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..

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday May 18th, 2017

Falling Down

I no longer remember who told me this story. Perhaps it was the tourist guide when we drove to the ’Manrique Museum’? Or that female professor of geology from Brandenburg? She has been coming to the ’Lanzarote Park Hotel’ in Playa Blanca in March for eight years now and also reads Spanish Daily Newspapers, not just this stupid island magazine Lanzarote 37°. Or was it maybe Pedro who told me this story a one of his inimitable ’language cocktail’ variations at the pool?

I simply cannot recall exactly …

But it was always about that toothless street musician!

He is a true disgrace on the never-ending boardwalk close to the ocean in the south-west of Lanzarote. With his dirty and unappetizing appearance, he should not be permitted to sit there. This is simply not tolerable! Not on this fantastic EU-financed boardwalk! After all, hundreds of people pilgrimage here until late into the night.

Besides, this ’music-playing pig’ does not restrict his appearance to his rusty folding chair in front of the last stretch of fallow land, where hardly anybody would notice him anyway. Instead, he can now be almost exclusively seen on the stone boardwalk balustrade.

What an exhibition: a ’music-playing rubbish heap’ in front of the eternally sparkling, sunny ocean! With a greasy hat lying on the floor and a cap on his sun-burned head! And two watery eyes that look like puddles …

Mostly, he dribbles into his melodica – which is some kind of key flute – from which the same melody is released at all times. But it is strangely alluring! You have to give him that. Perhaps it is even by Mozart? Even if it is perhaps a little too sad? Unfortunately, I was never able to really find out.

Seven years ago, when the concert building Lava-Bubble in Jameos del Agua was closed due to stones falling down from the ceiling, this disgrace had already been playing on the Playa Blanca boardwalk. In those days, he allegedly had a rather rich musical portfolio.

And while the volcano rocks were being glued together with special resin above the roof, he also sat there every day. Perhaps even the occasional cent out of all those six million euros this roof cost found its way into his shabby hat. Who could know? Definitely not the ’music-playing rubbish heap’.

And the inauguration concert given when the renovated concert hall in Jameos del Agua  was ceremoniously re-opened will definitely also have been something he was totally unaware of. As must have been the fact that the famous English conductor John Miguel Smith was going to be at the baton and that even representatives of the Spanish Crown had accepted the invitation.

However, he did notice that the rather pompous John Miguel Smith with his much too young female companion had had a stupid accident where he stumbled right in front of the ’music-playing heap of dirt’ on the day before the concert and fell fully on his nose; yes, that was something he had definitely noticed.

And the Spanish cursing of the noble Brit was probably also something he noticed!
Mind you, Betty had even cried out “attention John“, because apparently he had recognized a strangely alluring melody and consequently only had eyes for the shabbily dressed source of the melody. But at that moment, it was already too late! He fell full-length onto the dignified brown cobbles of the boardwalk here in Playa Blanca…

Ranting, he immediately jumped up, was appalled when he inspected his atrociously grazed hands and elbows, moved his badly ailing fingers like a maniac and kept shaking his head while he smoothed the damaged, bloody t-shirt over his stomach.
He only noticed that he had also torn his rough silver Greek Knot Cross from his neck during his fall when Betty tearfully offered it to him. He gripped it like a bird of prey and threw it into the greasy hat of the street musician, who was totally appalled.

He was quick to pull Betty after him in order to get away from this upheaval among the nosy masses of people as fast as possible. Probably his only remaining worry at this time was tomorrow’s inauguration concert at the “lava bubble”! In Jameos del Agua! And his wounded arms, his injured stomach, his bloody hands and his lacerated chin. And he certainly hoped that nobody had recognized him – the famous John Miguel Smith, when he kissed the boardwalk lying on his stomach like a fallen frog …

What mortification!

However, in at least one case, this hope seemed to have been in vain; because when the ’music-playing rubbish heap’ had overcome his shock paralysis and fished out the cross that lay between the few coins in his hat, there was suddenly a strange sparkle to his alcohol-marked face. A sparkle that even continued when he opened his toothless mouth out of which came a questioning “Miguel?”…

And then again “Miguel – Miguel, is it you?“

The street musician got more and more excited and even panicky. He dropped the soiled melodica and started using his left paw, too, for squeezing the silver cross – and again and again, he croaked: “Miguel !…Miguel !!…Miguel…!!

