In the Footsteps of Wagner

Follow in the footsteps of the great master of opera, and enjoy performances of his major operatic works in Germany, France and Switzerland.

Visit Villa Wesendonck in Switzerland, where Wagner worked on two of the Ring operas, before a private concert at the villa in Lucerne where Wagner once lived.

Travel to Paris, where Wagner famously oversaw the production of Tannhäuser at Palais Garnier, and enjoy a private tour of the theatre. Discover the Musée D’Orsay with a private tour of works influenced by Wagner and attend a performance of Die Walküre by the Paris National Opera.

In Germany, visit Leipzig, the city where Wagner was born and educated, and Dresden, where Wagner staged three of his middle period operas including The Flying Dutchman.

End in Berlin with performances by the Deutsche Oper of The Flying Dutchman, Tristan und Isolde and Parsifal.

Depart Australia or New Zealand on suggested Qatar Airways flights to Zurich via Doha. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements.

Arrive in Zurich in the morning on suggested flights and make your way to the hotel.

In the evening, attend a welcome briefing and dinner at the hotel with your tour leader Damien Beaumont and fellow travellers.

(D)

This morning transfer to Villa Wesendonck, which now houses the Rietberg Museum, displaying a collection of Asian, African, American and Oceanian art. Enjoy a private tour of the collection, housing objects associated with Buddhism and Hinduism, religions from which Wagner drew inspiration in the creation of his works.

At the villa, Mathilde Wesendonck composed a poem, which Wagner set to music, and subsequently entitled the composition the Wesendonck Songs.

Enjoy lunch at leisure in the museum café located in the property’s greenhouse, which was the subject of one of the Wesendonck Lieder, Im Treibhaus.

After lunch, continue to Lucerne. Dinner tonight will be at Hotel Schweizerhof, the hotel in which Wagner lived while he composed Tristan und Isolde.

(BD)

In the morning enjoy a talk by Damien, before a cruise on scenic Lake Lucerne. The lake is situated beautifully between the surrounding limestone mountains and picturesque villages that line the shore. Lunch will be served on board.

Then, enjoy a private guided walking tour of the Old Town of Lucerne, which lies along the Reuss River. View the many ornately decorated buildings as well as the Chapel Bridge, the oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe.

(BL)

This morning enjoy a guided tour of the Richard Wagner Museum. The collection is housed in Wagner’s country manor in which Wagner’s son Siegfried was born. At the conclusion of the tour, delight in a private concert in the museum, performed on Wagner’s very own piano.

In the early afternoon, transfer to Zurich International Airport for a flight to Paris.

Arrive in Paris in the early evening.

(BD)

After a morning talk by Damien, enjoy a private guided tour of Musée D’Orsay, with a particular focus on Symbolist and Post-Impressionist works influenced by Wagner including a portrait of Wagner by Renoir.

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure, before transferring to Opéra Bastille for a performance of Die Walküre commencing at 6:30pm. Directed by Calixto Bieito, known for his unique interpretation of classic opera, the Paris National Opera production will bring together an exceptional cast, complemented by the Paris Opera Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of Philippe Jordan.

CAST DIE WALKÜRE
Siegmund – Jonas Kaufmann
Hunding – John Relyea
Wotan – Iain Paterson
Sieglinde – Eva‑Maria Westbroek
Brünnhilde – Martina Serafin
Fricka – Ekaterina Gubanov

(B)

In the morning enjoy a tour of the spectacular Palais Garnier, the site of Wagner’s La Bataille de L’Opera, which took place in 1859 over the production of Tannhäuser. The tour will feature a visit of the grand foyer and staircase, the Rotonde di Glacier, the Rotonde des Abonnés and the Bassin del la Pythie.

(BL)

In the morning, transfer to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport for a flight to Nuremburg in Germany.

Arrive in Nuremburg in the early afternoon and transfer to Bayreuth.

Dinner this evening will be in a restaurant close to the hotel in Bayreuth.

(BD)

After breakfast, transfer to the Bayreuth Festspielhaus to view the theatre Wagner constructed specifically for the performance of his works. The building was first opened for the premiere of the complete four-opera cycle of Der Ring des Nibelungen, from 13 to 17 August 1876.

