The Ring on the Rhine

Experience Wagner’s Ring cycle in the very setting of his epic work – on the Rhine River!

Attend Deutsche Oper am Rhein’s new production of Der Ring des Nibelungen for its premiere season in Düsseldorf. Directed by Dietrich W. Hilsdorf and conducted by Wagner expert Axel Kober, with an opera company renowned for its strong Wagnerian tradition, this production brings Linda Watson to the role of Brünnhilde, Simon Neal as Wotan and Michael Weinius as Siegfried.

Between performances, visit art galleries, palaces, museums and landmarks in Düsseldorf, Cologne and the Ruhr region.

In between first two and last two operas of the cycle, spend three nights in gastronomic Brussels for a performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan, and a song recital by mezzo-soprano Michèle Losier.

Suggested departures on Emirates flights from Australia or New Zealand to Düsseldorf via Dubai. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your travel arrangements.

Arrive in Dusseldorf and make your own way to the hotel. In the evening, join Scott and fellow Ring lovers for a welcome briefing and dinner.

(D)

Begin the morning with a pre-performance talk by Scott. Then, embark on a guided walking tour of Düsseldorf’s Old Town, woven with picturesque lanes, museums, churches and cafés.

In the evening, depart for the opera house for the Deutsche Oper am Rhein’s Das Rheingold starting at 7:30pm. Under the baton of music director Axel Kober with the Düsseldorf Symphoniker, Wagner’s prelude opera sets the stage for Der Ring des Nibelungen and its narrative of power, control, love and sacrifice.

CAST – DAS RHEINGOLD
Wotan – Simon Neal
Loge – Norbert Ernst
Alberich – Michael Kraus
Fricka – Renée Morloc
Erda – Susan Maclean
Freia – Anna Princeva
Mime – Cornel Frey
Fasolt – Bogdan Talos
Fafner – Thorsten Grümbel
Woglinde – Anke Krabbe
Wellgunde – Maria Kataeva
Flosshilde – Ramona Zaharia
Froh – Ovidiu Purcel
Donner – David Jerusalem

(B)

Start today with a visit to the Heinrich Heine Institute for a guided tour of Heine’s manuscripts, letters and literature. Born in Düsseldorf in 1797, Heine is well known today for his early lyric poetry, transformed into Lieder by music composed by Schumann and Schubert.

The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure, with a suggestion to walk through Düsseldorf’s Hofgarten.

This evening, attend an optional performance (not confirmed; pending performance schedules still to be announced, and if available).

(B)

This morning, attend a pre-performance talk by Scott. Then, travel to the Schloss Benrath, a “pleasure palace” located along the Rhine south of Düsseldorf for a guided palace tour. Built in the mid-18th century for Elector Carl Theodor, the architecture, gardens and palace interiors are considered a rare example of late Rococo design in Europe. After lunch, return to Düsseldorf. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.

This evening, enjoy a Lieder recital at Düsseldorf’s opera house, featuring Viennese tenor Norbert Ernst.

(BL)

Spend the morning at leisure in Düsseldorf, with a suggestion to attend a morning church service, or view the notable collection of European paintings at the Kunstpalast, one of Düsseldorf’s eminent art galleries.

In the late afternoon, return to Düsseldorf’s opera house for this evening’s performance of Die Walküre, beginning at 5pm.

CAST – DIE WALKÜRE
Brünnhilde – Linda Watson
Wotan – Simon Neal
Sieglinde – Elisabet Strid
Siegmund – Corby Welch
Fricka – Renée Morloc
Hunding – Sami Luttinen

(B)

Check out of the hotel and depart Düsseldorf for Brussels. En route, stop at Monschau and explore this historic town with a guided walking tour along its cobblestone streets, past charming half-timbered houses and ancient town walls. After lunch, cross the border into Belgium and arrive in Brussels, a city noted for its blend of mediaeval architecture, art nouveau façades and international politics.

In the evening, attend a performance in Brussels’ opera house of French songs by composers Saint-Saëns, Bizet, Franck and Massenet, sung by mezzo-soprano Michèle Losier.

(BL)

Start this morning with a pre-performance talk by Scott, then depart for a tour of Brussels, visiting its market square, Galeries Saint-Hubert and the famous Manneken Pis statue amongst other heritage locations. Enjoy lunch in the vibrant surrounds of ‘Europe’s capital’.

