Power or love? The Nibelung Alberich decides on the former: he renounces love, snatches the gold from the Rheinmaidens and forges it into a ring, which bestows its owner with “boundless power”. But Wotan, father of the gods, also lusts for power, and seizes the ring through underhand trickery. Alberich consequently curses the ring: “Whoever possesses it, let him be stricken with worry, and whoever does not possess it, let him be consumed with jealousy” The first victims of the curse are the giants Fasolt and Fafner, who wrest the ring from Wotan as payment for the construction of Valhalla, the castle of the gods: full of envy, Fafner kills his brother. A gripping game of intrigue and power breaks out between gods, giants, Nibelungs and humans, which shakes the natural balance of the world.

From the sonorous E flat major triad at the start of “Rheingold”, Richard Wagner employs “never-ending melody” and a sophisticated interweaving of leitmotifs to develop a new form of through-composed music-drama and a mythical and timeless story of love, greed, envy and hatred. The musical direction is in the hands of General Music Director and Wagner-specialist Roland Kluttig. This masterpiece about the rise and fall of worlds is brought to the stage by Alexander Müller-Elmau, whose productions include a highly successful staging of “Tristan and Isolde” in Oldenburg. He is also a sought-after stage designer for theatre and opera, and works regularly at opera houses such as the Bavarian State Opera and the Theater an der Wien. Above all, he is fascinated by the decline of a civilisation through the hubris and foolishness of humanity and, in this case, the gods.

After almost 55 years, Landestheater Coburg again ventures to stage the complete “Ring” cycle, which will gradually grow over four years.