Then, enjoy a private tour of the Richard Wagner Museum. The collection is partially housed in Wahnfried House, Wagner’s own residence in Bayreuth. The great composer was laid to rest in the gardens upon his death in 1883.

After lunch, delight in a tour of the Margravial Opera House. Built between 1745 and 1750, it is one of the last examples of a Baroque period opera house and was given a UNESCO World Heritage listing in 2012.

In the mid-afternoon, transfer to Leipzig and check into the hotel. The remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure.

(BL)

In the morning enjoy a talk by Damien before a walking tour of the city of Leipzig. Visit the Thomaskirche in which Bach was Kapellmeister (Music Director) from 1723 until his death in 1750 and in which Wagner was baptised. Also visit the Alte Nikolaischule, established in the 12th century, which was where Wagner received his education.

Enjoy lunch at Auerbachs Keller, Leipzig’s most famous restaurant. Founded in 1525, the restaurant features in Goethe’s Faust, and was where Mephistopheles took Faust and his student friends, including the student scholar Wagner.

This evening walk to Leipzig Oper for a performance of Siegfried at 5pm. The performance will be complemented by the Gewandhaus Orchestra, directed by Ulf Schirmer.

CAST SIEGFRIED
Siegfried – Stefan Vinke
Mime – Dan Karlström
Wanderer – Simon Neal
Alberich –Tuomas Pursio
Fafner – Randall Jakobsh
Woodbird – Bianca Tognocchi
Brünnhilde – Elisabet Strid

(BL)

This morning delight in a concert at Mendelssohn House, followed by a private tour of the residence and collection, the last remaining private address of the composer.

In the afternoon return to Leipzig Oper for a performance of Gӧtterdämmerung commencing at 5pm.

CAST GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG
Siegfried – Thomas Moher
Gunther ­– Tuomas Pursio
Alberich – Werner van Mechelen
Hagen – Sebastian Pilgrim
Brünnhilde – Christiane Libor
Gutrune – Gal James
Waltraute – Karin Lovelius
Woglinde – Magdalena Hinterdobler
Wellgunde – Sandra Maxheimer
Flosshilde – Sandra Janke

(B)

Check out of the hotel in the morning and transfer to Dresden. On arrival, enjoy a brief orientation tour of this beautiful city in which Wagner lived between 1842 and 1849. The tour will include a visit to the Frauenkirche, where in 1843 Wagner conducted his Liebesmahl der Apostel for a huge choir, ultimately deciding that large choirs did not make for better music.

After lunch check in to the hotel, and the remainder of the day is at leisure.

(BL)

In the morning enjoy a private behind-the-scenes tour of the Semper Oper. The Flying Dutchman and Tannhäuser premiered here in the original building after Wagner’s appointment as Hofkapellmeister. After the original theatre, built by Gottfried Semper, burnt down in 1869, the opera reopened in its present design in 1878.

After some free time for lunch, enjoy a private tour of the Museum of Carl Maria von Weber. The property is the former residence of the Von Weber family and was made accessible to the public with an exhibition in 1957. The museum contains musical notations, and pictorial and textual documents from the composer’s creative period in Dresden.

At the conclusion of the tour, there will be a private concert of the composer’s music given for our group in the museum.

(B)

This morning, journey through Saxony to the town of Pillnitz for a visit of historic Pillnitz Castle. Located on the banks of the Elbe River, the castle buildings enclose a Baroque garden and are surrounded by a large public park.

Enjoy lunch in the town of Pillnitz before boarding a river cruise to return to Dresden. This section of the river is particularly scenic and boasts views of many castles and spectacular scenery.

This evening transfer to the Semper Oper to enjoy a performance by the Staatskapelle Dresden of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Haydn’s Symphony No. 64, featuring Matthias Wollong as violinist. The performances will also be under his direction.

PROGRAM
Aribert Reimann
Five pieces for small orchestra (world premiere)

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra in D Minor

Joseph Haydn
Symphony No. 64 in A major Hob. I: 64

(BL)

This morning enjoy a talk by Damien before a private guided tour of the Green Vault. The Green Vault contains the largest collection of treasures anywhere in Europe and features exhibits from Baroque to Classicism. The museum is one of the oldest in the world, older than the British Museum in London, and surpassed only in age by the Vatican Museums.

