Hans Bonfigt
Wednesday June 6th, 2018

Digital, bekloppt, banal

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Munich is a big city. In Munich, there is also a great theatre tradition. In former times, the “Resi“ (Residenztheater with various locations) and the Kammerspiele  dominated and fascinated me. Today, you get top theatre especially in the Volkstheater and perhaps also at an outsider in Freimann: the Metropoltheater.

However, we also have a huge variety of amateur theatres in Munich. I find the theatre troupe tgsm especially outstanding. With this opinion, I certainly do not want to discredit all the many other ambitioned “amateur actors“ in Munich who play with enormous enthusiasm on many stages. On the contrary, with theatre, it is just like in real life – the amateurs (people who do it because they love it, rather than for money) often need not feel inferior to the professionals.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of a very special experience at the tgsm. It was a play that, unfortunately, is only rarely performed. Perhaps because it is unpleasant and because it hurts.

Fear and Misery in the Third Reich

by Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956)

Here is what it says in the tgsm brochure:

In 30 scenes, Brecht describes 30 moments of life in the Third Reich. Initially, he wanted to call the piece “Germany – a Horror Story“. The premiere was in 1938 in Paris with eight scenes. The individual scenes are separate units and are not combined to become a linear story. Yet, taken together, they are an image of life under the national-socialist regime. If you look closely enough, you will understand the mechanism of all dictatorships: polarisation, fear, defamation of minorities (enemy image) and demonstration of the government’s power on a daily basis. This is why the issue is also a current issue today and will always remain one.


I was worried when this evening started. Simply because I know that all the misery and atrocities of that time depress me. A short time ago, even riding my bike along the premises of the Dachau KZ gave me a sleepless night.
In the evening (at 10.30 p.m.), I rode home with a profound feeling of happiness. Which was totally the opposite of what I had expected. Because I had experienced great and precious theatre.

It made me particularly happy to have seen so many people (around 25 actors and around 15 supporters) who, in their free time and on a totally honorary basis, worked extremely hard to make something so great happen. And because I felt that those people saw the world like I see it.

Many thanks!


Here is the good news:
There are still a few performances, so you can watch the play! Here are the performance times:

June, 1st, 2018 (Friday)
June, 2nd, 2018 (Saturday)
Pasinger Fabrik, starting at 7.30 p.m.

June, 7th, 2018 (Thursday )
June, 8th, 2018 (Friday)
June, 9th, 2018 (Saturday)
Pepper Theater, Neuperlach, starting at 7.30 p.m.

June, 14th, 2018 (Thursday)
Neubiberg, Aula der Volksschule, Am Rathausplatz, starting at 8 p.m.

For tickets, click here.

And here are a few links to whet your appetite: a long comment on the debut at the end of which Konstantin Wecker sang a song. Naturally, he will not be present during all the other performances. You will then hear his song SAG NEIN as a recording. When we saw the performance, everybody sang along, so it was a great experience even without the master.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

On May, 6th, you can again hear them: the ARCIS VOCALISTEN will sing in the Munich-Sendling Himmelsfahrtskirche.

Together with famous soloists, they will sing the PAULUS by FELIX MENDELSON BARTHOLDY, which is a theological oratorio in two parts.

 

“Rise Up, Arise and Shine!“

In 1836, the then 26-year-old musical genius Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy presented his first monumental biblical oratorio, the history of the apostle Paul. Beginning with his origins as Saul, the hunter of Christians, the story is about his Damascus experience, his crisis of faith and his new religious conviction, until he is finally described during his missionary travels.
Great representative choir movements, sensitive chorales, memorable arias are form a unit that finally becomes a huge, two-hour theological opera in Mendelssohn’s sensually romantic expression.

The Arcis-Vocalisten will present PAULUS in maximum choir strength and will be joined by young and exquisite soloists such as Judith Spiesser, who was last successful as Lucia di Lammermoor at the Landestheater Niederbayern. The other soloists are the mezzo soprano Florence Losseau, the tenor Christian Zenker who spent many years performing in the Innsbruck and Graz theatres, and the basso-baritone Alban Lenzen in the title role.

The accompanying orchestra is the Konstanz Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie. The director is Thomas Gropper.

The concert on Sunday, May, 6th, 2018, at 7 p.m. is in one of the churches most suited for the performance of this kind of music, the Himmelfahrtskirche in München-Sendling, Kidlerstr.15.

