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Baden-Baden & Berlin

April 11 - 22, 2019

Verdi Requiem (Muti; Yeo, Garanca, Meli), Otello (Skelton, Yoncheva) and a violin concert in Baden-baden; Betrothal in a Monastery (Barenboim; Urmana), Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (Barenboim; Koch, Youn), Rienzi (Rogister; Kerl), Parsifal (Runnicles; Westbroek), and Anna Netrebko in recital in Berlin.

In April of 2019, we indulge in the best of the Old and New Germany, with a program that highlights the finest works of Wagner and Verdi. All performances are under the batons of the world’s very best conductors, and feature the brightest stars of opera, including Sonya Yoncheva, Elīna Garanča and Anna Netrebko. And, as always, we stay in elegant hotels and explore the best museums, historical sites and restaurants in each location.

Baden-Baden is an overlooked cultural gem that once served as the playground for the European elite. Here we see three world-class performances on three consecutive nights: Daniele Gatti conducts the Berliner Philharmoniker in a Robert Wilson production of Verdi’s Otello, featuring Stuart Skelton, Sonya Yoncheva, Luca Salsi and Anna Malavasi; Riccardo Muti leads the Berliner Philharmoniker through the Verdi Requiem, with soprano Vittoria Yeo, mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča, tenor Francesco Meli and bass Ildar Abdrazakov; our final concert in Baden-Baden features Patricia Kopatchinskaja, without a doubt the most unusual phenomenon among world-class violinists, playing Schoenberg’s Violin Concerto, a work bristling with technical difficulties, before things take a more melodic turn with Tchaikovsky’s memorable Fifth Symphony. Kirill Petrenko conducts the Berliner Philharmoniker. Our hotel here is the glorious Brenners Park Hotel, one of Germany’s most luxurious and storied properties.

In Berlin, we use the ideally-located 5-star Hotel Regent, whose understated Old World luxury serves as our base for exploring the cultural and culinary highlights of the city. Our slate of performances is varied and exceptional: we hear Maestro Daniel Barenboim conduct two operas at the revitalized Staatsoper Unter den Linden: Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery (Garifullina, Urmana, Zhilikovsky) and Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Koch, Youn), and we attend a special recital with Anna Netrebko (Verdi’s Four Sacred Pieces) at the iconic Philharmonie. In addition, we hear two performances at the Deutsche Oper Berlin: Wagner’s Rienzi, conducted by  Evan Rogister, and Wagner’s Parsiful, featuring Markus Brück, Günther Groissböck, Derek Welton and EvaMaria Westbroek; Donald Runnicles conducts.

To register for the tour, click here.

Itinerary

Thursday, April 11

Independent departures for overnight flights to Stuttgart.

Friday, April 12

Upon arrival in Stuttgart, you are met and transferred to the luxurious Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, located at the edge of the Black Forest on the world-famous Lichtentaler Allée. This evening we gather for introductions and our Welcome Dinner in the hotel’s Wintergarten Restaurant.

Saturday, April 13

Following breakfast (included each day), we depart for a guided tour, including the ruins of the Old Castle and the Roman baths, the Paradise Italian-style Renaissance garden, the famous casino, and the Fabergé Museum. This afternoon we enjoy lunch prior to a 6pm performance of a new production Verdi’s Otello by Robert Wilson. Daniele Gatti conducts the Berliner Philharmoniker and a cast that features Stuart Skelton (Otello), Sonya Yoncheva (Desdemona), Luca Salsi (Iago) and Anna Malavasi (Emilia).

Sunday, April 14

This morning we tour the Frieder Burda Museum, which houses one of Germany’s most extensive collections of modern art. The afternoon is free before another 6pm performance: the Verdi Requiem. Riccardo Muti conducts the Berliner Philharmoniker and a world-class quartet of vocalists: Vittoria Yeo (soprano), Elīna Garanča (mezzo), Francesco Meli (tenor) and Ildar Abdrazakov (bass). Dinner is included afterward.

Monday, April 15

Our final day in Baden-Baden is at leisure. Tonight we meet for a dinner reception before our final performance in Baden-Baden: the future head of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Kirill Petrenko, conducts his soon-to-be orchestra in a concert featuring violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. She will be playing Schoenberg’s Violin Concerto, a work bristling with technical difficulties, before things take a more melodic turn with Tchaikovsky’s memorable Fifth Symphony.

Tuesday, April 16

Today we fly (included) to Berlin via Stuttgart, stopping first to tour Stuttgart’s historic centre. After our short flight, we arrive in Berlin and check in at the refined Hotel Regent, on the Gendarmenmarkt. This evening we dine at Bocca di Bacco.

Wednesday, April 17

This morning we take a guided coach/walking tour of the city’s most significant points of interest: Brandenburg Gate, Pariser Platz, Unter den Linden, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, ending at Schloss Charlottenburg, an impressive Baroque summer palace and the oldest important building in Berlin. Early afternoon, we return to the Gendarmenmarkt for lunch at the excellent VAU. This evening, we walk to the revitalized Staatsoper Unter den Linden to hear Maestro Daniel Barenboim conduct Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery (Garifullina, Urmana, Zhilikovsky).

Thursday, April 18

This morning we tour the area known as the ‘Kulturforum,’ with a guided visit of the Gemäldegalerie, which houses one of Europe’s major collections of Old Masters. We then tour the Reichstag, whose bombed out shell, dating to the 1880s, was brilliantly restored by Norman Foster some 20 years ago. Lunch is included in the rooftop restaurant. Tonight we depart for a performance at the Deutsche Oper Berlin: Wagner’s Rienzi, conducted by Evan Rogister. Cast includes Torsten Kerl, Martina Welschenbach and Clemens Bieber.

Friday, April 19

This morning we feature an architectural highlights tour and an inside visit at the Neue Nationalgalerie. Tonight we return to the Deutsche Oper for a performance of Wagner’s Parsifal under the baton of Donald Runnicles. Cast includes Markus Brück, Andrew Harris, Günther Groissböck, Brandon Jovanovich, Derek Welton and Eva-Maria Westbroek. 

Saturday, April 20

Enjoy the day at leisure or join Tana for a visit to Daniel Libeskind’s moving Jewish Museum. This evening, we transfer to the iconic Philharmonie to hear the incomparable Anna Netrebko with the Staatskapelle Berlin under the baton of maestro Daniel Barenboim. She will sing Verdi’s Four Sacred Pieces as well as a selection of arias. Dinner is included at the hotel following the performance.

Sunday, April 21

Today we tour to Potsdam to visit Sanssouci, Frederick the Great’s vast Rococo complex of gardens, palaces and pavilions. We then return to the hotel to prepare for our final performance, Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Daniel Barenboim once again conducts the Staatskapelle Berlin, and the cast includes Wolfgang Koch, Kwangchul Youn, Julia Kleiter and Johannes Martin Kränzle. Farewell Dinner is included at the Staatsoper.

Monday, April 22

Transfers are included and will be discussed on site.