English National Opera Guide 35: Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold) - Richard Wagner
English National Opera Guides are ideal companions to the opera. They provide stimulating introductory articles together with the complete text of each opera in English and the original. The opening evening of Wagner's four-part cycle, The Ring of Nibelung, stands apart as more naive and picturesque than the others. But it immediately establishes the huge scale of the overall work, and the extraordinary musical language that will be displayed throughout. It is a miracle of musical history that Wagner's 1850 conception could be brought to completion, in an organic whole, some 25 years later. Stewart Spencer discusses the way in which Wagner fuses genuine mythology with his own invention and John Deathridge places The Rhinegold in the context of The Ring and its century.
English National Opera Guide 35: Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold) - Richard Wagner - About the Author:
Richard Wagner (1813-83) was a composer who drew inspiration from Christian and Nordic mythology, as well as the philosophy of Schopenhauer, to pioneer dramatically new forms of music. His concept of the "Total Artwork" led to the construction of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, an opera house he designed specifically for productions of his own operas. He also wrote widely on music and art. His operas include Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and the four parts of Der Ring des Nibelungen.