The musical director will give an introduction to the work at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at MünchenTicket and directly before the concert. For IF-Blog.de readers who want to enjoy the concert, we can arrange a small bonus. If you are interested, just send an email to me under the title “Arcis-Vocalisten.
🙂 I will reply!

RMD

October, 22nd was a rather challenging yet nice day for us (Christian, Knud and yours truly). We met in Nuremburg in the morning because we wanted to try something in the evening. The idea was to “communicate in a really creative manner”. We simply wanted to say a few things that would remain with us and be sustainable.

We, that is Christian Botta, Knud Johanssen and me. We met in a small apartment at the Nuremburg congress centre. Because on this Wednesday, we wanted to star in a small show in the evening. Consequently, we had to practice a little bit.

Before that day, we had met exactly three times. We had worked on the idea and then developed the content and the dramaturgy in a “shared document”, because that seemed the best way to overcome the space-time-distribution.

Starting at 11:00 hours, we practiced “jamming”. It took until 16:00 hours, then we relaxed. At 17:00 hours, the time had come: as the finishing number of the DOAG Yearly Conference #DOAG17 “soft tracks”, we went onstage. With “creative communication”.

On this photograph, you can see us after hard work:
Christian,  our “host” Dietmar Neugebauer, Knud and yours truly
(from left to right).

But before that, the motto was:

“Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” and above all 
“Do not lament, instead jam!“



Here is the premiere of November, 22nd, 2017.

With and by us: (man with the pen), (with ALTO, the alto saxophone, or rapper and ventriloquist). And I ( – at the “speech“) was also part of the team!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
Here is the link to the video:
https://youtu.be/JZPp_OCiZPU
And for those who prefer reading about it I will publish my texts in my next post.

 

Christmas is near!!!

 

What would Christmas be without music?
Music without singing?
Singing without a choir?
And the choir without the Christmas Oratorio?

Johann-Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio is part of the Festive tradition as much as the lights sparkling in the tree and the butter cookies. As early as the first alto-aria “Bereite dich Zion!” and the following choral “Wie soll ich dich empfangen?”, Bach’s great music gives fulfilment with every year anew. Beating drums, blaring trumpets, magnificent flutes and oboes, the murmur of the bassoon, the satin sound of the violins, violas, celli and contrabass will welcome Christ the child.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Quite a few musicologists consider this piece the greatest of all!

 

They practiced hard and long – the Arcis-Vocalisten. And now they will perform it – along with great and unique singers and musicians!

 

Translation:


In the last ten years, the Arcis-Vocalisten under the singing teacher Thomas Gropper have, due to their elastic sound and acute musical understanding, become a choir the Munich classics scene can no longer ignore.
The Missa in B-Minor is considered the Mount Everest of choir music. Both the number and the level of difficulty of the choirs are enormous. Johann Sebastian Bach transferred Luther’s wish to “sing and preach” the Christian faith like no other. The manner in which J.S. Bach translates the texts into music shows a true genius who, in the process, also expects to hear more than top quality from the soloists, choir and orchestra.


And to top it all:
IF Blog readers who would like to delight in the concert can get a special discount. If you are interested, just send me an email with reference to “Arcis-Vocalisten”.

Roland Dürre
Sunday October 15th, 2017

Great Orators and Their Stories – #7 Jolly Kunjappu

I started with the “Day Labourer” Alain Neumann. Then I told you about Hans-Jörg Bullinger and Hans Strack Zimmermann before arriving at Augustinus Heinrich Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck, Klaus-Jürgen Grün and Rupert Lay .

Today, it is my special pleasure to add my friend Jolly Kunjappu to the list of names in my personal hall of fame.
Jolly’s motto is INSPIRING PEOPLE. Today, he sees himself as a Performance Artist, Keynote Speaker and Philosopher. In his life, Jolly Kunjappu lived many different roles. Among other things, he played music with such well-known musicians as Mick Jagger. He also organized “drum” seminars for top managers.

One of the activities I shared with him was my cooperation in the series of presentations about peace. Here is what he himself says about it.

You will find several articles about what he does in the IF Blog.

I bow to Jolly and his life work.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday October 6th, 2017

Catalonia

My Dream of EUROPE

La senyera – The Catalonian Flag.

