Classic Melbourne is accustomed to overseas “best of” lists ignoring Australia, but we’re gratified at a strong connection within The Guardian’s Best of Classical CDs of 2016. Reviewer Andrew Clements wrote this about number 8 on his list.
WAGNER, R.: Walküre (Die) (Goerne, DeYoung, Skelton, Melton, P. Lang, Struckmann, Hong Kong Philharmonic, van Zweden)
(Naxos, three CDs)
“In what has generally been a disappointing year for new opera recordings, the latest instalment of Naxos’s Ring cycle, recorded in concert in Hong Kong, easily maintains the standard set in Rheingold last year. Conductor Jaap van Zweden has the breadth and depth of a true Wagnerian, and the cast is a fine one, with Stuart Skelton’s superb Siegmund, a thoughtfully nuanced Wotan from Matthias Goerne, and Petra Lang’s increasingly involving Brünnhilde.”
The connection? The “superb” Skelton, of course … and fellow-Australian Deborah Humble, (who regularly writes for Classic Melbourne). The mezzo sang the role of Erda in the Rheingold recording ( and will return to Hong Kong for Siegfried). She reprises her part in the 2013 Melbourne Ring when our reviewer described her as ” a rich-voiced, compelling Erda”.
In turn Humble reviewed a Naxos co-artist in Stuart Skelton, as he sang the role of Tristan in Parsifal in Hobart just last November, commenting:
“Stuart Skelton commanded the stage from the moment of his first entry. A singer of exceptional technical skill and intelligence, it was clear from the outset that Mr Skelton not only sings the role of Tristan but that he understands and inhabits it. Fresh from performing the role at the Metropolitan Opera he delivered vocal lines of great warmth and integrity and always with a sense of the pervading drama.” Read more.
At around the same time, Deborah completed no less than 10 interviews in connection with Classic Melbourne’s coverage of the Ring.
Oh, and the full Guardian list? Here it is!