Wagner: Das Rheingold

Michael Shmith
The Age 'Green Guide' (Australia)
star onstar onstar onstar on

Das Rheingold is the second instalment of Melba Recordings' pioneering set of Der Ring des Nibelungen, recorded from the series of live performances of the Cycle in Adelaide two years ago. It has all the same hallmarks of the already released Die Walküre: excellent sound, always relevant to Wagner's scoring and the continuity of the unfolding drama; and a cast as immersed in their roles as the Adelaide Symphony is in the music. Asher Fisch, the real hero of this Cycle, is an outstanding Wagnerian, his pace always assured and natural. The cast includes John Bröcheler's gutsy Wotan, Elizabeth Campbell's telling Fricka, and John Wegner's brilliantly predatory, sexual Alberich - a true match for the gods until he is brought down. Christopher Doig's Loge is wily ... Andrew Collis and David Hibbard make a fine Fasolt and Fafner; and Kate Ladner is an accurate Freia. Natalie Jones, Donna-Maree Dunlop and Zan McKendree-Wright are exemplary Rhinemaidens, while Liane Keegan provides the right gravitas as Erda.