The Bayreuth Festival: July 27 - August 3, 2018
Wagner ‘aficionados’ will be thrilled by the news that we are able to offer a third consecutive experience at Germany’s famed Bayreuth Festival for FOUR of Richard Wagner’s towering music dramas: Parsifal (the 2016 staging which has been our Tour members’ unanimous favorite for two years); Die Walküre (a chance to encounter the most lyrical segment of the current controversial ‘Ring’); Der Fliegende Holländer, the earliest of the great music-dramas in Bayreuth’s repertoire; and the eagerly anticipated new production of Lohengrin, which has already become the hottest ticket of the European season. 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; 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.
Our performance dates will be July 29th and August 2nd for Lohengrin, conducted by Christian Thielemann (because of the demand for tickets, half of our group will attend on the 29th and half on the 2nd); July 30th for Die Fliegende Holländer, led by Axel Kober; July 31st for Die Walküre, led by Placido Domingo in his Bayreuth conducting debut; and August 1st for Parsifal, with Maestro Hartmut Haenchen returning from ’16 and ’17. Our tickets will be scattered throughout the remarkable theatre (where there are no poor seats), and everyone will be seated equitably in different locations for each opera. (IMPORTANT: There are no titles in Bayreuth.)
Maestro Thielemann has assembled a brilliant international cast for the new Lohengrin. In the title role will be Roberto Alagna in an unusual Wagnerian assumption for the star Italian tenor. The German soprano Anja Harteros will reprise her radiant portrayal of Elsa from her previous triumphs in Munich and Berlin. Polish baritone Tomasz Konieczny and legendary German mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier will embody the malevolent pair of Friedrich von Telramund and his wife Ortrud; and German bass Georg Zeppenfeld completes the roster of principals as Heinrich. (The casts for our other operas has not yet been announced.)
In addition to the generous meals at the hotel and the Weihenstephan, we will also include two sightseeing excursions. First, a morning excursion will include Wahnfried (Wagner’s house and museum), and the fanciful Baroque park of the Eremitage on the outskirts of Bayreuth. Second, we will enjoy a tour of the romantic wooded scenery of Frankische Schweiz, passing through several picturesque villages. We will stop at the 18th century church of Gössweinstein and will enjoy an early light lunch at the Café Krone, renowned for its German pastries.
Prices Per Person (Air Fare not Included)
Double Occupancy: $7,840
Single Occupancy: $8,490