Myths and Maidens
For the lovers of German Romanticism, this tour is a veritable feast of operatic highlights! With no fewer than ‘six of the best’ of Wagner and Strauss operas, relish the tension between the real and supernatural achieved with such artistic genius by these two masters. Enjoy all three of Wagner’s so-called ‘romantic operas’ including The Flying Dutchman, Tannhaüser and Lohengrin, and Richard Strauss’s female-inspired operas, Arabella, Salome and Die Frau Ohne Schatten. Performed in Europe’s grandest opera houses, experience some of the world’s best opera productions by the Munich, Frankfurt, Leipzig and Prague opera companies.
Suggested late-evening departure from Australia on Qantas/Emirates (via Dubai) to Munich. Renaissance Tours can assist you with your travel arrangements.
Arrive in Munich around lunchtime. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. This evening attend a briefing followed by a welcome dinner.
Travel to the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, situated about 90km south of Munich near the Austrian border. While Munich was the birthplace of Richard Strauss, he lived and worked there for much of his later life. In Garmisch, visit the Strauss Institute, as well as Strauss Villa, built by the Bavarian jugendstil architect Emanuel von Seidl, and home to the Strauss family from 1908 until his death in 1949. Return to Munich arriving in the late afternoon.
This evening is at leisure.
Optional evening performance: La Cenerentola – Rossini (Bavarian State Opera)
After breakfast join Antony for a pre-performance talk, followed by a morning visit of the Lenbachhaus, which focuses on modern and contemporary Munich painters. Reopened in 2013 after extensive renovations, its Blue Rider collection of early twentieth-century Expressionist paintings are among its best known works. The afternoon is at leisure until today’s late-afternoon opera performance.
Enjoy the Bavarian State Opera’s production of Tannhaüser, with music director Kirill Petrenko conducting the Bavarian State Orchestra. Tenor Klaus Florian Vogt sings the role of Tannhaüser, and soprano Anja Harteros the role of Princess Elizabeth.
Travel by coach from Munich to Frankfurt arriving in the afternoon. Dinner is at the hotel.
After breakfast join Antony for a morning walking tour including Goethe’s birthplace, Joerg Ratgeb’s wall paintings in the Carmelite Cloister, the Roemer and Roemerplatz, and the Thurn and Taxis Palace, a fine example of 18th century Baroque architecture. The afternoon is at leisure. We suggest a visit to the impressive Städel Museum, which has one of the most important collections of art in Germany.
This evening enjoy the Frankfurt Opera’s production of The Flying Dutchman, the first of Wagner’s three so-called ‘romantic’ operas. Conducted by General Music Director Sebastian Weigle, the production is directed by David Bösch. Scottish-born bass-baritone Iain Paterson sings the role of The Dutchman, while Erika Sunnegårdh or Elisabeth Teige will sing the role of Senta.
Transfer to Frankfurt Airport for a midday flight to Prague. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. Dinner is at a local restaurant.
After breakfast, travel to Prague Castle, a vast complex of historic buildings with spectacular views over the Vltava River and the entire city. Visit the Lobkowicz Palace, the only privately owned building in the Castle complex. The Palace’s museum displays a selection of some of the finest works by masters such as Velázquez, Canaletto, Brueghel the Elder and Cranach, as well as items of fine porcelain, ceramics and rare decorative arts dating from the 16th to 20th centuries, musical instruments, and original scores and manuscripts by Beethoven and Mozart. After lunch enjoy a concert and some free time to walk at leisure around the Castle district. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. This evening is at leisure.
Join a guided morning walking tour of Prague including the historic Old Town. See the Old Town Square, the Old Town Hall and its famous Astronomical Clock, and the extravagant Mirror Chapel, which houses an 18th century organ that was once played by Mozart. Visit the imposing Tyn Church and Parizska Street with its fine Art Nouveau houses. End with a guided tour of the Rudolfinum, home of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.