In the evening, depart for Brussels’ opera house La Monnaie, one of the most popular opera venues in Europe during the 18th century. Located on the site of a former coin factory and rebuilt three times in various architectural styles, the opera house is popularly known as ‘The Mint’. Under Russian director Dmitri Tcherniakov, tonight’s production of the opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan brings together Russian folk legend and fairy tales with a colourful score and orchestration by Rimsky-Korsakov.

(BL)

After breakfast, visit the Musical Instruments Museum, located in the former Old England department store. Established originally in 1877 for the teaching purposes of the Brussels Royal Music Conservatory, the museum has been recognised for the importance of its collection. Enjoy a guided tour of the museum’s instruments, examining the changing manufacture of instruments through the centuries.

The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.

In the evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

(BD)

This morning, depart Brussels and return to Düsseldorf, arriving in the early afternoon.

Tonight’s performance of Siegfried begins at 5pm.

CAST – SIEGFRIED
Siegfried – Michael Weinius
Brünnhilde – Linda Watson
Mime – Cornel Frey
The Wanderer – Simon Neal
Alberich – Michael Kraus
Fafner – Thorsten Grümbel
Erda – Susan Maclean
Wood Bird – Elena Sancho Pereg

(B)

Start today with a pre-performance talk by Scott on the coming days’ performances, with the remainder of the morning at leisure.

In the afternoon, travel south to Cologne, for a visit to the Cologne Cathedral. Construction of the cathedral began in 1248 and was finally completed in 1880, supported by the German Romantic movement. Then, enjoy a guided tour of Museum Ludwig. Housing one of the most important collections of Expressionism, and the third largest collection of Picasso works, the museum is devoted to exhibiting international art of the 20th century.

Enjoy an early dinner at a local restaurant, before a concert staging of Jacques Offenbach’s opera Fantastio at the Cologne Concert Hall. Return to Düsseldorf after the performance.

(BD)

In the mid-morning, embark on a day trip to Drachenfels, a famed mountain situated along the Rhine river and the subject of many Romantic writers and poets. Legend says that Drachenfels is where Siegfried slew Fafnir, giving rise to the mountain’s name – ‘Dragon’s Rock’. After lunch, explore the neogothic Schloss Drachenfels, and visit the nearby Nibelungenhalle, a gallery of paintings by artist Hermann Hendrich depicting scenes from the Nibelungen saga, which opened in 1913 for Wagner’s centenary.

Return to Düsseldorf in the late afternoon, with the remainder of the evening at leisure.

(BL)

Today, enjoy a special farewell lunch with Scott and fellow travellers at Landhaus Mönchenwerth, a restaurant located on the west bank of Düsseldorf, overlooking the sweeping bends of the Rhine river.

Tonight’s final performance of the Ring cycle, Götterdämmerung, begins at 5pm.

CAST – GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG
Brünnhilde – Linda Watson
Siegfried – Michael Weinius
Gunther – Bogdan Baciu
Hagen – Hans-Peter König
Waltraute – Katarzyna Kuncio
Gutrune – Sylvia Hamvasi
Alberich – Michael Kraus
Woglinde – Anke Krabbe
Wellgunde – Kimberley Boettger-Soller
Flosshilde – Ramona Zaharia

(BL)

Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast.

Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements, including any additional nights’ accommodation, either before or after the tour.

(B)

Per person, twin-share

AUD 10,250

Single supplement*

AUD 2,250

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 1,500

*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.

Final payment due

12 April 2019

Tour code

OA1902

Fitness level

Moderate
Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness level definitions.

Flights

Emirates
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.

Visa

Australian and New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa to visit Germany or Belgium.

Tour price includes

  • Excellent seats for all four operas of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein’s Ring cycle in Düsseldorf
  • Premium category tickets to Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan and Michèle Losier’s song recital in Brussels, Norbert Ernst’s Lieder recital in Düsseldorf and Offenbach’s opera Fantasio in Cologne
  • Accommodation in centrally-located 4 and 5 star hotels with breakfast daily (B)
  • Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wine with meals
  • Pre-performance talks by your tour leader, Scott Curry
  • Transportation throughout on comfortable air-conditioned coaches
  • Gratuities for local guides and drivers
  • Hotel porterage (one piece per person)

Tour price does not include

  • International flights (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
  • Airport/hotel transfers on arrival and departure
  • Tickets to optional performances (additional cost applies; please contact Renaissance Tours for assistance)
  • Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, taxis, room service, etc.
  • Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)

 

Your hotels
Dusseldorf – InterContinental Düsseldorf *****
Brussels – Radisson Blu Royal ****

 NB. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted

 

Some of the artists performing in Deutsche Oper am Rhein’s 2019 production of Der Ring des Nibelungen: