Wagner: Siegfried

Barney Zwartz
The Sunday Age (Australia)
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Melba’s triumph continues with the release of the third of the four Ring operas, Siegfried.

The small independent label persuaded the Federal Government to fund recording the South Australian Opera’s 2004 Cycle, and the three operas now released show how far-sighted that was. Siegfried introduces tenor Gary Rideout as the proto-Nazi in the title role: full of arrogant swagger, thrillingly sung. John Wegner is superb again as Alberich, and Lisa Gasteen (Brünnhilde) may prove one of the Wagnerian greats. Again conductor Asher Fisch is masterful, controlling the great sweep of this long work with precision, maintaining momentum but giving singers space.

Key track: CD 1, track 20: Siegfried forges his sword while his foster-father, the dwarf Mime, plots. Fascinating and exciting, and slightly repulsive – in short, a snapshot of Wagner