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Music in Dresden at Christmas - With excursions to Leipzig and Meissen

Four performances in three venues. In Dresden: a concert in the Frauenkirche, La Bohème (Puccini) and Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck) at the Semperoper. In Leipzig: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in the Nikolaikirche.

Walks to see the fine 18th- & 19th-century architecture and outstanding art collections led by an experienced local guide.

Rebuilding, restoration and refurbishment has wrought wonders in this once shattered city.

Combine this tour with Music in Berlin at New Year (27 December 2018–2 January 2019).

  • Dresden, Zwinger Palace, lithograph 1845.
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Day 1

Fly at c. 10.15am from London Heathrow Airport (British Airways) to Berlin. Dinner in the hotel upon arrival.

Day 2

Dresden. Visit the Albertinum, reopened in 2010 after extensive renovations and home to the New Masters Gallery. Afternoon visit to the great domed Frauenkirche, whose restoration is now complete. Some free time before an evening lecture, followed by dinner.

Day 3

Meissen, Dresden. Drive downstream to Meissen, ancient capital of Dukes of Saxony and location of the discovery of hard-paste porcelain. The largely 15th-century hilltop castle overlooking the Elbe, the Albrechtsburg, is one of the first to be more residential than defensive, and within the complex is a fine Gothic cathedral. Evening performance at the Semperoper: La Bohème (Puccini): Daniele Callegari (conductor), Angela Gheorghiu (Mimì), Elena Gorshunova (Musetta), Stephen Costello (Rodolfo), Sebastian Wartig (Marcello), Jiří Rajniš (Schaunard), Tilmann Rönnebeck (Colline), Hans-Joachim Ketelsen (Benoît), Bernd Zettisch (Alcindoro).

Day 4

Leipzig. A morning lecture is followed by an all-day excursion to Leipzig. A large market place lies at the heart of this ancient trading city, with the Renaissance arcaded Old Town Hall along one side. Around is a network of alleys, courtyards and arcades, and the former stock exchange. Visit the Grassi Museum of Musical Instruments, one of the most important of its kind in the world, before a walking tour of the most significant of Leipzig’s monuments. there is also an opportunity to visit the Bach Museum. Early evening concert at the Nikolaikirche: J.S. Bach, Christmas Oratorio, (parts 1, & 4–6) with Leipzig Festival Orchestra, Nikolaikirche Bach Choir, Jürgen Wolf (conductor), Taryn Knerr (soprano), Alexandra Röseler (alto), Tobias Hunger (tenor), Gun-Wok Lee (bass). Dinner in Leipzig before returning to Dresden.

Day 5 (Christmas Eve)

Dresden. Morning visit of the Residenzschloss to see the wonderful Green Vault and its contents, one of the world’s finest princely treasuries, once again displayed in their original venue. Free afternoon.

Day 6 (Christmas Day)

Dresden. In the morning visit the Zwinger, a unique Baroque confection, a pleasure palace, arena for festivities and museum for cherished collections. See the porcelain collection and the Old Masters Gallery, one of the finest collections in Europe, particularly strong on Italian and Netherlandish painting. Free afternoon before an evening concert at the Frauenkirche with the Frauenkirche Dresden Ensemble, Samuel Kummer (organ): J.S. Bach, “Süßer Trost, mein Jesus kömmt” (BWV 151), Pastorella in F (BWV 590), Toccata and Fugue in E (BWV 566).

Day 7

Dresden. A guided walk through the Neustadt district of Dresden, including the Dreikönigskirche (Church of the Three Kings) as well as the opportunity to visit the Kügelgenhaus, the Museum of Dresden Romanticism. Evening opera at the Semperoper: Hansel and Gretel (Engelbert Humperdinck), Asher Fisch (conductor), Christina Bock (Hänsel), Iulia Maria Dan (Gretel), Markus Marquardt (Peter), Christa Mayer (Gertrud), Evelyn Herlitzius (witch).

Day 8

Fly from Berlin to London Heathrow airport, arriving c. 5.30pm.

Price – per person

Two sharing: £3,170 or £3,040 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,510 or £3,380 without flights.


Flights (Euro Traveller) with British Airways (Airbus 320); travel by private coach; hotel accommodation as described below; breakfasts; 6 dinners with wine, water, coffee; all admissions; all tips; all taxes; the services of the lecturer and tour manager.


Tickets (top category) for 4 performances are included costing c. £250.


Taschenbergpalais, Dresden. a 5-star hotel in the heart of the Old Town, 2 minutes’ walk from the Semperoper and the Zwinger. Single rooms are doubles for sole use.


How strenuous?

Vehicular access is restricted in the city centre. Participants are expected to walk to the concert venues and there is a substantial amount of walking and standing around in art galleries and museums. Average distance by coach per day: 45 miles.

Are you fit enough to join the tour?


Group size

Between 10 and 22 participants.

Travel advice

Before booking, please refer to the FCO website to ensure you are happy with the travel advice for the destination(s) you are visiting:


Combine this tour with

Music in Berlin at New Year (27 December 2018–2 January 2019).