Baden-Baden Whitsun Festival: May 15 - 23, 2018
Located in the Southwestern corner of Germany’s pastoral Black Forest, a short distance from both France and Switzerland, the resort town of Baden-Baden has long been a favorite retreat of Europeans for the thermal waters and the old-world luxury of the facilities. Now this charming center has emerged as the home of the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden-Arts Foundation, which has been sponsoring a number of major Festivals since 2000. Great Performance Tours has enjoyed the complete RING in 2004 for the re-opening of the beautifully renovated Festspielhaus, and subsequent Festivals for both Wagner and Tchaikovsky. Now we are planning a long overdue return in May of 2018 for the Whitsun Festival which offers a remarkable variety of thrilling performances. (We have included a full, leisurely week to maximize our enjoyment of Baden Baden.)
First, the great Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel will head the cast of Wagner’s early music-drama Der Fliegende Holländer, conducted by Valery Gergiev in charge of the Munich Philharmonic. A second operatic evening will showcase German soprano Diana Damrau and French baritone Nicolas Testé in a program entitled Verdissimo, featuring arias and duets by Giuseppe Verdi, again with the Munich Philharmonic in the pit. A pair of concerts by leading European orchestras will offer the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Ivan Fischer in Gustav Mahler’s towering Symphony No. 2 (‘Resurretion’), with soloists and chorus; and the London Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas in works of Jean Sibelius with Janine Jansen as the violinist. Finally, the Bremen Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie will perform a program of Franz Schubert and Felix Mendelssohn, with pianist Igor Levit as the soloist.
May is the perfect month for you to relax in the local spas and to absorb the atmosphere of Baden-Baden’s unique vacation atmosphere. The cafes and restaurants specialize in the finest international cuisine, and you will want to enjoy a first-hand experience in the gambling rooms of the casino designed by the Parisian, Jacques Bénazet. We have planned an introductory walking-tour of the charming city center and a full-day excursion to the French town of Colmar to view the iconic Crucifixion of Matthias Grünewald.
Accommodations for seven nights at Baden-Baden’s elegant Brenner’s Park Hotel and Spa, with a lavish buffet breakfast in the spacious Salon Lichtenthal. “A stately mansion off the leafy Lichtentaler Allee, set on spacious private grounds” (Fodor), the Brenner Park ranks as the town’s most luxurious hotel and attracts the elite of Europe at all times of the year. As it is particularly popular during any Festival periods, we are fortunate to have our early confirmation. The thermal baths on the premises offer extensive steam rooms and saunas, and a range of massages from ‘Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi’ to ‘Arabian Nights at Brenner’s. (Our reservations include free use of the pool, the Saunarium Spa and the Fitness Centre).
Prices Per Person (Air Fare not Included)
Double Occupancy: $5,980
Single Occupancy: $6,660