A happy 142st to the Bayreuth Festival! On what must have been a very hot August 13 back in 1876, the mystical E-flat opening pedal of the "eve" of DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN, DAS RHIENGOLD, began, and before long, the curtain opened on three Rhine daughters (L to R: Minna Lammert, Lilli Lehmann, and Marie Lehmann) being wheeled about the stage on swimming contraptions. Plenty of mishaps that first night (lost rings, miscued backdrops), but an enterprise and a phenomenon for better (and worse) was born. The audience applauded Wagner for over half an hour, but the composer-director-impresario refused to appear. This was the first full run of the complete RING and of Wagner's aesthetic agenda in the process, really, and the scrutiny was intense. Of the first night cast, only the Alberich of the evening, Karl Hill, had pleased him.
Weia! Waga! Woge, du Welle, walle zur Wiege! Wagala weia! Wallala, weiala weia!
Poor @kelliwhitewine is about to have to sit through dinner with me explaining the rabbit hole of how Wager leitmotifs evolve from each other followed by 16 hours of German opera over four days. Meanwhile @debrakruth is rejoicing for not having to put up with any of my 🤓 nonsense. #RingCycle#DasRheingold#NightOne