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Wagner, R. (1813-1883)


Das Rheingold

The Rhinegold





Composed 1851-1854.
First performed December 26, 1862.
Libretto by the composer (in German).




A Summary of gDas Rheingold (The Rhinegold)h



Scene 1 (Act 1)
In the mythological age, at the bottom of the river, Rhine, three Rhine maidens guard gthe Rhinegold.h They refuse Alberich, a Nibelung dwarf, to seduce them. But, Alberich is taught the secret of the Rhinegold from three Rhine maidens. It is that only someone who renounces love can make the Rhinegold into a magic ring, which will let him rule over the world. Alberich decides to renounces love, steals the Rhinegold, and runs away to his underground country.

Scene 2
Wotan, the ruler of the gods, let two giants, Fasolt and Fafner, build his castle. The two giants demands Freia, the goddess of youth and beauty as reward. Freia is the sister of Wotanfs wife, Fricka. Wotan is worried, then his clever servant and the god of fire, Loge, appears. Loge persuades the two giants to give up their demand for reward. Loge suggests that he gives them treasures which Alberich gets by the power of the magic ring. The two giants agree with him.

Scene 3
Wotan and Loge arrive at Nibelheim. Alberichfs brother, Mime, created a magic helmet, the Tarnhelm. Loge asks Alberich if he can change himself into a frog with the Tarnhelm. Loge catches Alberich, when he does it.

Scene 4
Wotan and Loge force Alberich to exchange his treasures for his freedom. Alberich leaves after putting a curse on the magic ring.
Meanwhile, the two giants demand not only treasures but also the magic ring. Wotan once hesitates to give it to them. But, Erda, the earth goddess, advise him to give up the cursed ring. Wotan finally gives it to the two giants, then Fafner kills his brother, Fasolt, and he gains the ring. Wotan fully understands Alberichfs curse power.




A Comment on gDas Rheingold (The Rhinegold)h



gDer Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung),h which was composed by Richard Wagner, is made up of 4 great operas, that is, gDas Rheingold (The Rhinegold),h gDie Walkure (The Valkyrie),h gSiegfried,h and gGotterdammerung (Twilight of the Gods).h To perform this gRing Cycleh needs 4 days, and each respective operas is very long. The sum of performance time is more than 15 hours! Of course, Ring Cycle is the longest in the world.

gNibelungh means gNibelheim (the country of death).h Someone who possesses the cursed ring must go to Hell. This first opera, gDas Rheingold (The Rhinegold),h establishes the history of this cursed ring. This opera is only 2 and a half hour long, so it is the easiest of the 4 operas to watch.

A lot of characters, for example, gods, dwarfs, giants and others, enter the story in this opera. So, you will never get bored with it. Wotan, the ruler of the gods, is a key player in the gRing Cycle.h But, in this opera, you should also pay attention to his clever servant and the god of fire, Loge. Loge is performed by a Tenor. This Tenor is not gHeldentenor (heroic tenor),h but gcharacter tenor.h A character tenor must have not only a good voice but also good acting abilities. If the singer playing the role of Loge is skillful, this performance will be successful.





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