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Düsseldorf does not generally come to mind when one thinks of international hubs of opera, but on the occasion of this performance of Siegfried they clearly demonstrate that their artistic forces can stand up to the high standard of any of the great European houses. Not only do they assemble a fine cast of Wagnerians, the orchestra stands up to the considerable technical demands of Wagner’s orchestration quite admirably and under the very deft hand of Günther Wich delivers a spritely reading. Hans Hopf’s Siegfried is hardly youthful in timbre, but the veteran tenor still delivers a remarkably secure performance especially considering he was nearing 60. Leif Roar brings pristine lyricism to the part of the Wanderer as well as some pretty impressive high notes, the likes of which you rarely hear in this part. In her brief appearance at the end of the opera, Berit Lindholm manages to steal the show, offering athletic high Cs as well as a sublimely spun ”Ewig war ich”. The sound is generally pretty good although there are about eight or so brief drop-outs throughout the opera.