Wagner - The Ring Cycle in Leipzig
This city’s rich history of classical music leaves nothing to be desired, especially when it comes to The Ring Cycle being performed in its composer’s birthplace. Richard Wagner’s innovations and artistic legacy are proudly celebrated here. Allow yourself to be transported by his monumental music drama, performed over four nights in Leipzig’s modern opera house.
No trip to this Saxony city is complete without stepping into the worlds of other famous German composers: local boys Mendelssohn, Schumann and Bach. Their world-famous music is immortalised by museums and the houses they lived in, preserved as monuments to their genius. We spend time discovering more about their lives through personal artefacts and unique exhibitions, and the knowledge of our expert guide will give us a broader view of Leipzig’s rich musical heritage. So, join us on this cultural exploration of Germany and immerse yourself in its sounds & sights.
- Be invited backstage at Leipzig’s historic Opera House for a special tour of areas not open to the public
- Meet a member of the Wagner Foundation, who will share stories about the composer with us
- Experience Wagner’s glorious Ring Cycle, performed of over four nights in Leipzig
- Spend time at Mendelssohn House, the Bach Museum and also visit the home of Robert Schumann
- Discover the culture and history of Leipzig in the company of an expert guide
- Cultural Excursion
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
We catch our flight to Berlin from London. Upon arrival into the city, we make our transfer to Leipzig, a destination with a rich history, and then we check in to our hotel. This evening, we are welcomed with an introductory lecture and can enjoy our first group meal at a local restaurant.
Today we are treated to a comprehensive introduction to the operas thanks to a special personal encounter with a representative of the Wagner Foundation. Afterwards, we discover the delights of Leipzig. Following a stop for lunch, we walk to the Opera House for the first performance of this tour, Das Rheingold. Later, we sit down to dinner and can then return to our hotel for the night.
Our day begins with a walk to the Opera House, at which we are privileged to experience a backstage tour. Originally founded in the late 17th century, this is the third oldest opera house in Europe - though its modern incarnation was not erected until the 1950s, after allied bombing reduced its predecessor to rubble. After lunch, we tour the house of Robert and Clara Schumann, where they lived shortly after their marriage. Here, we can step into Schumann’s study, where some of his greatest works were composed. Later, we have our second opera of the week, Wagner’s Die Walküre.
This morning, we head to the Gohliser Schlösschen, a villa built in the late-Baroque style that is a jewel of Saxon cultural history. During our visit, we will have lunch at the palace. Our afternoon will be free, which will give us time for independent exploration. If there are other sights you would like to visit, now is the perfect time to do so. We will sit down to dinner tonight at a local restaurant.
We depart for Mendelssohn House this morning, which is the site where he both lived and died. Our next stop is the Grassi Museum, where we find the newly renovated Museum of Musical Instruments. This space is home to over 5,000 instruments including three 16th century clavichords and a stunning Gothic harp. Later, we head to the Opera House for our third performance and enjoy dinner afterwards.
A special treat awaits us this morning at the excellent Bach Museum, as we are treated to a private recital. While here, we also look around the museum itself, which boasts interactive exhibits and the “Treasure Room”, where we can observe some of Bach’s original manuscripts and scores. Our fourth and final opera awaits us later, Wagner’s great Götterdämmerung, known as “Twilight of the Gods”.
This morning we depart for Berlin Airport, where we have lunch, and then we catch our flight. Here, we say goodbye to the tour group and make our way home.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Opera Tickets - Entry to all performances in the programme. We request the seats in the centre stalls as these offer the best view although seats in boxes are usually more expensive. There is no guarantee that we will get the seats requested as availability is often limited. Where it is possible to avoid boxes as an alternative we will, but in some cases it may be the only option.
The weather may be a little unpredictable in May although temperatures should be pleasant averaging 15-20° C. We suggest layers and something suitable for rain, just in case.
All the sites we visit are within walking distance. Most of the walking will occur day 3 when we visit three museums although there will be breaks and chances to sit down. The longest distance will require about 20 minutes. As there is a fair amount of walking generally we suggest packing some comfortable shoes.
Lunch will be provided each day except on day 6, the day of departure. On arrival, we will have a light lunch en route to Leipzig from Berlin airport and other lunches will be in restaurants in Leipzig. All dinners are included.
With the exception of the first opera, Rheingold, the others have a duration of 5 – 6 hours. Because of this, we will be having dinner at the hotel after the performance of the first opera only. During the interval for the other three operas, the opera house provides something to eat. These meals are set by the opera house and it is not possible to seek alternatives – even the wine is chosen for us. However, there will be a different dish for each evening so that there will be some variety.
Although there is no rule regarding dress to the opera you may feel more comfortable in smart/casual clothing. Malcolm Miller, your guide lecturer, will be giving information on all the operas and providing a synopsis. Programmes are available to buy at the opera house for €5 each. Surtitles are in German only.
For any personal purchases, you may wish to make credit/debit cards can generally be used although you may wish to have a little cash (Euros) on you as some shops, cafés and restaurants do not accept cards.
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