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The San Francisco Ring

June 18 - 25, 2018

Donald Runnicles conducts this revered Francesca Zambello production of the Ring, with an outstanding cast: Evelyn Herlitzius, Daniel Brenna, Falk Struckmann, Greer Grimsley, Karita Mattila, Brandon Jovanovich and Jamie Barton. Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco.

“A triumph of voice and vision… a magnificent reminder of what this company is capable of when all the stars are in alignment!” –San Francisco Chronicle

Over the course of four magnificent music dramas, Donald Runnicles, recipient of the 2009 San Francisco Opera Medal and one of the world’s leading Wagner interpreters, will conduct a spectacular international cast and the renowned San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Runnicles first led the Company in two Ring cycles in 1990 and has since conducted more than 60 productions in San Francisco. He is currently general music director of Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Director Francesca Zambello’s production of the Ring has won over both critics and audiences. Zambello (recipient of the 2015 San Francisco Opera Medal) began her long association with the Company in 1983 as assistant stage director for Ariadne auf Naxos and has since been involved in more than 50 productions. She is currently general and artistic director of the Glimmerglass Festival and artistic director of Washington National Opera. In addition to her work in opera, she has also staged plays and musicals on Broadway and around the world. Her many honors include France’s Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and the Russian Federation’s medal for service to culture, three Olivier Awards, two French Grand Prix des Critiques, and Australia’s Helpmann Award.

San Francisco is one of our favourite destinations—a great city with one of America’s finest opera companies. Superb meals and tours round out the schedule, with accommodation at the refined Four Seasons Hotel.

We have recently partnered with Longitude, Recommended Reading for Travelers so that we can provide uniquely tailored reading lists for our tours and offer our clients competitive pricing. Please use the following link: Reading List for San Francisco 2018


Monday, June 18

Upon arrival in San Francisco, you are met and transferred to the elegant Four Seasons Hotel, near Union Square. You can take in lush gardens, sample local vineyards and see the latest contemporary art—without ever leaving the hotel. Dinner this evening is included at the chic Waterbar, stunningly set beside the Bay Bridge.

Tuesday, June 19

Following breakfast (included each day), we offer a Ring Symposium. This morning’s session will be a general introduction to Wagner and the story, characters and music of the Ring. This evening we transfer to the War Memorial Opera House for our first performance, Das Rheingold (Greer Grimsley, Stefan Margita, Falk Struckmann, Jamie Barton, Ronnita Miller, David Cangelosi, Andrea Silvestrelli, Raymond Aceto, Stacey Tappan, Lauren McNeese, Renée Tatum, Brandon Jovanovich and Brian Mulligan). Dinner is included at Jardinière, following the performance.

Wednesday, June 20

This morning we embark on a two-hour walking tour, featuring San Francisco’s most famous downtown buildings, hidden rooftop gardens, unique open spaces and historic landmarks. This evening we meet in the lobby and transfer to a pre-opera talk followed by Die Walküre (Evelyn Herlitzius, Greer Grimsley, Karita Mattila, Brandon Jovanovich, Jamie Barton and Raymond Aceto). Dinner tonight is included during the interval.

Thursday, June 21

Today we gather in the lobby and leave for a private, guided coach and walking tour of the city’s highlights, plus an inside visit to the de Young Art Museum. Founded in 1895 in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the museum has been an integral part of the cultural fabric of the city and a cherished destination for millions of residents and visitors to the region for over 100 years. Tonight we enjoy a special dinner at Alice Waters’ iconic Chez Panisse. Open since 1971, Chez Panisse first put terms like “California cuisine” and “slow food” on the map by introducing Bay Area diners to seasonal, produce-heavy small plates.

Friday, June 22

Enjoy the day at leisure. In the early evening we transfer to the War Memorial opera House for a pre-opera talk, followed by Siegfried (Daniel Brenna, Evelyn Herlitzius, David Cangelosi, Greer Grimsley, Falk Struckmann, Raymond Aceto, Ronnita Miller and Stacey Tappan). Dinner is included during the interval.

Saturday, June 23

This morning we offer another Ring Symposium (details TBA). Following an afternoon at leisure, we depart for dinner at Gary Danko. The restaurant’s commitment to excellence and innovation has earned Gary Danko its 12th Five Diamond rating from AAA as well as a coveted Relais & Châteaux designation. The Michelin-rated restaurant has also earned several James Beard Awards, including Best New Restaurant, Best Service and Best Chef – California.

Sunday, June 24

Enjoy the final morning at leisure. Today we transfer to the opera house for the pre-opera talk and then a matinée performance of Götterdämmerung (Evelyn Herlitzius, Daniel Brenna, Brian Mulligan, Andrea Silvestrelli, Jamie Barton, Melissa Citro, Falk Struckmann, Stacey Tappan, Lauren McNeese and Renée Tatum). Our Farewell Dinner is included at the Opera House, where a gourmet buffet, prepared by Executive Chef Dean Rona, awaits us.

Monday, June 25

Airport transfers are included and will be arranged on-site.