While Siegfried is my personal favourite opera of Wagner's Ring Cycle, Die Walkure also contains my absolute favourite scene of the all four operas, Wotan's Farewell. This production is superb. Musically it is feast, with magnificent music, orchestral playing that is lush and powerful, leaving you in awe at whatever turn, and Riccardo Muti's enigmatic conducting. The performances likewise, Gabriele Schnaut is a thrillingly voiced and charismatic Brunnhilde, though her voice is not always beautiful on the ear sounding squally at times. Placido Domingo is a superb Siegmund, although his German pronunciation is a little muddied, his burnished voice sounds younger and fresher than his 65 years, and he is never less than convincing. Monte Pederson is a firm and authoritative Wotan, making the most of his big Farewell scene, while Waltraud Meier is a vocally rich and dramatically powerful and moving Sieglinde and Matthias Holle is an unyielding Hunding. Overall, superb. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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