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure before returning to the Semper Oper for a performance of Fidelio, commencing at 7pm. The orchestra will be under the baton of John Fiore, a veteran conductor of many Wagner performances.

CAST FIDELIO
Florestan – Burkhard Fritz
Don Pizarro – Matthias Henneberg
Leonore – Elisabeth Teige
Marzelline – Elena Gorshunova
Rocco – Falk Struckmann
Jaquino – Joseph Dennis
Don Fernando – Sebastian Wartig

(BL)

Check out of the hotel in the morning and transfer to Berlin. Check in to the hotel in the early afternoon.

Transfer to the Deutsche Oper in the early evening for a performance of The Flying Dutchman commencing at 7:30pm under the baton of Croatian conductor Ivan Repusic.

CAST THE FLYING DUTCHMAN
Daland – Tobias Kehrer
Senta – Ingela Brimberg
Erik – Robert Watson
Mary – Ronnita Miller
Helmsman – Matthew Newlin
The Dutchman – Michael Volle

(B)

This morning enjoy a talk by Damien before a private tour of the Berlinische Galerie to see the ‘Unveiling of the Wagner Memorial in the Tiergarten’ painting by Anton von Werner, as well as other seminal works. The museum houses a collection of modern art, photography and architecture, and was originally dedicated to focusing on art from Berlin upon its foundation in 1975.

In the late afternoon return to the Deutsche Oper for a performance of Parsifal commencing at 5pm, under the baton of Donald Runnicles.

CAST PARSIFAL
Amfortas – Simon Keenlyside
Titurel – Andrew Harris
Gurnemanz – Günther Groissböck
Parsifal – Klaus Florian Vogt
Klingsor – Derek Welton
Kundry –Tanja Ariane Baumgartner
First Knight of the Grail – Clemens Bieber
Second Knight of the Grail – Byung Gil Kim
First Squire – Alexandra Hutton
Second Squire – Annika Schlicht
Third Squire – Andrei Danilov
Fourth Squire – Robert Watson

(B)

In the morning enjoy some time at leisure followed by a special farewell lunch with Damien and fellow travellers.

Return to the Deutsche Oper in the afternoon for a performance of Tristan und Isolde commencing at 5pm, again under the baton of Donald Runnicles.

CAST TRISTAN UND ISOLDE
Tristan – Stephen Gould
King Marke– Albert Pesendorfer
Isolde – Iréne Theorin
Kurwenal – Martin Gantner
Melot – Jörg Schörner
Brangäne – Ekaterina Gubanova
Sheepherder – Peter Maus
Seaman – Matthew Newlin
Mate – Patrick Guetti

(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 16,450

Single supplement*

AUD 3,150

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 1,500

Final payment due

13 March 2020

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

Room category upgrade available on request; please enquire with us.

Tour code

OA2005

Fitness level

Moderate
Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness level definitions.

Suggested airline

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

Visas

Australian and New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa for Switzerland, France or Germany.

Tour price includes

  • Category 1 tickets (or best available) for all included performances
  • Accommodation in centrally located 4- and 5-star hotels with breakfast daily (B)
  • Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wines with dinners
  • Pre-performance talks with your tour leader, Damien Beaumont
  • One-way economy class flight from Zurich to Paris (baggage allowance 23kg)
  • One-way economy class flight from Paris to Nuremburg (baggage allowance 23kg)
  • Comprehensive sightseeing including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • 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 airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
  • Airport/hotel transfers on tour arrival and departure
  • Airport porterage
  • Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, taxis, minibar, room service etc.
  • Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)

 

Your hotels
Zurich – Zurich Marriott*****
Lucerne – Renaissance Lucerne****
Paris – Hilton Paris Opera****
Bayreuth –H4 Hotel Rezidenze-Schloss****
Leipzig – Steigenberger Grand Hotel Handelshof*****
Dresden – Hilton Dresden ****
Berlin – The Regent*****

N.B. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted.