Melba Recordings

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Wagner: Die Walküre

The Courier Mail (Australia)
Patricia Kelly
star onstar onstar onstar on

No self-respecting Wagner fan would want to be without this handsome four-disc Die Walküre recording, the first to be released from the acclaimed Ring Cycle produced by Maria Vandamme and Ian Perry at the 2004 Adelaide Festival. It features the State Opera of South Australia, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and a predominantly Australian cast. Israeli conductor Asher Fisch gives the music plenty of breadth and produces some lush orchestral colour. It was recorded live (with 65 microphones) and even on a standard CD machine the hybrid Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) set offers a feast of grand sound, with a detailed book-libretto as an easy and helpful guide. Queensland soprano Lisa Gasteen soars as Brünnhilde … the dark shades underpinning her rich soprano warm to the role in a performance that puts her well up with the great Brünnhildes of our time. Other Queenslanders are among the 27 principals, Conservatorium graduate Kate Ladner (Helmwige) and former Opera Queensland Young Artist Zan McKendree-Wright (Schwertleite)