But John Miguel Smith was far beyond hearing and being seen. In fact, he hurried like a wounded animal along the boardwalk accompanied by his totally hysterical companion. All he wanted was crawl into his lair at the Hotel Vulcano as fast as possible!

Since, as everybody knows, the famous conductor Smith strictly forbids all attempts at finding out about his life and mercilessly deplores even the smallest public assumptions, the desperate calls of an old man, too, were lost in the rippling of the ocean that ran along the lava coast near the boardwalk balustrade.

But still, as I said, I heard somewhere that this incident is the reason and the only reason why the street musician, since that time, only plays this one ’endearing melody’ that, to this day, I could not identify. It is because he still hopes that his Miguel – whom he could not have cared less about when he was a child, in fact whom he even gave away for adoption – might one day pass by and invite him, his alleged father, to drink a brandy ’Carlos III’ with him…

Well, I am not sure if it is really the ’Carlos III’ this rubbish-like musician dreams about, but I would like to invite everyone who can tell me something new about John Miguel Smith to have a ’Carlos I’ with me in the pre-warmed glassed of the Café ’Gilbert’ on the Playa Blanca boardwalk. As I see it, the old ’music-playing piece of dirt’ should get some help, so why not through a good brandy?

PS:
Please note that all persons and activities in this story are fiction. But still, I will continue to look for this melody that caused the famous conductor to fall down. I have to find out more about it …
KH
(Translated by EG)

It is a little sensational:

In the Himmelfahrtskirche München-Sendling, there will be two concerts late in May; they complement each other in terms of subject matter:

Two “Operatic Concerts” about Orfeo in authentic sound quality!

 

On Thursday, May, 25th, 2017:

 

C. W. Gluck

Orfeo ed Euridice

 

On Sunday, May, 28th, 2017:

 

C. Monteverdi

L‘Orfeo

 

Both concerts begin at 7 p.m.!

The two composers lived in different centuries. That means it will be quite interesting to witness how they treat more or less the same material in a totally different way.



Well, obviously, hearing both concerts is the most promising approach. Which means we recommend that you buy the both tickets at a discount of 10 €.

Naturally, you can also only listen to one of the two.

For those who are not familiar with it:
Authentic sound quality means that the concert pitch is as it was at the time of composition, which means about 30 Hertz below the modern concert pitch. That can only be achieved with an orchestra that plays authentic instruments.

It is always my pleasure to advert the unique

Arcis-Vocalisten

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday April 13th, 2017

IT-Treff – Nostalgia 1999 – It was Awesome!

Among the IF Blog documents, you can find a very special article. For a long time, it was hidden at the very bottom.

It is a satire on New Economy – a theatre play titled:

“Can we be saved?“

Norbert Weinberger and yours truly wrote it. The idea originated when we were on a flight from Munich via Zurich to New-Delhi with Swiss Air.

Swiss Air was a compromise that had taken long to agree upon. My friend and partner Norbert always flew Lufthansa Business Class as a matter of principle. And, just as true to my principles, I always flew Economy. Since we wanted to fly together, we compromised on Swiss air Business Class, because at the time the price was almost exactly halfway in between.

Incidentally, the reason for our flight was the official opening of our joint subsidiary company “AMPERSAND limited“. The trees grew into the heavens at the time.

The Business Class of the Swiss Air plane to New Delhi was completely empty. In those days, Swiss Air was still an independent airline and suffering from losses – but that did not matter to the friendly crew. The service was excellent, we were really mollycoddled. During the entire flight, charming stewardesses served us champagne. That was also one of the factors that made us bold. Consequently, we developed the rough concept for our theatre piece while flying.

Together with friends of ours who were also entrepreneurs, we had the first performance on June, 29th, 1999 with an audience of considerably more than 500 at IT-Treff 99 in the over-crowded Munich Schlachthof. It was great fun and the audience were enthusiastic. For us – the cast – it was mania. And additionally, it was a great outlook towards what happened around the turn of the millennium.

How did the IT Treff come about? In the mid-1990s, it was not always quite so easy for IT enterprises in Germany. The general feeling was not too good. Consequently, a few courageous IT entrepreneurs wanted to do something to improve the mood.

Their names were: Muschka Utpadel-Domdey, Alfred Bauer, Hans Nagel, Dr. Christian Roth, Markus Winkler and yours truly.

Our idea was: let us celebrate against the crisis. So we initiated the IT-Treff and invited the entire Munich IT scene. And alas – they all came.

