Wagner’s Ring: Forging an Epic at The Morgan Library & Museum, January 29 – April 17, 2016

“To bring the grand spectacle of the Ring to the public stage, Richard Wagner labored for decades on the text and musical score, and spent years working to see it premiered in a theater built to his exacting specifications,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “Wagner’s Ring: Forging an Epic dramatically brings to light the twists and turns of this engrossing narrative, and the sensation of its first performances in Bayreuth and New York. The Morgan is especially grateful to Dr. Sven Friedrich, director of the Richard Wagner Museum, who made possible the loan of many unique items from his institution.”

1. Wagner_SignatureImage

© The Morgan Library & Museum

Egusquiza Barrena, Rogelio de, 1845-1915. Richard Wagner, 1813-1883 [1883] MMP W134.6

Rogelio de Egusquiza Barrena (1845–1915), Richard Wagner, 1813–1883, 1883. Etching, aquatint, and drypoint after an 1871 photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl, Munich. Gift of Hester Diamond, 2012. The Morgan Library & Museum.

Wagner, Richard, 1813-1883. Der Ring des Nibelungen : ein Buhnenfestspiel fur drei Tage und einen Vorabend. [Zurich] : E. Kiesling, [1853] Heineman 739

Richard Wagner (1813–1883), Der Ring des Nibelungen [libretto], Zurich: E. Kiesling, 1853. The Dannie and Hettie Heineman Collection, Gift of the Heineman Foundation, 1977. The Morgan Library & Museum.

Wagner, Richard, 1813-1883. Autograph letter signed, dated : Zurich, 16 January 1854, to "Liebe Kapellmeisterin" [i.e., Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein], 1854 Jan. 16. pages 2 and 3, MFC W134.S275

Richard Wagner (1813–1883), Letter to Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein including the closing measures of Das Rheingold, signed and dated Zurich, January 16, 1854. Mary Flagler Cary Music Collection, 1968. The Morgan Library & Museum.

Gem‰lde / ÷l auf Leinwand (1865) von Ferdinand Piloty d.J. [1828 - 1895] Bildmass 240 x 160 cm Inventar-Nr.: L.II.-Mus.901 Person: Ludwig II. [1845 - 1886], Kˆnig von Bayern 1864 - 1886 Systematik: Personen / F¸rsten / Deutschland / Bayern / Kˆnige / Ludwig II. / Portr‰ts / in Uniform

Ferdinand Piloty the Younger (1828–1895), King Ludwig II in Bavarian general’s uniform and coronation mantle, 1865. Reproduction. Schloss Herrenchiemsee. bpk, Berlin /Schloss Herrenchiemsee, Germany / Art Resource, NY.

Wagner, Richard, 1813-1883. Der Ring des Nibelungen : ein Buhnenfestspiel fur drei Tage und einen Vorabend / Mainz : Bei B. Schott's Sohnen, [1873]

Richard Wagner (1813–1883), Das Rheingold, Mainz: Schott, 1873. First edition, full score. James Fuld Music Collection, 2008. The Morgan Library & Museum.

Doepler, Carl Emil, 1824-1905. Der Ring des Nibelungen : Figurinen / [Berlin] : Berliner Kunstdruck- und Verlags-Anstalt, [1889] PMM 285

Carl Emil Doepler (1824–1905), A selection of costume designs, Der Ring des Nibelungen: Figurinen, Berlin: Berliner Kunstdruck- und Verlags-Anstalt, 1889, Chromolithograph. Gift of Hester Diamond, 2012. The Morgan Library & Museum.

8. Betz_Franz_Wotan_Die_Walkure

Franz Betz as Wotan in Die Walküre. Bayreuth production. Photograph by J. Albert, Munich, 1876. Metropolitan Opera Archives.

9. Lehman_Lilli_Woglinde

Lilli Lehmann as Woglinde in Das Rheingold. Bayreuth production. Photograph by J. Albert, Munich, 1876. Metropolitan Opera Archives.

