Das Rheingold

Berlin, Deutsche Oper
Berlin, Germany
Deutsche Oper Berlin
Thu 25 June 19:30
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Richard Wagner considered RHEINGOLD a "pre-evening" to his stage play DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN, a label that certainly deliberately refers to the prologues of the Baroque operas. Because here, as well as there, the gods are in control and create the conditions under which the fates of man will be decided. And just like the ancient deities of Monteverdi, their northern counterparts of Wagner are beings who embody the drives of human existence. All of the feelings, urges and thoughts that determine our own existence also appear in the two and a half hours of RHEINGOLD. Starting with the innocent games played by the Rheinmaidens whom the Nibelung Alberich robs of their gold, to this dwarf's unbridled lust for power and the scornful nihilism of the fire god Loge, to the father of the gods Wotan's attempt to create something that will last with his palace of Valhalla. And not lastly, the gold itself is a mute lead character: an item of gleaming fascination, it is simultaneously a touchstone by which each character is manifest and which divides gods and man alike into good and evil.

With its claim of explaining the world through its sheer expanse across time, DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN is the greatest challenge for any opera director. At the Deutsche Oper Berlin Stefan Herheim is taking on the task of translating the mindset of Wagner's tetralogy into the 21st century. The winner of multiple awards, the Norwegian director is one of the most important directors today: in his work he frequently illustrates the ideological historical connections and effective history of the respective operas. This approach has shaped his celebrated PARSIFAL in Bayreuth, among others, and has predestined him for an interpretation of RING.


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    Richard Wagner considered RHEINGOLD a "pre-evening" to his stage play DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN, a label that certainly deliberately refers to the prologues of the Baroque operas. Because here, as well as there, the gods are in control and create the conditions under which the fates of man will be decided. And just like the ancient deities of Monteverdi, their northern counterparts of Wagner are beings who embody the drives of human existence. All of the feelings, urges and thoughts that determine our own existence also appear in the two and a half hours of RHEINGOLD. Starting with the innocent games played by the Rheinmaidens whom the Nibelung Alberich robs of their gold, to this dwarf's unbridled lust for power and the scornful nihilism of the fire god Loge, to the father of the gods Wotan's attempt to create something that will last with his palace of Valhalla. And not lastly, the gold itself is a mute lead character: an item of gleaming fascination, it is simultaneously a touchstone by which each character is manifest and which divides gods and man alike into good and evil.

    With its claim of explaining the world through its sheer expanse across time, DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN is the greatest challenge for any opera director. At the Deutsche Oper Berlin Stefan Herheim is taking on the task of translating the mindset of Wagner's tetralogy into the 21st century. The winner of multiple awards, the Norwegian director is one of the most important directors today: in his work he frequently illustrates the ideological historical connections and effective history of the respective operas. This approach has shaped his celebrated PARSIFAL in Bayreuth, among others, and has predestined him for an interpretation of RING.


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