The "Introduction to Wagner's 'Ring des Nibelungen'" describes the origin of the monumental work and provides biographical information on the protagonists of this gigantic saga in addition to information on the construction and opening of the Festspielhaus in Bayreuth, the world premiere of the Ring and the production history of the work up to Harry Kupfer's Bayreuth staging of 1988 under the musical direction of Daniel Barenboim and with sets by Hans Schavernoch.
"Harry Kupfer has created a production of great coherency, hard, cutting, transparent, which will delight those who see in Wagner a contemporary and will displease those who consume Wagner like some consecrated artifact in a museum. The entire mythological apparatus is demolished bit by bit: what remains is what Wagner himself wanted: the 'pure humanity' of the myth. […] The entire 'Ring' unfolds like an intellectual adventure that provokes unforgettable emotions." (La Repubblica)