The first performance of Das Rheingold was on 22nd September 1869 – exactly 150 years ago – at the National Theatre in Munich.
All was not well in the run up to the first performance. Wagner’s primary financial supporter, King Ludwig II of Bavaria, was keen for a performance of the work as early as possible in Munich, but Wagner was insistent that the work should only be performed as part of the complete Ring cycle. However Wagner did not start writing the preliminary draft of the final opera of the cycle, Götterdämmerung, until 2nd October 1869.
Ludwig was undeterred; despite Wagner’s efforts to sabotage the performance, for example by persuading the conductor not to take part, the production went ahead as planned. Ludwig banned Wagner from attending the rehearsals and he was not in attendance at the premiere.
The BPO’s preparations for our performance of Das Rheingold have been much more harmonious than those of 150 years ago and we hope that you will be able to join us for what we are sure will be a fantastic performance on the 13th October.
Tickets can be purchased from the Symphony Hall website, the Symphony Hall/Town Hall box offices or from BPO members.