The head of the gods, Wotan (Bryn Terfel), needs to pay the giants Fasolt and Fafner (Franz-Josef Selig and Hans-Peter König) for building Valhala, the new home for the gods, but doesn’t want to pay the agreed price—Freia (Wendy Bryn Harmer), the goddess of youth. Loge, the god of fire (Richard Croft), tells Wotan about an enormous horde of gold the evil Nibelung Alberich (Eric Owens) has stolen from the Rhinemaidens. By renouncing love and forging a ring from the gold Alberich has become enormously powerful, but Wotan and Loge trick Alberich and take the hoard from him. Enraged, Alberich puts a curse on the ring: it will bring death to anyone who possesses it, a curse that soon costs the giant Fasolt his life. As the gods cross over the rainbow bridge into Valhalla, far below the Rhinemaidens lament the loss of their gold. Conducted by James Levine.

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