The Bayreuth Festival: August 18 - 25, 2019
Wagner ‘aficionados’ will be thrilled by the news that we are able to offer a fourth consecutive experience at Germany’s famed Bayreuth Festival for FOUR of Richard Wagner’s towering music dramas: Parsifal (the 2016 production which has been this writer’s favorite for three years); a revival of the hugely popular 2017 staging of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, which was the hottest ticket of the past two seasons; a revival of Tristan und Isolde with Music Director Christian Thielemann interpreting Wagner’s most passionate score; and this summer’s eagerly anticipated new production of Tannhäuser, the opera everyone wants to see. Our Bayreuth immersion will include six nights at the Bayerischer Hof, the leading hotel in the town of Bayreuth, including a full buffet breakfast. We will also include pre-opera lunches or dinners each day (at our hotel; across the street at the Weihenstephan and Mediterraneo restaurants; at the Café Krone in Gössweinstein). During the long intermissions at the opera house, several restaurant options are convenient for dinner. We plan to walk to the performances (about ten minutes each way), but taxis are readily available if you prefer. We look forward to being in the center of the town to enjoy the reverential ambience of the Festival, where formal ‘black tie’ attire is strongly recommended. (No rooms are available for any extra nights.)
Our performance dates will be August 20th for ‘Tristan, August 21st for Tannhäuser, August 22nd for Parsifal, and August 24th for Die Meistersinger. Maestro Thielemann will be the conductor for ‘Tristan’; Semyon Bychkov will return for a second year for his glowing ‘Parsifal’; Philippe Jordan will be in charge of ‘Meistersinger’; and Valery Gergiev will conduct the exciting new ‘Tannhäuser’. Our tickets will be scattered throughout the remarkable theatre, where there are no poor seats. (No performance on our first night, August 19th, to recover from jet lag. Please note there are no titles in Bayreuth.)
Bayreuth has assembled a brilliant international cast for the new Tannhäuser. American heldentenor Stephen Gould is recognized as today’s finest exponent of the title role. Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen will make her Bayreuth debut as Elisabeth, following her triumph as Medea at the Wexford Festival. As Wolfram von Eschenbach, German baritone Markus Eiche will sing the poignant Hymn to the Evening Star. Russian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova will be the sensuous Venus, and Danish bass Stephen Milling will portray Hermann, the sympathetic Landgraf. (The casts for the three revivals have not yet been announced.)
In addition to the generous meals at our chosen restaurants, we will also include two sightseeing excursions. First, a morning excursion will take us through Wahnfried, Wagner’s hallowed house and museum. Second, we will enjoy a tour of the romantic wooded scenery of Frankische Schweiz, passing through several picturesque villages. After stopping at the 18th century church of Gössweinstein, an early lunch will be arranged at the Café Krone, renowned for its German pastries. As the operas all begin at 4:00 pm, you will want to relax prior to the very long performances.
Prices Per Person (Air Fare not Included)
Double Occupancy: $7,880
Single Occupancy: $8,560