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Wagner in Leipzig - All thirteen operas in the composer’s birthplace

All of Wagner’s thirteen operas including the monumental Ring of the Nibelung cycle performed in the composer’s birthplace.

We have packaged the festival into three tours which can be booked individually or in combination.

Talks on the operas by Barry Millington, chief music critic for London’s Evening Standard and editor of The Wagner Journal.

Guided walks with local guides to explore the architecture and museums of this historic and lively city as well as excursions to the surrounding area.

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19 - 27 Jun 2022 £3,390 Book this tour



  • Richard Wagner, woodcut c. 1930.
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Overview

In the summer of 2022, the eyes of the musical world will be on the Oper Leipzig: in Richard Wagner’s birthplace, all thirteen of the composer’s operas will be performed in the order in which they were written (though with the four parts of the Ring cycle given in a continuous sequence).

The programme will be performed by the proven and Wagner-experienced ensemble of the Leipzig Opera as well as guests associated with the institution, who are known worldwide for their Wagner interpretations. Already confirmed are Evelyn Herlitzius (Kundry), Jennifer Holloway, Lise Lindstrom, Daniela Sindram, Manuela Uhl, Markus Eiche, René Pape, Iain Paterson, Andreas Schager (Tristan), Stefan Vinke, Klaus Florian Vogt and Michael Volle (Wotan in Das Rheingold). The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, renowned for the refulgence of its sound, will be conducted by the Opera’s music director Ulf Schirmer.

The final week of the festival is devoted to The Ring of the Nibelung, the crowning achievement of Wagner’s oeuvre, occupying a unique place in musical history. The story it tells of political ambition and the abuse of power, but also of humanity’s countervailing capacity for love in all its sensual and compassionate manifestations, is unfolded within a timeless, mythical framework and abounds in soaring lyricism and luxuriant harmonies. Little wonder that many believe the Ring cycle to be one of the pinnacles of Western civilisation. The production is by the English-born, German-trained choreographer and director Rosamund Gilmore, whose staging was described by Opera magazine as ‘strong on story-telling’ and full of memorable imagery, with Carl Friedrich Oberle’s sets evoking grand, decaying interiors.

In addition to the Ring a corpus of productions of Wagner operas has been built up in Leipzig over recent years. Those of other masterpieces include Enrico Lübbe’s Tristan und Isolde, whose central focus is the resonant image of a shipwreck, with the lovers returning after the Liebestod to a pristine ship, never previously seen, as well as stagings of Der fliegende Holländer, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger and Parsifal by such leading directors as David Pountney, Calixto Bieito, Roland Aeschlimann and Michiel Dijkema, But Leipzig is also one of the few houses to do justice to Wagner’s three earliest operas. In Renaud Doucet’s Die Feen a comfortable Biedermeier domestic scene is transformed into a literally enchanting fairyland; Aron Stiehl’s Das Liebesverbot celebrates the joys of free love in Wagner’s inventive and engaging Shakespearian comedy; while Nicolas Joel’s Rienzi explores Wagner’s timely portrayal of the rise and fall of a charismatic political leader.

There is always a special frisson in experiencing Wagner in the city of his birth. Many great composers have had associations with the Saxon city, but Leipzig has made a special effort to reclaim Wagner. And although Wagner pilgrims will find no birth-house (it was knocked down just three years after his death), Leipzig is the city of many projects connected with the composer, including the founding of the first Wagner Society (1909), now a worldwide phenomenon. Leipzig was also the first place – after Bayreuth – to see a complete Ring, in 1878, just two years after the cycle had been premiered at Wagner’s own Festspielhaus.

The musical history of Leipzig encompasses not only Wagner but also J.S. Bach, Telemann, Robert and Clara Schumann, Mendelssohn, Richard Strauss and Mahler. Morning walks and visits investigate this heritage, and also take in the art and architecture of the city.

Leipzig is now, again, a handsome and lively city, following an almost miraculous transformation during the 1990s and beyond. Cleaning, restoration and rebuilding went hand in hand with the emergence of cafés, smart shops and good restaurants. There are excellent museums, including the Fine Arts Museum in spectacular new premises, the radically refurbished Museum of Musical Instruments and the Bach Museum.

