The first production of Der Ring des Nibelungen took place on August 13, 14, 16, and 17, 1876 at the newly-built Festspielhaus at Bayreuth. The composer supervised the entire production. Hans Richter was the work's first conductor, assisted by Felix Mottl and Anton Seidl, who years later conducted the Metropolitan Opera premiere of this work. Wagner commissioned Viennese landscape artist Josef Hoffmann to design sketches for the production. These were later turned over to Gotthold and Max Brückner, stage designers of the opera at Coburg, so that they could be turned into stage scenery. The costumes for this production were designed by Carl Döppler. The Teutonic creations that this team came up with would influence Wagnerian productions up until the mid twentieth century.
The cast of the 1876 Bayreuth Première of Der Ring des Nibelungen
Das Rheingold
August 13, 1876 Hans Richter (conductor)
Wotan - Franz Betz
Donner - Eugen Dura
Froh - Georg Unger
Loge - J. Michael Vogl
Alberich - Karl Hill
Mime - Karl Schlosser
Fasolt - Herr Eilers
Fafner - Herr Reichenberg
Fricka - Friedrike von Sadler-Grün
Freia - Marie Haupt
Erda - Luise Jaide
Woglinde - Lilli Lehmann
Welgunde - Marie Lehmann
Flosshilde - Marie Lammert
Die Walküre
August 14, 1876 Hans Richter (conductor)
Siegmund - Albert Niemann
Hunding - Herr Niering
Wotan - Franz Betz
Sieglinde - Josephine Scheffzsky
Brünnhilde - Amalie Materna
Fricka - Friedrike von Sadler-Grün
 
Siegfried
August 16, 1876 Hans Richter (conductor)
Siegfried - Georg Unger
Mime - Karl Schlosser
DerWanderer (Wotan) - Franz Betz
Alberich - Karl Hill
Fafner - Herr Reichenberg
Erda - Luise Jaide
Brünnhilde - Amalie Materna
Götterdämmerung
August 17, 1876 Hans Richter (conductor)
Siegfried - Georg Unger
Gunther - Eugen Gura
Hagen - Sustav Siehr
Alberich - Karl Hill
Brünnhilde - Amalie Materna
Gutrune - Mathilde Weckerlin
Waltraute - Luise Jaide
First Norn - Johanna Jachmann-Wagner
Second Norn - Josephine Scheffzsky
Third Norn - Friedrike
Woglinde - Lilli Lehmann
Welgunde - Marie Lehmann
Flosshilde - Marie Lammert
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