Das Rheingold

Prelude to


Text and music by

Richard Wagner

A fascinating world of gods, giants, dwarves and wild creatures gather in Wagner’s »Ring des Nibelungen«. The gold on the bed of the river Rhine, stolen by the Nibelung dwarf Alberich who has forged it into a cursed ring, gives the wearer almost unlimited power, but also causes suffering and death. A myth rich in fantasy emerges, a panorama of major life issues.

When Richard Wagner began to compose a music drama with the title »Siegfried’s Tod« (Siegfried’s Death) at the end of the 1840s, he had no idea that this work would develop into a four-part »staged festival play«. »Das Rheingold« was composed as the »Prelude« to this opus magnum, for which Wagner wrote the libretto last but the music first. The imaginative exposition of the story was inspired by numerous sources and yet largely fictitious, introducing various protagonists and their relations to one other. Wagner applied his leitmotif technique, characterised by bold sounds and timbres, more consistently than ever before and never used it again in his subsequent compositions. It makes the »Rheingold« score, completed in 1854, a groundbreaking work in music history. As a continuous unit divided into four scenes in different settings, the listener and spectator are inescapably drawn into the action, including a cliffhanger that awakens curiosity for what is to come.


Ring-Zyklus I
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Language: In German language with German and English surtitles
Ring-Zyklus II For the last time this season
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Language: In German language with German and English surtitles