Sissel’s Jul is back!

Norway’s songbird celebrates the season with new recordings and a concert tour


Photo: Hanna Franzén / TT / NTB
Songbird Sissel Kyrkjebø is back on the road in Scandinavia with her annual Christmas show.

The Norwegian American

Yes, Sissel’s Jul is back! On Nov. 17, Scandinavia’s beloved songbird set off on her 22-concert whirlwind tour, the first performance held at the Ibsen House in Skien in Norway, followed by seven concerts in Sweden. The tour then headed back to Norway, to Oslo, Stavanger, and her hometown, Bergen, before Sissel headed out for nine concerts in Denmark, where the tour will be rounded out at Operaen Holmen in Copenhagen on Dec. 20.

It’s been said that there is no Christmas without Sissel—I’m a believer and have crossed the Atlantic two times to be part of it all—and this year, she is pulling out all the stops to make the season extra bright. The superstar has already released her new recording of “Alt det som skinner” (Everything that shines) by the much-loved Norwegian singer Anne Grete Preus, who lost her battle to cancer in 2019. 

“The first time I heard it, there was something in the song that touched me,” says Sissel in a video posted on her website. She says that Preus “managed to write a text that depicts moods and life situations that many of us can identify with,” with its message that we are links in a larger chain of life—and that we can all shine in our own way.

“Alt det som skinner” is the first song on a new Christmas album that Sissel released in the Norwegian language on Nov. 12—highly recommended and available on her website. It was followed by an English-language album on Nov. 26.

Sissel Kyrkjebø was only one of many Norwegian artists who had to cancel their Christmas concert tours in 2020 because of the COVID-19 restrictions. Early on, she made the decision to cancel the big tour she had planned, but she still was able to perform in a few smaller, closely controlled venues in Norway.

But despite the pandemic, Sissel didn’t forget her fans all over the world and released two new recordings, the beloved Christmas songs “Christmas Time is Here” and “Glade Jul” (“Silent Night”). As a young performer back in 1987, at age 17, Sissel had won the hearts of her fellow Norwegians with her Christmas album “Glade Jul,” which remains all-time best-selling Christmas album in Norway.

Since then, the magic of Sissel’s Jul has never stopped, as she continues to sing the season each year. Visit her website at to learn more and partake in her musical joy.

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 3, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.