10. Unger_Georg_Siegfried

Georg Unger as Siegfried in Siegfried. Bayreuth production. Photograph by J. Albert, Munich, 1876. Metropolitan Opera Archives.

11. Brunnhilde Amalie Materna original

Amalie Materna (with Grane) as Brünnhilde in  Bayreuth production. Photograph by J. Albert, Munich, 1876. Metropolitan Opera Archives.

12. Walkure Brunnhilde Fremstad 3 by White

Olive Fremstad as Brünnhilde. New York Production. Photograph by White Studios, New York. Metropolitan Opera Archives.

13. Fremstad_Walkure_Brunnhilde_015_7

Brünnhilde costume for Die Walküre, February 9, 1911, worn by Olive Fremstad. Metropolitan Opera, New York. Metropolitan Opera Archives.

Das Rheingold, scene 1 [photograph] Hoffmann, Joseph, 1831-1904. Der Ring des Nibelungen : Photographien nach den scenischen Original-Entwurfen zu R. Wagner's Buhnenfestpiel / Wien : V. Angerer, [1878?], PMC 24

Joseph Hoffmann (1831–1904), Photograph of stage design for Das Rheingold, scene I. Vienna: V. Angerer, 1878?. Mary Flagler Cary Music Collection, 1968. The Morgan Library & Museum.

Die Walküre, act 1 [photograph] Hoffmann, Joseph, 1831-1904. Der Ring des Nibelungen : Photographien nach den scenischen Original-Entwurfen zu R. Wagner's Buhnenfestpiel / Wien : V. Angerer, [1878?] PMC 24

Joseph Hoffmann (1831–1904), Photograph of stage design for Die Walküre, act 1. Vienna: V. Angerer, 1878?. Mary Flagler Cary Music Collection, 1968. The Morgan Library & Museum.

Siegfried, act 1 [photograph] Hoffmann, Joseph, 1831-1904. Der Ring des Nibelungen : Photographien nach den scenischen Original-Entwurfen zu R. Wagner's Buhnenfestpiel / Wien : V. Angerer, [1878?] PMC 24

Joseph Hoffmann (1831–1904), Photograph of stage design for Siegfried, act 1. Vienna: V. Angerer, 1878?. Mary Flagler Cary Music Collection, 1968. The Morgan Library & Museum.

Siegfried, act 2 [photograph] Hoffmann, Joseph, 1831-1904. Der Ring des Nibelungen : Photographien nach den scenischen Original-Entwurfen zu R. Wagner's Buhnenfestpiel / Wien : V. Angerer, [1878?] PMC 24

Joseph Hoffmann (1831–1904), Photograph of stage design for Siegfried, act 2 . Vienna: V. Angerer, 1878?. Mary Flagler Cary Music Collection, 1968. The Morgan Library & Museum.

The Graphic : an illustrated weekly newspaper. London : Graphic, 1869-1932. 1876 picture of the Bayreuth Festspielehaus , PML 146558-92, PML 146571, Vol. 14

“The Wagner Festival at Bayreuth – Exterior of the Theatre,” The Graphic, August 12, 1876. Bequest of Gordon N. Ray, 1987. The Morgan Library & Museum.

Wagner, Richard, 1813-1883. Tickets for each of the four operas performed during the premiere season at Bayreuth, 1876.

Tickets for the Ring cycle, Bayreuth, August, 1876. James Fuld Music Collection, 2008. The Morgan Library & Museum.

Gill, Andre, 1840-1885. Richard Wagner, per Gill [Paris : L'eclipse, 1869] MMP W134.8

André Gill (1840–1885), “Richard Wagner” (caricature) in L’Éclipse, April 18, 1869. Gift of Hester Diamond, 2012. The Morgan Library & Museum.

21. Seidl_Metropolitan_Opera_Archives.

Anton Seidl (1850–1898), Photograph by Falk, New York. Metropolitan Opera Archives.

Images courtesy The Morgan Library & Museum