Nexus Conference 2019 -

Sunday 10 November 2019
9.30 – 16.00
National Opera & Ballet, Amsterdam

The Ring or What Will Rule the World

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.


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Published in

Journal Nexus

Nexus 83

Wat regeert de wereld?

Wat regeert de wereld

Dutch publication with a.o. Thomas Mann, Isaiah Berlin, Michael Ignatieff en Lila Azam Zanganeh.



Canada, 1947

Michael Ignatieff

politician, intellectual and moral philosopher

Portugal, 1956

José Manuel Barroso

former president European Commission

United States, 1952

Mitchell Cohen

author The Politics of Opera

United Kingdom, 1971

Peter Frankopan

author The Silk Roads

China, 1968

Eric Li

venture capitalist and critic of liberalism

United States, 1946

Michael Mullen

US admiral and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Afghanistan, 1957

Sima Samar

human rights advocate

Austria, 1975

Alexander Schimmelbusch

journalist and writer

Lebanon, 1957

Pierre Audi

former director of the Dutch Opera

France, 1976

Lila Azam Zanganeh

author A Tale for Lovers and Other Madmen

Poland, 1947

Karol Berger

author Beyond Reason: Wagner contra Nietzsche

United States, 1960

Deborah Voigt

world-famous soprano
Nexus_Nietzsche V Gogh-0154

USA, 1952

Leon Wieseltier

Jewish-American public intellectual and editor of Liberties

Do people love war?

Should humanity be transcended?

Wagner’s critique of capitalism


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