Overview – Das Rheingold, Opera of the Month
The libretto to Das Rheingold was the last one Richard Wagner wrote for Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), but it was the first opera of the cycle that he composed music for. This opera serves as the prologue in his epic Ring tetralogy, with the next three operas being Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung. Rheingold premiered in Munich in 1869, but it was not until 1876 that it was performed as part of the first complete cycle at the legendary Bayreuth Festspielhaus theater (a theater designed by Wagner and built specifically for the Ring) in Bayreuth, Germany. The annual Bayreuth festival continues to this day.