Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Art/Architecture tours, Oak Park (Frank Lloyd Wright), highlights of The Loop, gourmet cuisine and wine. Peninsula Hotel.
“Nothing short of a triumph on all fronts, intelligently conceived by the creative team, brilliantly executed by a top-flight international cast.”
— The Chicago Tribune
Join us for an extraordinary story told over the journey of four operas.
Together, they comprise Wagner’s magnificent Ring cycle, one of the greatest musical achievements in Western culture and an immersive operatic adventure that every opera lover should experience.
Lyric’s new Ring, conducted by music director Sir Andrew Davis and directed by David Pountney, has been widely praised internationally, and we will take only 18 lucky participants to experience this operatic tour de force in Spring 2020.
We have top-category orchestra seats, the best seats of any group to attend, as we were the first in line for tickets. We have selected the “all-matinée” cycle, to facilitate post-performance dinners and “de-briefings.” Any lectures and special Ring events that coincide with our attendance will be included.
We will stay for 8 nights in Deluxe rooms at The Peninsula Chicago, the five-star hotel on the Magnificent Mile that brought traditional Asian service to a city already renowned for the warmth of its hospitality. The Peninsula has received a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star rating each year since its opening, and was named the #1 hotel in Chicago and the #2 hotel in the USA in 2018 by U.S. News and World Report.
In addition to full breakfast each day and 7 additional exquisite meals, we will enjoy private art and architecture tours around the city, with a special focus on the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Only 18 spaces will be available.
Tanja Ariane Baumgartner
Sir Andrew Davis
ORIGINAL SET DESIGNER
Robert Innes Hopkins
SUNDAY, APRIL 26
– Arrival and check-in at the Peninsula Hotel Chicago.
19.00 Gather in the hotel lobby for introductions and a Welcome Dinner in the elegant lobby of the hotel.
MONDAY, APRIL 27
09.30 Gather in the lobby and depart on a coach and walking tour of Chicago with our superb guide, Larry Simon.
11.30 Return to the hotel. Lunch is at leisure.
13.15 Depart by private coach to Lyric Opera for the first performance of the Ring: Das Rheingold. 14.00 curtain.
16.30 Return to the hotel.
19.00 Gather and depart for dinner at Spiaggia.
TUESDAY, APRIL 28
11.15 After a leisurely morning we make our way to Lyric Opera and enjoy a one-hour recital of music related to and inspired by Wagner and the Ring cycle. Performed by singers from Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center, the program will offer a range of selections that will be revealing and entertaining. Noon start.
14.30 Following a break for lunch at leisure, we return for discussion, led by noted philosopher, author, and University of Chicago Law and Ethics professor Martha Nussbaum, about Wagner, philosophy, and how the thinking of the time shaped the Ring cycle.
15.30 Return to the hotel.
19.00 Dinner this evening is included at Gibson’s.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29
13.15 Following a morning at leisure, we gather and transfer to Lyric Opera for Die Walküre. 14.00 curtain.
18.30 Dinner is included after the performance at Bellemore.
THURSDAY, APRIL 30
09.30 Today we enjoy a backstage tour at Lyric Opera, and learn about the magic that brings the Ring cycle to life. 10am start.
12.00 After the tour, music director and conductor of the Ring, Sir Andrew Davis, joins select cast members for a discussion and Q&A.
13.30 Lunch is included an nearby Proxi.
19.15 This evening we depart for a concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Riccardo Muti conducts two of Beethoven’s immortal symphonies—the graceful Fourth, described as “a slender Greek maiden between two Norse giants” by composer Robert Schumann, and the mighty, driving Seventh, which many, including Beethoven himself, considered one of his greatest works. A world premiere by Mead Composer-in-Residence Missy Mazzoli, “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart” (Time Out New York), opens the program. 20.00 start.
FRIDAY, MAY 1
11.30 Late morning we transfer to the opera house for a champagne toast while exploring the set of Siegfried. Noon start.
13.30 We then take our seats for the matinée performance of Siegfried. 14.00 curtain.
19.30 Dinner is included afterward at Band of Bohemia.
SATURDAY, MAY 2
09.30 Gather in the lobby and meet our guide, Larry Simon, prior to a tour to Oak Park and neighbouring River Forest to view some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s finest work (Winslow House, Roberts House, Unity Temple).
12.30 Lunch is included at Hemmingway’s Bistro.
14.00 We then tour Robie House and some of the more interesting buildings on the campus of the University of Chicago.
16.30 Back to the hotel.
18.30 Transfer to the opera house once again where Lyric Opera and Second City join forces to celebrate everyone’s favourite four-day, fifteen-hour opera.Longer! Louder! Wagner! The Second City Wagner Companion brings us to 1848 Germany where Wagner first began work on the Ring, to modern-day Bayreuth, home of Wagner’s personally-designed opera house, and hilariously illustrates the lasting effects of his masterpiece and the headaches an opera company might encounter trying to mount this behemoth. Note: Show may contain inaccurate German accents. 19.00 start.
SUNDAY, MAY 3
Enjoy the final morning in Chicago at leisure.
13.45 Transfer to Lyric Opera one last time for our final performance of the Ring: Götterdämmerung. 14.30 curtain.
20.00 Farewell Dinner is included afterward at Everest.
MONDAY, MAY 4
Airport transfers are included, and will be advised on site.