Wagner at the Munich Opera Festival
Celebrate the pomp and grandeur of Wagner’s works with tours of royal palaces in picture-perfect Bavaria.
We have secured tickets to see The Flying Dutchman and Parsifal at the National Theatre, where many of Wagner’s finest works were premiered, including Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Das Rheingold and Die Walküre.
Wagner’s inimitable flights of fancy were brought to life most notoriously by his eccentric patron, King Ludwig II, who built Neuschwanstein Castle in the composer’s honour. Made of swan-white stone and perched high in the Alps, we tour the inspiration behind Disney’s fairytale Sleeping Beauty castle. Each room pays tribute to Wagner’s characters.
We glide across one of Germany’s largest lakes, born of Alpine glaciers, which has been fished since the Middle Ages. Lake Starnberg is also the site of King Ludwig II’s mysterious death…
We stroll through the royal palaces of the Wittelsbach monarchs, Nymphenburg and the Residenz.
- Cultural Excursion
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
This afternoon we arrive in Munich, Bavaria’s splendidly cultured capital on the banks of the River Isar.
After transferring to our comfortable hotel, we enjoy a scenic stroll around the city centre, taking in sights such as the wonderful Rathaus-Glockenspiel – Munich’s much-loved clock – and the city’s famous 16th-century beer hall.
Following our first dinner as a group, we enjoy an evening lecture. An illuminating introduction to the world of Richard Wagner.
Our first full day kicks off with a visit to the sumptuous Residenz building, former home of the Bavarian monarchs, and Germany’s largest palace. Inside we find a hybrid of Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicist and Historicist rooms, mostly preserved in their original forms. We also visit the on-site museum to complete our royally breath-taking encounter.
This afternoon it is our exclusive privilege to meet the people working behind the scenes of the National Theatre, as part of a special guided tour. This magical venue is not only the home of the Bavarian Opera, Ballet and Orchestra, but has been the site of several significant world premieres since its inception in the 19th century, including many of Wagner’s own works.
Tonight we enjoy a performance of The Flying Dutchman, one of Wagner’s earlier romantic librettos.
The romantic theme continues this morning, when, following a hearty breakfast, we head into the mountains to the fairytale setting of Neuschwanstein Castle. Commissioned by Ludwig II in the 1860s, this stunning hilltop palace is an architectural homage to Wagner, the king’s own friend. Its painted interiors feature vibrant interpretations of the composer’s creations, and once even housed a rainbow machine. We then take lunch in Hohenschwangau, the scenic wooded spot which was Ludwig II’s childhood home.
Returning to Munich this afternoon, our day draws to a close with a tranquil boat trip on nearby Starnberg, one of Germany’s largest freshwater lakes.
Our fourth day starts with a trip to the Nymphenburg Palace, the 17th-century summer residence of the Bavarian rulers. The palace is famed not only for its graceful Rococo interiors, but its fabulous Italianate gardens: 490 flourishing acres of lakes, pavilions and cascading marble fountains. A truly blissful landscape.
We lunch at the palace museum, before making our way over to an afternoon performance of Parsifal, Wagner’s last completed opera – an epic tale of sorcery, knights, and the Holy Grail.
We end the day at a local restaurant, where we enjoy a delicious dinner with the group.
Our final morning in Munich is free for us to explore the sights in whatever way we wish. Wander the charming streets of the city, with its stylish boutiques and friendly cafés, tour the many galleries of Maxvorstadt, or take a peaceful walk along the river.
This afternoon we transfer to the airport, and catch our return flights 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.
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