The Ring: it is a symbol of limitless power and riches, corrupting the mighty and keeping the masses in servitude. In Der Ring des Nibelungen – Wagner’s four-part opera masterpiece – this old, corrupt world goes up in flames to make way for a new world of brotherhood, beauty and love. But what will guide us when the old gods, values and traditions have been destroyed? What will a new world order look like? Can we ever free ourselves from the insatiable thirst for power and wealth, or is it an inescapable part of human nature? How do we fight old demons like xenophobia, antisemitism and fascism? How do we avoid ending up in a society where profit and efficiency are all that matters, a machine civilization where humans are powerless and redundant? And finally, what role can art and love play in addressing these problems?
During the Nexus Conference 2019, international representatives of the worlds of power and the arts – connoisseurs and devotees of Wagner’s work – offered their critical view of the world of today and their vision for the world of tomorrow.