“A singer prepares for years to be able to perform the ‘Everest’ role of Siegfried. I have studied this role intensely, which itself is layered over many years of study and performance of Siegmund and other Wagner roles. It was an incredible honour to be cast to sing my debut performance of Siegfried in the Jaap van Zweden Ring Cycle with the Hong Kong Philharmonic. I was thrilled to be singing with this ensemble of polished and accomplished performers and am so pleased to see the performance captured so vividly by Naxos in this stunning recording.”
– Simon O’Neill
“I’m deeply honoured to have performed my first recorded Brünnhilde with this prestigious group of musicians. Working with Maestro Jaap van Zweden has been utterly life-changing – his musicianship and artistry are of the highest caliber, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic delivered an impassioned and moving performance. There’s something so special about recording live opera – capturing the palpable excitement and chemistry we all feel on stage, and allowing audiences in different times and places to experience that energy. I’m thrilled to have been a part of the magic created in this Siegfried!”
– Heidi Melton
Also available on Blu-ray audio
Richard WAGNER (1813–1883)
Siegfried Simon O’Neill, Tenor (Siegfried)
Matthias Goerne, Bass-baritone (The Wanderer)
David Cangelosi, Tenor (Mime)
Werner Van Mechelen, Bass-baritone (Alberich)
Heidi Melton, Soprano (Brünnhilde)
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Jaap van Zweden
Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) is one of the most remarkable achievements in all music, and Siegfried, the third in the cycle, contains some of the greatest moments in Wagner’s entire output. Wagner conceived Siegfried as a heroic ‘man of the future’, and his fantastical tale is one in which the human dramas of treachery and violent struggles for power become magnified in a world of gods, dragons and magic. The previous opera in this cycle, Die Walküre (Naxos 8.660394-97), was acclaimed in The Guardian as ‘thrillingly vivid… easily maintains the high standard and promise of Das Rheingold’ (Naxos 8.660374-75).
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About the Artists
A native of New Zealand, Simon O’Neill has established himself as one of the finest heldentenors on the international stage. He is a principal artist with the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House, Teatro alla Scala and both the Bayreuth and Salzburg Festivals. He sang the role of Waldemar in Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder at the 2017 BBC Proms, with the London Symphony and Sir Simon Rattle.
Heidi Melton made her role debut as Brünnhilde during the 2016/17 season in Die Walküre and Siegfried, both at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe. She recently gave her first performances with the London Symphony, the Berliner Philharmoniker and the New York Philharmonic, in addition to appearances with the Vienna Philharmonic and English National Opera.
Matthias Goerne is one of the most internationally sought-after vocalists and a frequent guest at renowned festivals and concert halls. He has collaborated with the world’s leading orchestras, conductors and pianists, and has appeared on the world’s principal opera stages, including the Royal Opera House, the Teatro Real, the Paris National Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, and the Metropolitan Opera.
Jaap van Zweden is music director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, a post he has held since 2012, and in which he will continue until at least 2022. The 2017–18 season marks a major milestone as he completes his ten-year tenure as Music Director of the Dallas Symphony and becomes Music Director Designate of the New York Philharmonic, anticipating his inaugural season in 2018/19.
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is recognised as Asia’s foremost classical orchestra. It presents more than 150 concerts over a 44- week season and attracts more than 200,000 music lovers annually. It promotes the work of Hong Kong and Chinese composers through an active commissioning programme, and has released recordings featuring the music of Tan Dun and Bright Sheng on the Naxos label.
WAGNER, R.: Die Walküre Goerne • DeYoung • Skelton • Melton • Lang
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra • van Zweden
TOP 10 CLASSICAL CDs OF 2016
“… 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.”
– The Guardian
“Stuart Skelton and Heidi Melton provide sheer vocal luxury. His tenor is heroic yet tender, and her soprano has warmth and a thrilling top ... Matthias Goerne goes from strength to strength as Wotan.”
– Opera Now
“José Serebrier conducts the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in thrilling performances, passionate in a genuinely Stokowskian manner and treated to orchestral sound of demonstration quality.”