Evening concert (TBA)
After a pre-performance talk, enjoy a walking tour over the Charles Bridge to explore the Lower Town. Famous for its Czech Rococo architecture and beautiful Renaissance mansions, view Saint Nicolas church, the church of Our Lady Victorious and visit the Wallenstein Palace gardens. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
This evening’s performance of the Czech State Opera’s new production of Lohengrin is directed by Katharina Wagner, great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner, and conducted by Constantin Trinks. At the time of publication, the cast was not yet announced.
Travel by coach from Prague to Leipzig, Wagner’s birthplace. En route visit the Richard Wagner museum in Graupa. This was the place where he came to relax and be inspired to compose some of his greatest works, not least the entire first draft of Lohengrin, which he created in a short burst of creative frenzy during a sojourn here. After lunch continue to Dresden’s Semperoper, which has great significance to both Wagner and Strauss. After a private guided tour (pending rehearsal times), continue to Leipzig arriving in the late afternoon. This evening is at leisure.
After breakfast join Antony for a pre-performance talk. Enjoy a morning walking tour of the main landmarks of Leipzig including the central market place, the Renaissance-arcaded Old Town Hall, the former stock exchange, the Gewandhaus and the network of alleys, courtyards and arcades that make up this ancient city. End at the Bach Archive, which has a good public display. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
This evening’s performance of Arabella is the first of three Richard Strauss operas being performed by Leipzig Opera as part of a special ‘Strauss in Leipzig’ weekend. The three operas are directed by Ulf Schirmer, who also conducts the Gewandhaus Orchestra. The stage direction of this production of Arabella is by Jan Schmidt-Garre. The role of Count Waldner is sung by bass Jan-Hendrik Rootering and Arabella by California-born soprano Betsy Horne.
Enjoy a morning walking tour focused on Leipzig’s long and rich musical heritage, in particular places of relevance to Richard Wagner including the Wagner memorial, the Thomaskirche, where he was baptised, the Alte Nikolaischule, where he was educated, and the venerable Arabic Coffee Tree cafe (one of Germany’s oldest), where he would have spent some time in his youth. End with a visit to the Grassi Museum of Musical Instruments. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
Tonight, enjoy a new production of Salome, whose stage direction is by Aron Stiehl. Tenor Endrik Wottrich sings the role of Herodes, Swedish mezzo-soprano Karin Lovelius the role of Herodias and Elisabet Strid, Salome.
Attend a pre-performance talk followed by a visit to the Mendelssohn House for one of the traditional Sunday morning concerts. The remainder of the early afternoon is at leisure.
The final performance is Hungarian Balazs Kovalik’s production of Die Frau Ohne Schatten. The role of the Emperor is sung by South African-born tenor Johan Botha while that of the Empress is sung by soprano Simone Schneider.
Following the performance, return to the hotel for a late supper.
Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast. If you are returning to Australia today, we recommend an early-evening departure from Leipzig to Frankfurt and onward flights with Emirates / Qantas via Dubai. Arrival in Australia on the morning of Wednesday, 21 June. Renaissance Tours can assist you with all your travel arrangements.
*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.
Final payment due
01 April 2017
Please see booking conditions for fitness level definitions.
Please contact Renaissance Tours to assist you with all your travel arrangements to and from Australia.
Australian and New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa for Germany and Czechia (formerly Czech Republic).
Tour price includes
- Accommodation in centrally located hotels with daily breakfast (B)
- Meals as per itinerary (L=Lunch, D=Dinner, S=Supper). Wines with meals
- Category 1 tickets for all performances
- Comprehensive sightseeing, including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
- Transportation throughout in comfortable air-conditioned coaches
- Economy flight, Frankfurt to Prague
- Gratuities for local guides and drivers
- Hotel porterage (one piece per person)
Tour price does not include
- International airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours for assistance)
- Optional performances
- Transfers on arrival and departure
- Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, taxis, room service, etc.
- Travel insurance (recommended; please contact Renaissance Tours for assistance)
Munich – Platzl Hotel München****
Frankfurt – Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof*****
Prague – Eurostars Thalia Hotel*****
Leipzig – Steigenberger Grandhotel Handelshof*****
NB. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted