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Das Rheingold Mariinsky Opera Birmingham Nov 2014

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Welcome to the Forum, Susi Jane!


Here's a variety of synopses I found on the internet.  I haven't read them but assume they have similar details.  Loads more were listed too!









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Thank you all for your info. Thank you Janet Mcnaulty for the links. I had already looked up a few but despite reading them , were non the clearer as to what it was all about hence my request for an idiots guide. Reading it and understanding it was akin to trying to nail jelly to the wall!

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At the beginning of the opera the giants Fasolt and Fafner are building a stronghold in the heavens for the gods whose leader is



The first thing that the audience hears and sees are the Rhine Maidens as they swim in the water we see the gold that they are guarding. They are interuppted by Albrecht a dwarf who is the leader of the Nibelungs .The Rhine Maidens make fun of him pretending that they are attracted by him. Foolishly they tell Albrecht the power that the gold has in it. Anyone who forges the gold into a ring will have power over the entire world.They however regard the gold as safe in their care as only someone prepared to fore swear love  will have the power and no one would be prepared to do that. Of course Albrecht leaps into the water seizes the gold and renounces love.


Next we move to where the gods are gathered waiting for the giants to complete their work. Wotan is happy but his wife Fricka is not since the price that Wotan has promised the giants is her sister Freya who tends the apple trees which the giants eat to stay young. Wotan has got to find a way out of the contract. Wotan can not simply break his oath because the basis of his power lies in keeping his word.He summons the trickster god of fire and asks his help.Loge tells him that as he has traveled the world he has only discovered one thing that is liked more than gold. He then tells Wotan that Albrecht has forged a ring from the Rhinegold that he stole and that he now has gives power over the Nibelungs


The giants arrive for their pay .Wotan asks them if they will take a substitute payment. Fasolt agrees to a payment of sufficient gold to cover Freya. The giants leave taking Freya with them. Wotan and Loge set off for Nibelheim. The first we see of Nibelheim is Albrecht and the dwarfs who are scurrying around mining and forging gold. We also meet his brother who has made him a magic helmet which enables the wearer to change his shape and to become invisible. Albrecht's brother is the first dwarf that  Wotan and Loge meet and he tells them about the power of the helmet that he has made. Albrecht appears and is tricked into showing the power of the helmet. First he is tricked into transforming himself into a dragon and then it is suggested that he can't manage to turn himself into something as small as a toad. Albrecht turns himself into a toad and is caught by Wotan and Loge and carried off to the world of the gods. There Albrecht is forced to surrender all his gold but it is not quite enough to cover Freya and only when Albrecht's ring is added to the pile is she completely hidden. Albrecht curses all who wear his ring to die.


As the giants leave with the gold they fall out and Fasolt who at this point wearing Albrecht's ring is killed by Fafner.

The gods enter Valhala over a rainbow bridge to the song of the Rhine Maidens lamenting the loss of their gold.


Children are usually used for the Nibelungs as they scurry about mining and collecting gold. There is quite a bit of screaming at this point. They are sometimes used to form the dragon.


I hope that this helps a bit.

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