Currently, everybody talks about Catalonia. So I will also add my “five cent”:

I would be quite glad if Catalonia were to secede from Spain. It would not do any harm to Europe, either. On the contrary.

And Catalonia would not be able to escape the EURO, either. Consequently, we would also have to permit them to remain in the EU and ignore a possible veto from Spain if Catalonia applies for EU membership. After all, they already were members, which means that it is not a new membership.

Maybe the remainder of Spain wants to continue with the monarchy as established by Franco and apply for leaving the EU? However, I would not recommend it to them. They definitely should refrain from re-erecting Franco monuments and leave fascism well alone.

We might need a few additional stars – just like we need more of them in the skies?

But this is not about Catalonia. For me, it is all about a vision for Europe that would probably contribute a little towards solving a few of the current problems.

What we need is a EUROPE that is a close-knit federation of regions (i.e. regional countries or states). These regions should have more or less the same size and thus be able to cooperate at eye-level. My assumption is: the smaller the states, the more of them we have and the closer they are connected, the better!

To be sure, to make it a success, a few requirements that are hard to meet would need to be fulfilled:

  1. A federation of European regions would have to serve the people – and not the entrepreneurs, concerns and speculators.    
For me, that is a central requirement. Consequently, free markets at any price, the mindless abolition of borders do not have priority. Limitless growth, maximum consumption for all and unlimited riches cannot be the ultimate goal of a new “federation of values Europe”.  Just like a misinterpreted freedom without duties is not a value.
  2. Europe cannot be allowed to become an end in itself.    
Europe must not aim at becoming a superpower and have an internationally leading role, perhaps even be some kind of new world police. Because that is not what we need and besides, a Europe that develops sustainably will have an important role worldwide with huge influence anyway, even without nuclear weapons and carriers.
  3. Solidarity is not something that is achieved through subsidies.    
Solidarity between regions and humans cannot be achieved by handing out cheques. In particular, it cannot be achieved exclusively by handing out cheques. The subsidies for farming in the old EU are a good example. They destroyed exactly what they (perhaps) wanted to preserve.
  4. The national states must go.    
That is true for all of them, especially the big ones like Germany, France, Italy, Spain … (and also Great Britain, which, as of now, is still part of it). Because we no longer need all this nationally dominated lamenting – we could actually leave it, for instance, to soccer.

For me, the points 1 and 4 are the most important.

Ad 1.)  What is so bad about a county protecting its local markets and characteristics in a reasonable way? What is so bad about more control if crime increases? As I see it, you need some kind of border control when you have reached a certain dimension. And if that is so, then I prefer a systematic and controlled way of doing it, rather than  the haphazard way we see today.
In a living and responsibly functioning Europe, there can be no room for lobbyism and the currently existing oligarchy of interest groups they call parties.
This may sound unimaginable, because you need to re-define democracy and probably you will also need a more direct democracy. But we are entitled to some utopian ideas!
Because we have the right (and the obligation) to preserve the European cultures in all their diversity and to also preserve a heterogeneous Europe. This must be explicitly desired in a Europe of regions. It must be discussed together and supported by ample means. Otherwise, Europe will never really materialize.
And it must happen in the interest of all people – except the speculators and some super rich individuals or super powerful systems. Especially if they are de-personalized and have become independent.

Ad 4.)  
How nice would it be to have a Europe of smallish regions. The reasons why it would be nice are mostly rational. Basically, small and self-organised systems always work better than big ones, especially if those big ones are also controlled and administered externally. Flat hierarchies make a realistic form of subsidiarity easier. Politically spoken, we would only have two, rather than – as today – three hierarchical levels in the “upper echelons”.
In this model, the EU would be the top level and the international presence of all regions. It is controlled by the council of the regions, all of which can have their own autonomous structures. The nationally infected level in between, for instance Berlin, Paris, Rome – or, in this case, Madrid – would be gone for good.
You would also no longer need a veto right for individual states (no matter if we are talking a few 100,000 people or 80 million). It would be replaced by a qualified majority in the council of regions.
Whenever a region falters or behaves totally irrational, which is something that can always happen, it would be easier to heal than today. Just remember how impossible it is to influence a country like Poland. In a system at eye-level, it would also be easier and more direct to practice solidarity than it can be done with the current EU sprinkling system.
In other words, the EU would have to consist of “states” none of which can be bigger than, for example, Bavaria. But perhaps even Bavaria is too big to be just one EU region? Even here, a reasonable division is quite feasible, and thus at least a good solution would be possible.
So we have to divide the national states. It would be easy for the FR of Germany, because we already have a rather reasonable county structure. You could just take it (and perhaps improve it as suggested in the last paragraph). I would leave small states like Bremen or Hamburg. If currently Estonia qualifies for EU membership, why should not the two proud German Hanseatic Cities be a region each – just like Estonia would be a region?

