Premiered in 1976, exactly one hundred years after the first performance of the Ring as a cycle, this production has set new aesthetic standards in the interpretation of Wagner's gargantuan masterpiece
With young stage director Patrice Chéreau and musical modernist Pierre Boulez, Wolfgang Wagner had put together a dream team to find a new, modern yet timeless approach to his grandfather's work, regarding both music and staging
Filmed at great expense under the direction of Brian Large, this production has been a best-selling DVD title on Philips. Since its disappearance from the marketplace it has commanded high black market prices and there is a serious demand among dealers for a re-release
In Patrice Chéreau's illuminating, violent Bayreuth production of Das Rheingold, Wotan wears the brocade coat of feudal times while the Rhine seems to be a reservoir with a modern power station - but, as Chéreau states, it "could also be many other things…a menacing construction, a theatrical machine to produce a river, an allegorical shape that today generates energy: perhaps a mythological presence, the mythology of our time…The gods' ascent to Valhalla [is] a defiant flight into the future."