Soaring through the ages is a magnetic story that has gripped the public’s imagination. The theme of the grandiose yet strangely surreal world of the gods has been explored for eons & been the fulcrum of various epics. Das Rheingold brings to life another such tale with its wonderful singing & music. The opera is considered celebrated German composer Richard Wagner’s ultimate masterpiece & comprises the first portion of the tetra logy, Der Ring des Nibelungen. Wagner started delving into Teutonic/Norse mythology for material for Das Rheingold in the 1840s, completing the poems before composing the music by 1854. The entire Der Ring des Nibelungen tale was completed later in 1874. Das Rheingold’s twisting storyline takes fantasy-lovers through the eternal brilliance of the god Wotan’s castle to the abysmal depths of the spiteful dwarf Alberich’s chasm in Nibelheim, all the while setting the stirring music into fluid motion. Das Rheingold tickets have been a source of pleasure for many generations of opera enthusiasts, & the upcoming shows in New York’s Lincoln Center offer another chance to get dazzled.
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The three Rhine Maidens are shown in the opening scene, singing an innocent melody at the bottom of the river when the Nibelung dwarf, Alberich, appears from a chasm & attempts to woo them. The Rhine Maidens, guardians of the Rhine gold, resist his advances & mock him, & the seething dwarf then wheedles out information about the nearby Rhine gold, which will make the bearer of a ring forged out of it the ruler the world, but only when he renounces love. Furious at his rejection, Alberich curses love, grabs the Rhine gold, & flees to his chasm, leaving them in despair.
The second scene takes us to a troubled ruler of the gods, Wotan, who has had his grand castle Valhalla built by the giants Fasolt & Fafner in exchange for his wife’s sister, Freia, the goddess of youth, beauty & feminine love. Wotan only struck the deal as he was confident his trusted servant Loge would find something as valuable on his tour of the earth that could be offered to the giants instead. Loge’s mission doesn’t bear much fruit, as he returns with news of the Rhine gold’s capture, making the giants greedy for it. They vow to release Freia if it can be handed to them. Loge & Wotan descend to the earth in the third scene to find the dwarves enslaved by Alberich, his ring, & Tarnhelm, the magic helmet that can change the wearer’s shape. When Alberich boasts to the visitors regarding the Tarnhelm, he is tricked into being challenged to become a toad, & while he is one, he is captured by the two. In the fourth scene, Wotan releases him in return for the Rhine gold, Tarnhelm & the ring, by whose departure Alberich is so smitten that he lays a curse on it: until it returns to him, whoever does not possess it will desire it, and whoever possesses it will live in anxiety and will eventually be killed and robbed of it by its next owner.
The giants complete the trade with Wotan for the Rhine gold & Tarnhelm, but they are insistent about getting the ring. Wotan stubbornly refuses but is convinced by Erda, the earth goddess. The curse plays its effect, as Fafner clubs Fasolt to death as they squabble for its ownership in front of a shocked Wotan. The gods enter Valhalla as the Rhine Maidens below mourn their loss & proclaim that the glory of the gods is only an illusion.
Wagner considered Der Ring des Nibelungen his masterstroke, & thus spent the best part of twenty-six years working on the project. Against his wishes, & in accordance with King Ludwig’s desire, Das Rheingold first premiered in Munich in September 1869, as a separate opera when work on the other three wasn’t complete. The complete cycle began in 1876 in Bayreuth’s special festival opera house.
Das Rheingold showcases the best of Wagner’s music. The opera has been noted for its extensive use of over a dozen stirring leitmotifs, while the orchestra used is immense. Ranging from anvils to harps & the standard bow strings, Das Rheingold’s music is a true winner. Das Rheingold tickets are a must-have for all opera enthusiasts. The show is a "prelude" to the true Der Ring des Nibelungen storyline, yet packs a solid punch. Presenting the cream of opera, Das Rheingold tickets are guaranteed to push fantasy into overdrive.