If we wish to heal EUROPE, then we may and must definitely have and strive towards these kinds of utopian ideas! Otherwise it will never become true! And then comes the big hangover!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
Here is a positive idea about the so detrimental shared currency:    
I basically believe that the best solution would be to have different currencies according to the “maturity/state” of a region (I will call them EURO1, EURO2 and EUROn). But that is a very complicated topic. I would rather not discuss it here.
However, here is a positive idea if you have only one EURO: It is quite possible that one EURO for all regions– regardless of many disadvantages – could also have a huge advantage. One EURO for all of them would be something like the iron ring that holds them all together. And thus it makes it impossible to exit and helps when it comes to overcoming future regional crises. But then, that would again need another utopia to become reality – a currency policy of the EZB that differs from the one currently witnessed under “Super-Mario“ Draghi.

Hans Bonfigt
Monday September 11th, 2017

Autobahn 2.0: Der neugrüne Rassismus – Hully Gully

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Saturday August 5th, 2017

Theatre, States and the Church …

On Thursday, August, 2rd, I went to a debut performance at the Sommerhausen Torturmtheater. Currently, they are playing a piece by  Philipp Löhle. The title is “Der Wind macht das Fähnchen“.

This time around, four female actors play on the small Torturmtheater stage: Judith RiehlNadia SchwienbacherChristian Buse and David Lindermeier. Other active persons were Oliver Zimmer as the director and, of course, the great Angelika Relin, without whom this entire enterprise would not even exist.


Visiting the Sommerhausen Torturmtheater.


And Barbara and yours truly enjoyed the privilege of being present at the debut performance. We very much enjoyed a special performance. It was an evening as it will never return and it made me truly happy.

You cannot miss this performance. It will (only!) run until September, 30th, which means you already want to plan your trip to Sommerhausen. Here is the pre-view:


“Here it is, my whole pride” – the family. An experiment for the brave? 
In the year nineteen-hundred-and-some-uneven, when the world was still a better place, the story begins. Father, mother, son and daughter can be seen smiling in fast-motion as snapshots are taken at the breakfast table or during the Italy vacation. However, the bourgeois image is tricky, because as soon as hard times come, nobody stands up for the other. The family, too, depends on economic ups and downs. Everything collapses when father miscalculates the future of the modern “internetwork” and – consistently – gives notice. And it is this of all consistent acts he hands down to his son for life at the moment of truth.  
After crisis and separation, there is re-unification and new family portraits, seemingly in total harmony, but the idyll now has cracks. Irreparable cracks.


I had already been fascinated by the last play I had watched: “Eine Sommernacht”. Now it was even better – if that is possible. There is always great theatre at the Sommerhausen Torturmtheater. “Das Fähnchen“ is an exciting comedy with plenty of whit and intrigue!


It was a great theatre evening.


The beautiful conclusion of a wonderful day we had spent on our bikes. After approximately a hundred kilometres on our bikes on our way from Klingenberg to Sommerhausen, along the river Main with a few shortcuts through rolling hills, we arrived at Sommerhausen late in the afternoon. There was still time for refreshments and relaxing. And half an hour before the comedy started, we arrived at the Torturmtheater.


Some theatre before the theatre performance.


We enjoyed the always impressive theatre foyer and were looking forward to the performance. It was not altogether by force (it was not really necessary to listen carefully) that I listened to a conversation between a middle-aged gentleman (perhaps between forty and fifty) and an elderly couple (perhaps between sixty and seventy, with the lady not really saying anything, instead only reproachfully looking at her husband). For me, it was like a “small private theatre before the real theatre started“!

It was a dispute where the younger gentleman kept noisily finding it outrageous how the church behaved and what special rights that were no longer acceptable it took for granted. The other person tried to speak in defence of the church in a softer voice.

