Sissel: The Voice of Titanic

“When I first heard her sing live, I was taken by the sincerity and purity of her voice.” - Craig Jessop

Sissel has a Titanic voice…literally. She was the ethereal voice that was heard in perhaps one of the most famous movie scenes of all time. The scene took place on the bow of the ill-fated ship, Titanic , where the character Rose declares to Jack, “I’m flying!” In fact, the very first sound in the entire film was Sissel’s voice, not singing words, but hauntingly memorable arias, that were present throughout the film. Music critics have described her voice as ‘exquisite,’ ‘crystalline’ and ‘captivating.’

James Horner, the composer for the Titanic film score, auditioned 25-30 singers before choosing Sissel. The album, Titanic: Music from the Motion Picture, sold over 30 million copies worldwide and became the highest selling orchestral film score in history. Sissel was featured on seven of the albums tracks and is often referred to as ‘the voice of Titanic .’

Sissel has performed on several occasions with The Tabernacle Choir. In 2005, she joined with the choir to commemorate the Centennial of Norwegian Independence from Sweden, for a broadcast of Music & the Spoken Word . Former music director Craig Jessop said this of Sissel: “When I first heard her sing live, I was taken by the sincerity and purity of her voice. Her voice, like her personality, is disarming and genuine.” Concerning the Choir, Sissel affirmed, “I love to sing with people who have belief, that is very special.”

In 2006, Sissel returned as a guest artist for the Choir’s annual Christmas concerts. The following September, the album, Spirit of the Season , was released as a result of the performances. Sissel received her first U.S. GRAMMY nominations for her collaboration with the Choir on the album. It was nominated in the categories of Best Classical Crossover Album of the Year, and Best Engineered Classical Album. Speaking about the concerts, Sissel recounted, “When I came for the Christmas show I was welcomed with open arms saying “welcome home Sissel,” and that’s actually how I felt. I felt like I was coming home, it was wonderful.”