The Rheingold

by Richard Wagner
The eve of the stage festival The Ring of the Nibelung in four pictures
Poetry by the composer
in German with English and German surtitles
Gold or rather love? At the beginning of Wagner’s tetralogy, there appears to be a momentous choice, which strictly speaking is not a choice at all. Because Alberich is denied love, he renounces it forever and takes possession of the glittering raw material that, forged into a ring, promises dominion over all creatures. With this cardinal mistake, Wagner sets in motion his grand world narrative, in which other characters will continue to exchange love – if ever so briefly – for the prospect of power, which sooner or later leads to collapse. Stephan Kimmig interprets the mythical beginning as a sadly grotesque end-time saga. Gods, giants and dwarves meet in the ruins of a night circus: a playground for exploring dizzying flights of fancy and fears of falling, but also a metaphor for a world stuck in a frenzied standstill, where three Rhine maidens of the postmillennial generation unflinchingly search for new paths into the future.
ca. 2 Std. 30 min., keine Pause
First performance
in Munich in 1869

November 21, 2021

Recommended age
from grade 9
There will be an introcution 45 minutes before the performance at foyer I. floor.
Feb 2023 Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

19:00 – 21:45
First performance this season
Mar 2023 Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

19:00 – 21:45
Cast Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

19:30 – 22:15
Apr 2023 Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

19:00 – 21:45
More about the production
When, at the beginning of the Ring des Nibelungen, the floods of the Rhine arise from a single note, it resonates as if the world follows an unshakable and elemental order. But only a few minutes later, Wagner locates in it a momentous fall from grace: the cursing of love and the theft of gold by Alberich. Even above the water, the world is not free of crises: an unaffordable and prestigious building, dubious contracts, business partners in debt and women regarded as equity suitable for seizure – the entire mythical staff with Wotan at the top are caught up in questionable family and business relationships. And each of them becomes even more deeply entangled with every step of the plot and every new musical motif. When Wagner set about composing his Ring tetralogy, he had nothing less in mind than to criticize human socialization. And by daringly recycling old myths, he unfolded a wide-ranging story of the world's creation and fall – to be performed and watched by later generations free of any economic restraints. The question, if these days we can regard ourselves as these people has to be answered still. In any case, the Stuttgart State Opera has once again accepted Wagner's offer to interpret the deep structures of social relationships in a variety of ways. In his production, Stephan Kimmig exposes the colportage-like and clownish features of the hunt for the Ring. In a panic-driven attempt to save their own advantage, the antagonists repeatedly trick and double-cross each other – with flimsy ploys and dizzying twists. A spooky variety show, a nightmare or the real world? And where exactly is the difference? However, the primordial mother Erda’s admonition that the path taken leads to destruction could this time lead to everyone's awakening. Then, despite this beginning, perhaps no end would be necessary.