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Go behind the scenes for insights on our recordings, our artists and our future plans. Follow our artists' schedules and share the excitement of their journeys.

Stuart Skelton wins the Prix Lauritz Melchior for Walküre

Friday, 4 May 2007 - 10:30am

Melba's Ring Acclaimed Around The World 

MARIA VANDAMME, CEO of Melba Recordings, was in Paris on the 4th May for the presentation of the prestigious Prix Lauritz Melchior* to tenor Stuart Skelton for his internationally acclaimed contribution to Die Walküre, the first instalment of Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle recorded by Melba in state-of-the-art Super Audio sound. Ms Vandamme accepted the award for Mr Skelton, who was not able to be present himself.

The ceremony at the Bastille Opera was presided over by Pierre Bergé, founder of the company Yves Saint Laurent, former director of the Opera National de Paris, and one of France's most influential promoters of opera.

The honorary committee was headed by Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, French Minister of Culture and Communication.

Also present were Gérard Mortier, Director of the Paris National Opera. Eva Wagner, great-grand daughter of Richard Wagner, who congratulated producer Maria Vandamme for the Ring recording.

 Eva Wagner (Great-Grand Daughter of Richard Wanger), Maria Vandamme and Ian Perry
Monsieur Clym, President of the Académie du disque lyrique declared that Melba's recording of Wagner's Ring was not only a great achievement, but also highly significant, as this was the first ever complete Ring from Australia, a country from which such an ambitious recording project comes as a very important and unexpected event. M. Clym praised the extraordinary performance of Stuart Skelton as Siegmund, which so impressed the Academie's Jury, composed of famous French opera critics, film makers and opera house directors. Wolfgang Wagner, the composer's grandson, was a Jury member.
 Mr. Clym, President of the
Académie du disque lyrique,
presenting the Prix Lauritz Melchior
 Maria Vandamme (Melba CEO), with Ian Perry,
accepting the award on behalf of Stuart Skelton

Critics from around the world have been unanimous in their acclaim for Stuart Skelton’s performance as Siegmund in Melba’s recording of the State Opera of South Australia’s multi-award-winning production of the Ring Cycle.

“Steely of tone, and impressively elastic in his range, Skelton is the most promising young Wagnerian to emerge from Australia since [Lisa] Gasteen.”
Bloomberg (USA)

“Stuart Skelton’s Siegmund is a major find … a fully fledged dramatic tenor with tremendous power and expressiveness and also capable of much sensitive lyrical singing … beautiful, manly and steady.” 
MusicWeb International (UK)

“Stuart Skelton shows himself as a Siegmund full of promise, with a large, flexible voice and a truly heroic stature.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine (Germany)

"Stuart Skelton is, quite simply, one of the best Siegmunds on disc."
The Age (Australia)

Stuart Skelton’s award is the latest honour to be received by a Melba Recordings artist and further establishes the still young company as one of the most innovative and imaginative classical recording labels to emerge anywhere in the world in the last decade.

Melba’s successful collaborations with a growing roster of established and young artists has contributed to the globally hailed success of its recordings and have quickly secured it a place on the international stage as a label to watch - and listen to!

Melba’s acclaimed history-making release of the Ring Cycle is the first ever to be recorded in experience-enhancing, multi-channel Super Audio surround sound format and has placed it at the forefront of a new generation of labels which are re-shaping and re-defining the classical recording industry for a 21st century audience.

Three of the four operas in Melba’s Ring Cycle – Die Walküre, Das Rheingold and Siegfried – have already been released. The final instalment completing this truly historic and agenda-setting recording project, Götterdämmerung, will be released later this year. The presenting sponsor of Melba’s Ring Cycle is Dr Douglas G Mitchell.

Editor’s Note:
*Named after the legendary Danish-American tenor, the Prix Lauritz Melchior is awarded by the Académie Nationale du disque lyrique in France in recognition of the year’s most outstanding Wagnerian Tenor in a recording."

Stuart Skelton