19–27 June (9 days, 5 operas)

19 June. Morning flight from London Heathrow airport to Berlin (British Airways). Drive to Leipzig. Dinner in the hotel.

20 June: Die Feen

21 June: Das Liebesverbot

22 June: no performance

23 June: Rienzi

24 June: no performance

25 June: Der Fliegende Holländer

26 June: Tannhäuser

27 June. Afternoon flight from Berlin to London Heathrow airport, arriving c. 3.30pm (or remain in Leipzig).


29 June–4 July (6 days, 3 operas)

29 June. Morning flight from London Heathrow airport to Berlin (British Airways). Drive to Leipzig. Dinner in the hotel.

30 June: Lohengrin

1 July: Tristan and Isolde

2 July: no performance

3 July: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

4 July. Afternnon flight from Berlin to London Heathrow airport. (or remain in Leipzig).


6–11 July (6 days, 3 operas)

6 July. Morning flight from London Heathrow airport to Berlin (British Airways). Drive to Leipzig. Dinner in the hotel.

7 July: Das Rheingold

8 July: Die Walküre

9 July: Siegfried

10 July: Götterdämmerung

11 July. Afternoon flight from Berlin to London Heathrow airport, arriving c. 3.30pm (or remain in Leipzig).


Parsifal
: 14 July (ticket and accommodation only)

Option to extend your stay and attend the production of Parsifal on 14th July 2022.

Contact us if you are interested – we are offering this on an accommodation- and ticket-only basis (there is no lecture on the performance).

Image of Barry Millington

Barry Millington

Writer, lecturer and broadcaster specialising in Wagner. He is founder/editor of The Wagner Journal and author of eight books on Wagner including The Wagner Compendium and Richard Wagner: The Sorcerer of Bayreuth. He is Chief Critic for the Evening Standard. He has also acted as dramaturgical adviser at opera houses internationally.

Price, per person

19–27 June (9 days, 5 operas)

Hotel Fürstenhof: double room – £3,980; double for sole use – £4,650.

Park Hotel: double room – £3,390; double for sole use – £3,730.


29 June–4 July (6 days, 3 operas)

Hotel Fürstenhof: double room – £2,710; double for sole use – £3,130.

Park Hotel: double room – £2,360; double for sole use – £2,570.


6–11 July (6 days, 3 operas)

Hotel Fürstenhof: double room – £3,190; double for sole use – £3,610.

Park Hotel: double room – £2,860; double for sole use – £3,070.


Flights are only charged once if two or more packages are combined. There is a further reduction of £50 per person for combining more than one package and £100 per person for all three. Additional nights between packages can be booked for a supplement.

Deduct £180 from the prices opposite for taking no flights.


Additional nights

27th and 28th June

Hotel Fürstenhof: double room – £220; double for sole use – £380.

Park Hotel: double room – £125; double for sole use – £210.


4th and 5th July

Hotel Fürstenhof: double room – £220; double for sole use – £380.

Park Hotel: double room – £125; double for sole use – £210.


Included

Air travel (Euro Traveller) on British Airways flights (Airbus A320); private coach or car for transfers; accommodation as described below; opera tickets; breakfasts, 1 lunch 2 dinners and interval finger food and drinks at 3 performances (19–27 June) 1 lunch and 1 dinner and interval finger food and drinks at 3 performances (29 June–4 July & 6–11 July); admission to museums, etc.; all tips for waiters, drivers and local guides; all taxes; the services of the lecturer and a tour manager.


Music

Tickets for 19–27 June and 6–11 July are in the second category, 29–4 July are in the third category. Parisfal tickets are first category.


Accommodation

Hotel Fürstenhof. the finest hotel in the city, yet not large and with the feel of a discreet private club. A converted 19th-century building, it is furnished throughout with antique furniture. Situated just outside the line of the medieval walls, the hotel is a 15-minute walk from the opera house. Lectures are held in this hotel.

or

Park Hotel. Five minutes on foot from the opera house, this is a modern and comfortable hotel. The quirky design uses plenty of wood and is vaguely nautical. Bedrooms are a good size. There is a glass panel in the wall separating bathrooms and bedrooms. Good restaurant. Morning lectures for all participants take place in the Hotel Fürstenhof.

Single rooms are doubles for sole use.


How strenuous?

Vehicular access is restricted in the city centre and participants are expected to walk to the opera house. Average distance by coach per day: 45 miles (although only on the first and last days of the tour between Leipzig and Berlin Tegel airport).

Are you fit enough to join the tour?


Group size

Between 10 and 22 participants.


Travel advice

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