Stars with names like Gerhard Polt and Django Asül performed for us and extended their programs to include IT-specific topics. The Bavarian Government was always on board – I remember well how Secretary of State Hans Spitzner gave us very special welcome addresses. There was always hot music – we even produced our own CD in the Schlachthof with the George Greene Hotline Band. In fact, to this day I enjoy listening to it.

And the entire IT sector danced. That was in the years 1996, 1997 and 1998. We had our last IT-Treff in 1999 – and we (the organization team) made our own cabaret IT-Treff Satire (1734) “Can we be Saved?“ – for you to read and imitate.

Since is it such a nice piece and was such a huge success, I offer a bonus for small and big theatres if they play it. You can call it a “negative performance fee” (royalty), which means you do not have to pay 10% of the turnover, but instead get something back. It is short and very much to the point – the prelude can also be used for other occasions besides celebrations.


 

Here is the IT Treff 1999 flyer from the outside

And from the inside

RMD
(Translated by Evelyn)

Roland Dürre
Monday April 10th, 2017

Jolly on July, 8th in the Literaturhaus München.

Every person has his or her own rhythm. They only need to find it.

Being human is not always easy. Especially if you want to live in peace, it is often hard. Perhaps living happily is even harder. You have to practice it. Above all: everybody has to begin with himself/herself. For every one of us, the world is primarily about ME, which is YOU.

Consequently, we have to learn to appreciate and love ourselves. And, above all, we have to become more peaceful. We have to take responsibility for ourselves (ME) and bring this in harmony with the responsibility for the whole (WE). This is how we can develop our own personal recipe for happiness.

My friend Jolly says it in a nutshell. We have to find our rhythms. Each his or her own. On Saturday, July, 8th, he will show you how to do it!

As always, I will look forward to meeting many friends when Jolly performs. But remember: the Literaturhaus is not very big and will be soon booked out.

So you want to buy your ticket early. I will gladly help you.

RMD
(Translated by Evelyn)

P.S.
On Thursday, April, 28th, 2016, Jolly spoke in favour of PEACE in my Unterhaching office building. We were allowed to film him. Here is his full performance!

I recommend that you enjoy the video with friends and a nice glass of red wine. I promise that the 60 minutes you spend watching it are a very good time investment. And afterwards, you will have a lot to talk about.

and Great and Unique Soloists and Orchestra!

 


In 1729, when Joh. Seb. Bach first played his “St-Matthew’s Passion” during the Good Friday Vespers in the Leipzig Thomas Church, the audience was overwhelmed. The huge cast with soloists, two choirs and orchestra, along with the moving expressiveness surpassed all that had ever been conceivable. Bach tells the Tale of the Woe Jesus lived in a very haunting way. It is a top work of musical history that forms the drama of what happens in the Passion to become one musical-theological entity.

“Between emotionally sung arias and salivating tuba choirs: humanity versus injustice and death. With his Arcis-Vocalisten, Thomas Gropper gains graphic expression, even though he does without martially blaring avowals. The chorales are permitted to stream in wonderful sensuality, which is a much more convincing way of giving the secret of faith a voice” (“Klar und lyrisch”/SZ 4/13).


 

The Arcis-Vocalisten are a very special choir, not only because Evelyn (EG), who translated many IF Blog articles, is one of them.

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”.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Thursday February 2nd, 2017

Entschuldigung eines alten Sozialdemokraten

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Tuesday December 27th, 2016

Cyber Christmas.

Klaus Hnilica (KH), who created
“Carl & Gerlinde”
regularly writes IF Blog articles.

I received special greetings from him while staying in the Caribbean.

Then I asked him if I may publish his poem.

And Klaus said yes.

Here comes (Translated by EG)!


Our first Cyber Christmas ?!?

