On the back cover of the programme for the Royal Opera's Ring:
An advertisement, then, for Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, asking: 'Wealth. What's it to you? If wealth means being able to spend time
enjoying more rarefied pursuits, we can help. ...’ To encounter a description of Das Rheingold, perhaps the
reddest-in-tooth-and-claw opera the other side of Luigi Nono, as a ‘rarefied pursuit’ ought to have jarred in the
minds of all but the dimmest of the corporately-hospitalised swigging on the Barclays champagne. The more apposite question might have
been, ‘what was “it” to Alberich? Let us hope that the audience proves a little more intelligent and enquiring than whoever it was at Bob Diamond's old haunt who considered this an appropriate outlet for seeking contributions to the Nibelung hoard. Perhaps, though, we might take the advertisement at face calue and 'call 0800 851 851' - 'call costs may vary': I bet they will... - to inform Barclays Wealth and Investment Management what 'wealth means' to us...