken

Carl Nielsen: Maskarade
5/6 Hjerter

"Alt føles rigtigt, og han kommer paletten rundt. Både det kradsbørstige og det poetiske sidder lige i øjet."
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Photo: Martin Mydtskov Rønnewww.mydtskov.dk

Discography

Saul & David
Saul & David
Carl Nielsen

DVD 2.110412 (2015)

Maskarade
Maskarade
Carl Nielsen

SACD 6.220641-42 (2015)

Maskarade (DVD)
Maskarade (DVD)
Carl Nielsen

DVD 2.110407 (2007)

The Danish "national opera" in a rebellious, witty new interpretation


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