The younger gentleman criticized the church tax as a consequence of the concordat that seems to have been first installed in the 1930ies after negotiations with the Nazis. He found it annoying that leading church managers, like cardinals and bishops, get paid by the state.

The other gentleman pointed out that, after all, the church was socially very active with good deeds and that this was probably worth the price the state pays. Then the older gentleman said that the protestant church was probably better than the Catholic church. The younger gentleman countered that the protestant church actually made quite a huge profit with the Diakonie. And it continued in that manner.

Then the younger one found it lamentable that children had three hours of religious instruction at school where they were indoctrinated. The older one defended this system by claiming that school, basically, was not just there to teach knowledge, but also to give young people values. None of it was really high-level, the arguments were the same as always and nothing new. Not really exciting. Not even the values.

(After all, in my opinion, introducing values is actually part of teaching knowledge. But then, I learned a long time ago not to become an active participant in these kinds of discussions).

So I started thinking about the experiences I myself had had with the church. That reminded me of my friend and teacher Rupert Lay. I learned so much from him, above all that I have to appreciate my own qualities and take myself seriously. And that I have to be an autonomous person who is not easily manipulated.


The Jesuit Rupert Lay.


Rupert’s goal in life was to be there for the poorest of the poor. However, for him, that were not only the homeless and those who were ostracized from society. In his opinion, especially top managers belonged in this category. Which is probably correct. For me, it is hard to imagine any other profession (with the possible exception of pastors) where you have so many crazy people as among the directors of the German and international concerns. Sorry, but when I say “crazy”, I mean people who suffer from massive psychic illness and disorders.

Rupert Lay was mostly concerned with managers who had stayed sane. The “sick ones” were sorted out during his preparatory seminars. They never were allowed to attend his advanced seminars. After all, they would probably only have been a nuisance and would not have understood anything.

The really expensive fees you had to pay for Rupert Lay’s seminars were all transferred to his order, the Jesuits. And since Rupert Lay generally structured his activities to look like pastoral care, the tax office did not benefit either. At the time, some civil servants at the tax office found this extremely unfair, but apparently even they could not win against the power of the churches.


Heinrich Henckel von Donnersmark – Stage Name: Augustinus – and Rupert Lay.


I was also reminded of Father Augustinus, whose secular name was Henckel von Donnersmark. He was a baron. I knew him as well and liked him very much. Even though Rupert Lay was a Jesuit while Augustinus was a Premonstratensian Chorister. Both of them were the protagonists for ethics in business. I rather liked that. They were important counsellors of German top people in industry and politics. And they also made a good name for themselves as excellent speakers and management trainers.

Rupert Lay saw the system church a lot more critical than the “nice” Augustinus. Consequently, we (the Ronneburger Kreis) invited them to Frankfurt for a dispute. And we were quite surprised, because in the end there was far too much harmony. Basically, they kept telling the opponent that he was right.

For me, Augustinus was the best orator I ever knew. I well remember one of his presentations in Wiesbaden in the 1990ies for ICL – at the time a relevant IT producer from Great Britain. He had introduced himself as manager of “the enterprise Catholic Church” and described his role as that of the “lobbyist of the most powerful and oldest enterprise of the world”. Quite some self-irony.


Churches talk about peace and love.


On the other hand, the presentation also gave me an insight about myself that I see confirmed to this day. The church is an enterprise that has peace and love written all over its statutes. Quasi as Marketing. They have been doing this for more than 2,000 years. In all these years, it thrived with this message and became really rich and perhaps also powerful. I find it extremely sad that, in all those 2,000 years, it never managed (and perhaps never even wanted) to make the world a little more peaceful and love-oriented. On the contrary: to this day, the Catholic Church, along with its competition on the market, cause the opposite of peace and love: war and hatred.

Consequently, that was the time when I first understood that I do not wish to associate myself with a system like the church. Nor will I say more about it.

Just like I will never again vote for CDU/CSU because they are the reason why we had re-armament in Germany. The same is true for the SPD and the Green Party. I will not vote for these parties because they broke an important taboo when they allowed fighting missions abroad for the ‘German Armed Forces.
Basically, everything is quite simple:

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
And if you want to go to Sommerhausen by train, you want to look for the railway station of Winterhausen. From the Winterhausen station, it is only one kilometre to the theatre on foot..