Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold) is the first of the four operas that constitute Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen ('The Ring of the Nibelung'). It was originally written as an introduction to the tripartite Ring, but the cycle is now generally regarded as consisting of four individual operas.
Das Rheingold premiered at the National Theatre Munich on September 22, 1869.Wagner wanted this opera to premiere as part of the entire cycle, but was forced to allow the performance at the insistence of his patron King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The opera was first performed as part of the complete cycle on 13 August 1876, in the Bayreuther Festspielhaus. This 1959 recording stars George London and Kirsten Flagstad. Sir George Solti conducts the Vienna Philharmonic.