Das Rheingold is the first opera in Der Ring des Nibelungen. Wagner calls it a preliminary evening (Vorabend). Its premiere was on 22 September 1869 at the Königlichen Hof- und Nationaltheater in Munich.
The premiere as part of a complete Ring cycle was on 13 August 1876 at the Festival House in Bayreuth.
Das Rheingold (as part of the complete Ring des Nibelungen) was produced in the following cities the first years after the world premiere at the Bayreuth Festival on 13 August 1876
|1881||Berlin (Angelo Neumann's travelling Wagner-Theatre with guest performances in Berliner Viktoria-Theater)|
|1882–1883||Angelo Neumann's travelling Wagner-Theatre on tour: London (Her Majesty's Theatre), Breslau, Königsberg, Danzig, Hannover, Bremen, Barmen, Dresden, Amsterdam, Brüssel, Aachen, Düsseldorf, Mainz, Darmstadt, Karlsruhe, Strassburg, Stuttgart, Basel, Venice, Bologna, Rome, Torino, Triest, Budapest, Graz – totaling 135 performances of the Ring!|
Das Rheingold (complete) approximate timings
|2.17||Heinz Tietjen, Bayreuth 1934|
|2.21||Siegfried Wagner, Bayreuth 1896|
|2.21||Michael Balling, Bayreuth 1909|
|2.22||von Hoesslin, Bayreuth 1927|
|2.23||Keilberth, Bayreuth 1953|
|2.23||Franz Beidler, Bayreuth 1904|
|2.25||Herbert von Karajan, Bayreuth 1951|
|2.26||Georg Solti, Wiener Philharmoniker 1958 (CD)|
|2.28||Michael Schønwandt (The Copenhagen Ring)|
|2.28||Marek Janowski 1980|
|2.29||Daniel Barenboim, Bayreuth 1991|
|2.31||Karl Richter, Bayreuth 1876|
|2.32||Felix Mottl, Bayreuth 1896|
|2.32||Lothar Zagrosek, Stuttgart Ring (DVD)|
|2.34||Daniel Barenboim, Bayreuth 1991 (DVD)|
|2.36||Wilhelm Furtwängler, Bayreuth 1936|
|2.39||Elmendorff, Bayreuth 1930|
|2.42||Hans Knappertsbusch, Bayreuth 1951|
|2.43||James Levine, Metropolitan 1990 (DVD)|
So there was much in 1876 that could never be repeated – Wagner, of course, in his full creative power and the splendid setting of Bayreuth that gave us such freedom for expression. As Rhine-maidens we played our part to the full – gay and capricious of mood at the beginning of Rheinhold and grave in our solemn warning to Siegfried in the last act of Götterdämmerung. And here I must mention that I always sang in my part in Rheingold – ‘Nur wer der Minne Macht entsagt’ never versagt as I always heard it sung later. I drew Levi’s attention to this in 1884 at Munich, when he wanted me to sing ‘versagt’ instead of ‘entsagt’.
Lilli Lehmann in her memoirs
Said about Das Rheingold
Peter Tchaikovsky on Das Rheingold
Musically, it is inconceivable nonsense, in which here and there occur beautiful, and even captivating, moments.
In a letter to Modeste Tchaikovsky, written 14 August 1876 (Bayreuth - The Early Years)
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Articles and Reviews