Scandinavian Serenade

Enjoy a Scandinavian summer bursting with superb operatic and music performances in the cities of Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo.

In the company of renowned performing arts expert Mary Jo Capps, experience no fewer than seven world-class operas and instrumental performances at Scandinavia’s leading concert halls and opera houses and see operas including La Traviata, Carmen, Aida and the rarely performed Pique Dame, La Fanciulla del West and The Handmaid’s Tale.

Enjoy private, behind-the-scenes tours of Oslo’s unique opera house and Hamburg’s new Elbphilharmonie and feast upon the superb mix of traditional and contemporary architecture, opulent royal palaces and pristine landscape.

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

Arrive in Copenhagen in the morning on suggested flights and make your own way to the hotel. (Early check-in not included in tour price.)

This evening, join tour leader Mary Jo Capps and fellow travellers for a welcome briefing before attending Verdi’s La Traviata at the Copenhagen Opera House. David Radok directs the production.

CAST – LA TRAVIATA
Violeta Valéry ­– Francesca Dotto
Alfred Germont – Matteo Lippi
George Germont – David Kempster
Flora Bervoix – Henrike Henken
Annina – Hanne Fischer

(D)

Begin the day with a coach tour of Copenhagen, replete with impressive buildings dating from the golden age of the 17th century when the extensive canal network was founded. Then, enjoy a harbour cruise to view this colourful city from the water.

After lunch, visit the Rosenborg Castle, where Denmark’s crown jewels and royal treasures spanning 400 years of history are displayed. In the evening, enjoy a guided tour of the National Gallery of Denmark, with its diverse display from the European Renaissance to contemporary artists, including its famed Matisse collection.

(BL)

After a morning talk on the coming days’ performances, enjoy some free time followed by Poul Ruder’s hauntingly beautiful opera The Handmaid’s Tale, based on an award-winning novel. Spectacular and powerful, the composer’s music perfectly complements the dystopic narrative.

CAST – THE HANDMAID’S TALE
Offred – Rachel Kelly
Offred before – Sarah Champion
Luke – Jacob Andersen
Aunt Lydia – Gisela Stille
Moira – Margaux de Valensart
Janine/Ofwarren – Sofie Elkjær Jensen
Serena Joy – Hanne Fischer
Rita – Johanne Bock

(BD)

This morning, fly to Norway’s capital, Oslo, renowned for its thriving arts scene and impressive collection of galleries, museums and concert halls.

In the late afternoon, transfer to the Oslo Opera House for a performance of Carmen, George Bizet’s operatic classic whose rebellious central character demands the freedom to love whomever and whenever she pleases.

CAST – CARMEN
Carmen – Ingeborg Gillebo
Don José – Peter Wedd
Micaëla – Marita Sølberg
Zuniga – Zaza Gagua
Moralès – Aleksander Nohr
Frasquita – Eli Kristin Hanssveen
Mercédès – Astrid Nordstad
Le Dancaïre – Eirik Grøtvedt

(BL)

This morning begins with a talk about today’s performance of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Wagner’s only mature comedy was inspired by the real-life 16th-century Meistersingers (Master Singers). Musical highlights abound: the triumphant overture, the astonishing Midsummer Riot and the Master Singers’ Prize Song.

Discover Oslo with a short orientation tour of the main sights of the city, including Vigeland Park, Akershus Fortress and the 19th century Royal Palace. Then, delight in a private behind-the-scenes tour of Oslo Opera House. Home to the Norwegian National Opera, it has an architectural design reminiscent of a floating glacier.

Enjoy some free time at the hotel before returning to the Oslo Opera House for a performance of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg commencing at 5pm.

CAST DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG
Hans Sachs – James Rutherford
Veit Pogner – Jens-Erik Aasbø
David – Thorbjørn Gulbrandsøy
Eva – Nina Gravrok
Fritz Kothner – Darren Jefferey
Balthasar Zom – Kjetil Støa
Hans Schwarz – Zaza Gagua
Hans Foltz – Jakob Zethner

(B)

After breakfast, transfer to Oslo harbour for a cruise of the majestic fjords. In the afternoon, enjoy a private tour of the Museum of Cultural History. One of the world’s oldest and largest open-air museums, its vast collection of ancient artefacts and exhibits are impressive. This evening is at leisure.

(BL)

Leave Oslo in the mid-morning and fly across the Baltic Sea to the Hanseatic port city of Hamburg, dating back 1,200 years. The city is stylish, dynamic and defined by water – a bustling port, two lakes, the majestic Elbe and two other rivers, a system of narrow canals, and over 2,000 bridges! Hamburg has a superb mix of traditional and contemporary architecture, a rich program of world-class cultural events, and boasts the largest collection of Michelin-starred restaurants in Germany.

Enjoy dinner in a restaurant nearby the hotel.

(BD)

This morning, after a pre-performance talk by Mary Jo, visit the Composers Quarter, where six dedicated museums bring to life the city’s rich musical traditions. From the newly opened exhibition on Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, to Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler, this metropolis of music’s diverse history is evident, from the Baroque to the early modern age. After lunch, enjoy some time at leisure.

