Musiktheater im Revier (1954-59) in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, by Werner Ruhnau, Ortwin Rave & Max von Hausen and Harald Deilmann. On the left: Norbert Kricke‘s „Röhrendickicht“ on the wall of the „Kleines Haus“, the smaller venue of the theater.


Das Rheingold is the first of the 4 music dramas that constitute famoum German composer’s Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). It was performed as an opera at the National Theatre Munich in 1869, and received its first performance as part of the Ring cycle at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus in 1876.

Wagner wrote the Ring librettos in reverse order, so that Das Rheingold was the last of the texts to be written; it was, however, the first to be set to music. The score was completed in 1854, but Wagner was unwilling to sanction its performance until the whole cycle was complete; he worked intermittently on it until 1874. The 1869 Munich premiere was staged much against his wishes, on the orders of his patron, King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Following its 1876 Bayreuth premiere, the Ring cycle was introduced into worldwide repertory, with performances in all the main opera houses, in which it has remained a regular popular fixture since.

Read more: