First performed in Munich in 1869, Das Rheingold is the prelude to Wagner’s colossal four-opera cycle Der Ring Des Nibelungen. The dwarf Alberich steals the Rhinegold, guarded by the daughters of the Rhine, and forges a ring that brings him infinite power. Wotan, ruler of the gods, plans to seize the dangerous ring – but to what end? Beginning with a musical representation of the river Rhine, Das Rheingold expresses the power of the ring using images from 20th century science, such as the dwarf Alberich’s nightmarish, underground laboratories. In contrast, the gods are a dying breed, and their foppish costumes and mountain-top hall are inspired by the late-Victorian period. Das Rheingold is sung in German with English surtitles.