Friday, October 30, 2015

GSK & Banks: Free Wagner & Modern Rheingold

Looks like the modern Rheinmaidens are male and collected their gold from GSK & the banker is not so lucky:


Four former GlaxoSmithKline employees will share up to $250m (£159m) after their evidence helped US authorities secure a record settlement with the UK drug company for mispromoting drugs.

Greg Thorpe, Blair Hamrick, Thomas Gerahty and Matthew Burke are in line to receive the payout under the Federal False Claims Act, a US law dating back to the Civil War that allows whistleblowers to receive a portion of money the government recovers when prosecuting fraud.

The Banker on the other hand may have problem keeping his Rheingold. Wotan was not happy!

Sir Mervyn ordered Mr Agius to a meeting at the Threadneedle Street headquarters of the Bank at 6pm on Monday. At the meeting, he told Mr Agius that the chairman’s original offer to resign was not sufficient and that the chief executive was in the line of fire. 

It is believed that Sir Mervyn said that Mr Diamond continuing in his position could be damaging to London’s reputation.

Sir Mervyn also appeared to suggest that he was not only speaking on behalf of the Bank but also on behalf of the Financial Services Authority and the Treasury as well. The Chancellor, George Osborne, has always insisted he did not directly call for Mr Diamond to go.

By modern day standards we are still talking about a lot of money!

The Guardian: Looting

Thanks to Intermezzo we had a glimpse of the new Munich Ring Cycle:

July 05, 2012

Wagner, it would seem is as up to date as ever.

The dark side of the gods: (it is sometimes easier if one take GODS in the Ring to mean those in POWER. For the characters read here.) In fact, the gods need not work at all, the Nibelungs work almost all the time.

Disrespectful Wotan is hardly revered unanimously, and even he acknowledges higher authorities. Erda knows things he doesn't; his almost bureaucratic dominance derives solely from treaties engraved in runes on his spear, treaties to which he is subservient.

Born liarsCharacters lie as it suits them. Events are initiated by Wotan's spurious promise to the Giants to pay them by giving them Freia in exchange for building Valhalla, a promise he knows he cannot keep, as she is the indispensable symbol of love whose golden apples keep the gods alive. His shady ally, Loge, is defined as a double-dealing trickster. Brünnhilde breaks her promise to her father to allow Siegmund to be killed in combat. Mime makes dissembling a veritable life's work, ably carried forward by his nephew, Hagen, in Götterdämmerung. 

Brünnhilde disobeys Wotan, and his grandson Siegfried destroys his power. Mime, who raises Siegfried from infancy and even makes him toys, is treated with disturbingly cruel contempt by the bumptious hero. Hagen, whom Alberich sired via gold-empowered lust as a tool to retrieve the Ring for him, mutters that if he succeeds he will keep it, not hand it over to his Nibelung father.

Thieving & Misappropriation 
……. misappropriation, of persons or of things, provides much of the plot machinery. First, Alberich plunders the Rhinegold, and afterward, theft of others' possessions, including the Ring, motivates action upon action. 

Incest and other illicit sexThe teasing of Alberich by the Rhinemaidens which leads to his abjuring love--love, not lust. The definitive heroine, Brünnhilde, and her Valkyrie sisters are the offspring of an adulterous liaison between Wotan and Erda; Wotan also illegitimately fathers the Wälsung twins by a mortal. Sieglinde's infidelity is excoriated by marriage-goddess Fricka, as is her violation with Siegmund of an even more basic taboo, incest. But Wotan defends the twins ("…those two are in love") and, like most audience members moved by the ardent love music, views both transgressions kindly. 

Fafner kills his brother Fasolt, the first victim of Alberich's curse, and we are off to the homicide races. Hunding slays Siegmund, only to be destroyed by Wotan's contempt. Siegfried kills Fafner, the Giant-turned-dragon, and then, after realizing that Mime is trying to poison him, kills him as well. By the time the gods' destiny climaxes, Hagen has murdered both Siegfried and Gunther and is himself drowned by the Rhinemaidens. Eventually Brünnhilde sets Valhalla ablaze as part of her self-immolation upon Siegfried's funeral pyre ("Thus do I hurl the torch into Valhalla's proud-standing stronghold") and all the gods die.
Greed, greed, greed!Finally, "coveting that which is your neighbor's" is pretty much the whole raison d'être for the Ring story, starting with Alberich's desire for the Rhinemaidens, then for the gold they guard. Thereafter everybody seems to want what doesn't belong to him or her: the Ring, a sword, a treasure, someone else's wife, sheer power. 

Yet in spite of Wagner's wholesale abandonment of the Decalogue, the bastion of Western morality, Der Ring des Nibelungen generates explosive ethical and metaphysical impact. He started with the absorption, fusion and reinvention of myriad legendary sources, and layered Schopenhauer's philosophy upon Feuerbach's. In Art and Climate Wagner wrote, "there is no true freedom except that which is common to all mankind... The redeemer is therefore love… starting with sexual love, [it] strides forward through love of children, brothers and friends, to universal love of humanity." The emphasis is his. Yet, some years later he wrote to Mathilde Wesendonck, "I can conceive of only one salvation. It is Rest! ...The stilling of every desire!" 

Wagner once wrote to Röckel, "I have come now to realize how much there is, owing to the whole weight of my poetic aim, that only becomes clear through the music." He later described the discontinuity between his "rationally formed ideas" and "the exquisite unconsciousness of artistic creation… guided by wholly different, infinitely more profound intuition."

Free Wagner:

The Bavarian State Opera are to stream Andreas Kriegenburg's new production of Götterdämmerung live on their website on 15 July. Free of course.

On July 15, the Bavarian State Opera will present another full opera performance live and free on the website with the transmission ofGötterdämmerung, the fourth installment of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. For the sixth time (after live-streams of FidelioL’elisir d’amoreDon CarloEugen Onegin and I Capuleti e i Montecchi) opera lovers can enjoy another outstanding production from the Bavarian State Opera in Munich free and in full length. 

The premiere of Götterdämmerung opened the Munich Opera Festival last weekend and is the conclusion of the new production of the Ring, which is being staged from February to June by Andreas Kriegenburg under the musical direction ofKent Nagano leading the Bavarian State Orchestra.

In Götterdämmerung the American tenor Stephen Gould as Siegfried, Wolfgang Koch as Alberich, Iain Paterson as Gunther and Nina Stemme as Brünnhilde will be appearing, amongst others, on the stage of the Bavarian State Opera. 

The live transmission of Götterdämmerung is part of a pilot project by General Manager Nikolaus Bachler in presenting opera online. The only requirement is a broadband internet connection such as DSL, the newest version of the flash player and speakers. There is no charge to the viewer for using the live stream.

Richard Wagner
5 P.M. CET – 11 A.M. EST – 8 A.M. PST 

Intermezzo Update: Just one of those Rings

 The world of Götterdämmerung is the 21st century corporation, featuring an anonymous mass of business-suited Gibichungs in a flashy glass and steel edifice.

Production photos can be seen hereherehere and here.

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