Opera and Music in Eastern Europe

In the company of renowned Australian opera expert Scott Curry, attend one of Eastern Europe’s most acclaimed festivals dedicated to renowned Czech composer Leoš Janáček and other composers.

Enjoy among the best seats in the house for six performances at the Festival in Brno, including productions of Destiny and Jenůfa, as well as music by Josef Suk and Johannes Brahms.

On either side of the festival enjoy world-class performances in Prague, Budapest and Bratislava, and gain behind-the-scenes access to the recently-reopened Prague State Opera.

Throughout the tour enjoy a specially curated program of sightseeing and explore the castles, museums and churches which reveal Eastern Europe’s rich and colourful history.

Further performances details to be announced in early 2020

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

Arrive in Budapest in the early afternoon and transfer to the hotel (transfer included in the tour price).

In the evening, attend a welcome briefing by your tour leader Scott Curry followed by a welcome dinner at a nearby restaurant.

(D)

In the morning, enjoy a pre-performance talk by Scott before a private tour of the historical palace complex of Buda Castle. The first royal residence was built on the site between 1247 and 1265, situated on Castle Hill on the ‘Buda’ side of the Danube River. The buildings occupying the site today were constructed in the mid-eighteenth century and house some of Budapest’s finest museums.

Enjoy a private tour of an exhibition of the Hungarian National Gallery, the ornate late-gothic Matthias Church and of the Fisherman’s Bastion overlooking the ‘Pest’ side of the city.

After lunch at a restaurant within the walls of the Castle, return to the hotel for some time at leisure.

This evening enjoy a performance at one of Budapest’s leading performing venues.

(BL)

Begin the morning with a private tour of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. Founded by Franz Liszt himself in 1875, the academy contains several valuable books and manuscripts donated by the great composer. Enjoy a tour of the collection and delight in a short private concert.

Then continue on a private tour of the nearby Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum, located in the first-floor apartment where the composer himself lived between 1881-1886. The museum collection contains pianos, books, portraits and furniture along with other personal belongings.

This evening enjoy a performance at one of Budapest’s leading performing venues.

(BL)

Check out of the hotel in the morning and transfer to the Hungarian city of Győr. The sixth-largest city in Hungary, it is situated on one of the most important roads in Europe, half-way between Budapest and Vienna, at the confluence of three major rivers.

Enjoy some free time for lunch at leisure in Győr.

Then, continue to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, and check in to the hotel in the mid-afternoon.

Evening performance to be confirmed in early 2020.

(B)

This morning explore the small city of Bratislava on a walking tour, including the Blue Church, Bratislava Castle and the Neoclassical Primates Palace. Enjoy a stroll through the 18th century Old Town and stop to view the Renaissance Revival theatre of the Slovak National Opera.

Enjoy lunch at a restaurant in the historic Old Town, before returning to the hotel for some time at leisure.

Evening performance to be confirmed in early 2020.

(BL)

In the morning, journey to the east of Bratislava to visit Trenčín with its impressive castle located on a hill in the centre of the town. The castle was originally built during the rule of the Roman Empire in 179 BCE, and in the 13th and 14th centuries became the residence of Máte Czák, the legendary Lord of the river Váh and the Tatras Mountains.

Today the castle is protected as a National Cultural Monument of Slovakia and houses the Museum of Trenčín, which is home to a gallery as well as furniture, weapons and archaeological findings. Explore the castle with a private tour of the collection.

After lunch in Trenčín return to Bratislava for an afternoon at leisure.

(BL)

In the morning check out of the hotel and travel by coach to Brno, with a pre-performance talk by Scott en route.

On arrival in Brno enjoy lunch before checking in to the hotel.

In the evening attend a performance of the Janáček opera Destiny. The rarely-performed tragic love story was composed in 1906, however was not given in concert until 1934, six years after the composer’s death.

(BL)

This morning enjoy a private tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Villa Tugendhat. Built in 1930 in the modernist style, the villa was commissioned by Jewish Germans Fritz and Greta Tugendhat, who resided at the villa until 1938, when it was confiscated by the Gestapo. The villa was the location where political leaders of former Czechoslovakia met to sign the document that divided the country into the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic after the Velvet Revolution in 1992.

After the tour, enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant before returning to the hotel.

This evening attend a performance by the highly acclaimed Austrian Arnold Schoenberg Choir in the Reduta Theatre. The choir will perform selected works by Austrian composer Jan Nepomuk David and Johannes Brahms.