In the evening, travel to the Hamburg State Opera for a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame, an opera centring on Herman, who has fallen madly in love with the already engaged Lisa. Desperate to win a fortune and her heart, when Herman discovers a gambling secret, fate takes its course.

CAST – PIQUE DAME
Herman ­– Najmiddin Mavlyanov
Graf Tomsky Pavel Yankovsky
Prince Jeletzky Alexey Bogdanchikov
Czekalinsky Sungho Kim
Surin Levente Páll
Tschaplitzky Hiroshi Amako
Narumoff The Du
Countess Renate Spingler
Lisa Elena Guseva
Pauline Ida Aldrian

(BL)

Begin the day with a visit to the pinnacle of architectural design, the Elbphilharmonie. The superimposed, shimmering glass structure overlooks the River Elbe and features state-of-the-art philharmonic and chamber music halls. Tonight, enjoy a concert by the Budapest Festival Orchestra, conducted by Iván Fischer.

PROGRAM
Antonín Dvořák: Legend in B-flat minor, Op. 59/10

Místo klekání (mixed choir), Op. 29/1

Slavonic Dance No. 7, Op. 46/7

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 19

Antonín Dvořák: The American Suite in A major, Op. 98b

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37

ARTISTS
Sir András Schiff – pianist

(BD)

This morning, fly to the Swedish capital of Stockholm. Built across fourteen of the 20,000 islands that shelter the city from the Baltic Sea, Stockholm is a revelation. Impressive modern architecture and design abound, and the city has a rich royal and maritime history.

This evening, enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.

(BD)

Begin the morning with a pre-performance talk on the coming days’ performances followed by a walking tour of Stockholm’s Old Town, filled with beautiful houses, cobblestone streets and cosy little squares. In the afternoon, continue exploring the city at leisure.

This evening, attend a performance of La Fanciulla del West at the Royal Swedish Opera House. The Christof Loy production is a modern classic about completely ordinary people in extraordinarily vulnerable situations. Court singer Malin Byström, winner of the International Opera Award, is cast in the role of Minnie.

CAST – LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST
Minnie – Malin Byström
Jack Rance – Aleksey Bogdanov
Dick Johnson/Ramerrez – Andrea Carè
Nick – Niklas Björling Rygert
Ashby – Kristian Flor
Sonora – Ola Eliasson
Trin – Jesper Taube
Sid – Jeremy Carpenter
Bello – Andreas Lundmark
Harry – Klas Hedlund
Joe – Jonas Degerfeldt
Happy – Johan Rydh
Larkens – Ian Power
Billy Jackrabbit – Alar Pintsaar
Wowkle – Susann Végh
Jake Wallace – John Erik Eleby
José Castro – Peter Haeggström
Postiglione – Jon Nilsson

(B)

This morning, explore Drottningholm Palace, private residence of the Swedish royal family. Among the highlights are the exotic Chinese Pavilion pleasure palace, the theatre and magnificent gardens. Also visit the highly atmospheric studio of artist Evert Lundquist, adorned with magnificent oil paintings, charcoal sketches and dry-point prints. After lunch, return to the hotel for the remainder of the afternoon and evening at leisure.

(BL)

Begin the day with a talk by Mary Jo about today’s performance of Aida followed by time at leisure.

This afternoon, return to the Royal Swedish Opera for a performance of Aida, one of Giuseppe Verdi’s most beloved operas. Michael Cavanagh’s electric interpretation of the work focuses on the anxiety that rages within the minds of heroic but vulnerable people.

After the performance enjoy a special farewell dinner with Mary Jo and fellow travellers.

CAST – AIDA
The King of Egypt – Lennart Forsén
Amneris – Katarina Dalayman
Aida – Christina Nilsson
Radamès – Ivan Defabiani
Ramfis – Alessio Cacciamani
Amonasro – Johan Edholm
Messenger – Jihan Shin
High Priestess – Jessica Forsell

(BD)

Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast. Depart Stockholm on suggested Qatar Airways flights to Australia and New Zealand via Doha. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist with flights and other travel arrangements including any additional nights’ accommodation either before or after the tour.

(B)

Per person, twin-share

AUD 15,950

Single supplement*

AUD 4,050

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

19 March 2020

Tour code

OA2004

Fitness level

Moderate
Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness levels 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 to visit Denmark, Norway, Sweden or Germany.

Tour price includes

  • Accommodation in centrally located four- and five-star hotels with breakfast daily (B)
  • Meals as per itinerary (L=Lunch, D=Dinner); wines with meals
  • Category 1 tickets for all included performances
  • Lectures and talks by your tour leader, Mary Jo Capps
  • One-way Economy Class flights from Copenhagen to Oslo, Oslo to Hamburg and from Hamburg to Stockholm (baggage allowance 20kg); upgrades available on request
  • Comprehensive sightseeing, including entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Transportation 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 arrival and departure
  • Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, room service etc.
  • Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contact Renaissance Tours or your agent for assistance)
  • Airport porterage

 

Your hotels
Copenhagen – Hotel D’Angleterre*****
Oslo – Hotel Continental*****
Hamburg – Renaissance****
Stockholm – Sheraton Stockholm*****

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