Moritz, Stella and Agathe,
even Granny says: I’ll wait,
until Sonja shows us all:
the tree is beamed against our wall
as hologram in 3-D space
where real trees sat in former days,
it even has some sparklers on,
which means that Granny’s fears are gone!
It was our Grandpa’s strange desire
that we wear cyber glasses with frames of wire,
But Simon put no glasses on:
he navigates the Christ-Child drone,
which – and Granny wins the bet –
is naturally a little late.
That means we all will see and hear
with “real augmented“ coming near,
how “virtual“ is now rather old
and our dinner gets quite cold.
The cyber angels are not able
to blow some warmth towards the table.
When finally we hear next door
“hallelujah”, we yearn for more.
For Simon this is no big deal
his smartphone makes it all quite real!
A drone is doing all the singing
with tyres quite still and rotors swinging.
And when our Grandpa rings the bell
it says: I come from heaven, not from hell,
I bring the presents right from there,
old Santa Claus knows where they were!
The heap grows into quite a tower
a virtual presentation shower,
that makes our Markus yell quite loud,
and Anne falls from her chair of cloud,
when small Agathe squeaks with pleasure
and yells like crazy for good measure,
just as the goose is much enjoyed
by all the guests today employed.
The drone alone remains aloof,
it will land on another roof.


(Translated by EG)

Happy season’s greetings from 

Brigitte, Klaus and all the family!

P.S.
I’d like to thank so much Eveyln (EG) for the translation. What a great work! She has all my adoration.

Roland Dürre
Thursday December 8th, 2016

Good-Bye Until After Christmas!

And a Happy Christmas to You All!

The picture was taken two years ago when we were rafting in China.

Starting tomorrow, we will be in the Caribbean.

To be sure, I do not feel
“that the time is ripe to begin afresh“!!!

But still, I will be gone for some time. On Christmas Eve, I will be back and meet my children and grandchildren – those of them who are in Munich.

It looks a lot like I will not read any emails until then. My many chat dialogues will get a break and I will probably only rarely be on the internet at all.

During the next two weeks, I will try to live only for Barbara and myself. Many thousand miles from “sweet home”, I will simply ignore all messages from the world. And during that time, I will not publish anything on the IF blog, either (if anything is published, it will be by one of my friends or by my bot).

Normal life as I had it will start again on the evening of Christmas Day. As has been my custom for many years now, I will again spend the evening in the Munich Lustspielhaus to watch Willy Michl (It is well worth clicking onto the link). I will also howl “Silent Night, Holy Night”, listen to the eternal ISARFLIMMERN and enjoy the fact that the days will gradually get longer.

It would be a huge delight for me if I were to meet a few of my friends in the Lustspielhaus on December, 25th for Willy and if we could then do some “exchange of ideas” before the concert and during the interval!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday November 28th, 2016

A Christmas Oratory that is a Little Different

Logo ArcisVocalisten
What would the advent and Christmas time be for music lovers without a Christmas Oratory?
Not only the fans of classical music find that the festive sound is an integral part of the quiet time of each year. And whenever the word “Christmas Oratory” is spoken, everybody knows immediately who is the composer: of course, the Leipzig Thomas cantor Johann Sebastian Bach! And there is definitely no other option. Or is there?

On Monday, December, 5th, 2016, at the Sendling Himmelfahrtskirche, you can find the proof that another baroque master, too, wrote a really great piece when composing his Christmas Oratory. It is absolutely great music that goes straight to the heart of the audience and creates a festive Christmas atmosphere almost by itself: we are talking the Christmas Oratory “Mache dich auf, werde Licht (Go Ahead, Become Light)”, a work written by Carl Heinrich Graun, who was impresario of Frederic the Great.

After having sung – and recorded in cooperation with the Bayerischer Rundfunk as a CD – Graun’s Passion Oratorio “Der Tod Jesu/The Death of Jesus” in 2014, the Arcis-Vocalisten have now worked on the Christmas masterpiece composed by the impresario of “Old Frederic”.

For Professor Thomas Gropper, the choir director of the Arcis-Vocalisten, it is the differences between this work and the ever-present Bach Oratorio that make the work on it particularly attractive:
“Even the libretto is structured totally different from how Bach did it in his Christmas Oratorio – Graun took only very few of the original sentences from the Gospel of Luke, instead making heavy use of free contemplation and dialogues”, says Gropper. “And there is much more of the “gallant” concept that will be setting new trend in Graun’s music than in that of the Thomas Cantor. Said concept being the already quite obviously emerging more sensitive style that became generally accepted at the time the work was composed in 1735”.

The masterpiece was only re-discovered in 1999 and is characterized by a skilful change between melodic and challengingly counterpoint-oriented choirs and sensitively voice-caressing arias that have been given an extremely colourful orchestral accompaniment: festive string and trumpet sounds on top of the Christmas Atmosphere. Well, it is a somewhat different Christmas Oratorio…

Source: ARCIS-VOCALISTEN
(Translated by EG)