(BL)

In the morning travel south of Brno to visit the beautiful Neo-Gothic Chateau Lednice. The land on which the chateau stands was first occupied by a 13th century Gothic fort built by Czech King Václav I and today is home to the 19th century summer palace of Prince Alois II of Lichtenstein. Enjoy a tour of the chateau’s interior including the representative rooms and the private princely apartments.

Enjoy lunch in the grounds of Chateau Lednice before returning to Brno in the mid-afternoon.

This evening enjoy a performance of the Janáček song cycle The Diary of One Who Disappeared. The performance will take place in the Reduta Theatre, the original theatre in which it was first premiered, and will feature Slovak tenor Pavol Brešlík and German pianist Robert Pechanec.

(BL)

In the morning attend a pre-performance talk by Scott before a day at leisure in Brno.

In the evening enjoy a production of Jenůfa, one of Janáček’s most famous operas, performed at the Mahen Theatre. First performed in the National Theatre in Brno, and one of the first operas written in prose, Jenůfa is based on a play by female Czech playwright Gabriela Preissová and is known for its unsentimental realism.

(B)

In the morning transfer to the Leoš Janáček Memorial for a performance of On an Overgrown Path, a cycle of thirteen piano pieces written by Janáček and performed by veteran Janáček pianist Jan Jiraský.

In the afternoon enjoy a performance by the acclaimed Zemlinsky Quartet in the historic Löw-Beer Villa. The quartet will perform works by Austrian composer Alexander von Zemlinsky, Czech composer and violinist Josef Suk, and Janáček.

Enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant in the interval between performances.

In the evening you have an opportunity to attend an optional second performance of Jenůfa at the Janáček Theatre. This performance is in conjunction with the National Theatre of Brno’s Janáček Opera, and London’s Royal Opera House (optional, not included in the tour price, extra cost applies).

(BL)

Check out of the hotel in the morning and transfer to the Czech town of Kutna Hora. On arrival enjoy a short walking tour of this former silver mining town, taking in the spectacular gothic St Barbara’s church and the Italian court.

After lunch enjoy a short tour of the Sedlec Ossuary originally constructed in the 15th century. The Ossuary, located under the Church of the All Saints, contains bones exhumed from earlier graves to make way for new burials which were arranged by the caretaker into elaborate sculptures in the 16th century.

In the mid-afternoon continue to Prague and check in to the hotel.

This evening enjoy a performance at one of Prague’s leading performing venues.

(BL)

This morning attend a pre-performance talk by Scott, followed by a morning at leisure.

In the late afternoon enjoy a visit of the 16th century Lobkowicz Palace, located within Prague Castle. The palace is the only part of the castle which is privately owned and houses the Lobkowicz Collections and Museum. Enjoy a private tour, followed by a short private concert in the Baroque Concert Hall.

A special dinner will be served at the palace.

(BD)

In the morning visit the newly re-opened Prague State Opera. Originally opened in 1888 as the New German Theatre with a performance of Richard Wagner’s opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, the theatre contains elaborate Rococo Revival décor and is considered to be one of the most beautiful theatres in Europe. Enjoy a private behind-the-scenes tour of the theatre, which has just re-opened after four years of extensive renovation.

Then enjoy a special farewell lunch with Scott and fellow travellers in a nearby restaurant.

This evening attend a performance at one of Prague’s leading performing venues.

(BL)

Check out of the hotel in the morning and transfer to Prague Václav Havel Airport (transfer included in tour price), for flights returning to Australia and New Zealand.

Tour arrangements conclude on arrival at Prague Václav Havel Airport.

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

(B)

Per person, twin-share (approximately)

AUD 13,450

Single supplement* (approximately)

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.

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

Final payment due

22 July 2020

Tour code

OA2007

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.

Visa

Australian and New Zealand passport holders do not require a visas for Hungary, Slovakia or the Czech Republic.

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 meals
  • Pre-performance talks with your tour leader, Scott Curry
  • Comprehensive sightseeing including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Transportation throughout on comfortable air-conditioned coaches
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers and waitstaff
  • Airport/hotel transfers on tour arrival and departure
  • Hotel porterage (one piece per person)

Tour price does not include

  • International airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
  • 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
Budapest – Sofitel Chain Bridge*****
Bratislava – Sheraton Prague****
Brno – Barceló Brno Palace*****
Prague – Intercontinental Prague*****

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