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  • Beaune Hospices

  • The Lute Player (Hermitage version) by Caravaggio, circa 1600

    Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

  • Beaune Hospices

  • Vineyards in Burgundy

  • Roof of the Cathédrale-Saint-Bénigne

Overview
Itinerary
Fitness / Practicalities
Tour Director


  • Take in three magnificent performances over four nights including Handel’s Alcina and Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice

  • Soak up the history and gastronomy of the region during a wine tasting and historical vineyard visit

  • Make an excursion to Dijon, resplendent with fine historical architecture including the Cathédrale Saint-Bénigne and Palais des Ducs

“Ashley wears his learning lightly, but often illuminated a performance with his insightful analysis. His unfailing good humour and wit did much to contribute to the overall positive vibe in the group”

– ACE customer on a previous tour led by Ashley Solomon

Each July, as the warm sunlit hours linger well into evening, the green and gold region of Burgundy celebrates summer with a month dedicated to Baroque opera. Over its many years the festival, hosted by the historical town of Beaune, has become well known for staging lively operatic revivals, many performed on original instruments. The festival’s principal venue is the 15th century Hospices de Beaune, founded as a hospital for the poor during a period when Beaune’s population faced high levels of destitution. Its fairy-tale roofs shimmer with colourful glazed tiles above ornate half-timber galleries and dormer windows. Rogier van der Weyden’s Last Judgement, originally housed in the chapel, is now kept in the on-site museum.

 

Dedicated to the third festival weekend, our tour will take in three performances over four nights, interspersed with opportunities to learn more about the wider history and culture of the region.

 

Brimming with enchantment, passion and illusion, Handel’s opera Alcina – inspired by Ludovico Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando furioso – will draw us into a lush island world where nothing is quite as it seems: onto the island steps Bradamante, a young woman disguised as a man, seeking to rescue her fiancé from the clutches of the beautiful sorceress Alcina. This fantastical story is brought to us by the ensemble Les Epopées, appropriately named for the epic poetic sagas that continue to inspire us today, under their conductor Stéphane Fuget. Resident at Versailles, the group seeks to bring the Baroque world to life through music, and features a rewarding mix of experienced international performers and young emerging artists. Highly acclaimed, they perform widely both in France and all over the world.

 

Les Epopées are followed, on our third evening, by one of the world’s most celebrated specialist Baroque music groups. Consisting of a small period instrument orchestra and vocal ensemble, the innovative musicians and directors of Les Arts Florissants are known for their championing of forgotten gems, and have counted many world class artists among their members, from soprano Danielle de Niese to tenor Paul Agnew. The latter, who also serves as assistant conductor, will lead the company in our second festival performance: Gluck’s most beloved opera Orphée et Eurydice. Presented here in its refined French version, the work – which is particularly known for its chorus and dance music – premiered in Paris to great acclaim, and has proven influential ever since.

 

Our final night will welcome Les Epopées back to the stage, this time in the fascinating surroundings of the Hospices de Beaune’s Grande Salle ‘des Pôvres’, for a performance featuring the award-winning Belgian operatic coloratura soprano Jodie Devos. The programme for this concert is still to be released – we will update booked customers with further details once they are available.

 

Beyond the music itself, the time of year and late performances lend this tour a more relaxed daytime itinerary, touching on Burgundy’s beguiling history, evocative architecture and delicious produce. We will enjoy a sumptuous wine tasting and lunch at a traditional vineyard, La Table du Comte Senard, founded in 1857 with cellars dating back to the 14th century. Meanwhile, an excursion to the town of Dijon – whose palace, half timbered buildings and charming squares were once home to the Dukes of Burgundy – will include a chance to explore the town’s architectural and artistic treasures, particularly the Cathédrale Saint-Bénigne, with an option to visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts in the Palais des Ducs.

 

We will stay at the four-star Hotel de la Poste in Beaune, an elegant establishment five minutes’ walk away from our performance venues.

 

This tour will be led by Ashley Solomon, FRAM, FRCM, Chair and Head of Historical Performance at the Royal College of Music and Director of Baroque ensemble Florilegium. As a result of his commitment to editing and performing music from the Mission Churches of Chiquitos and Moxos Indians in Bolivia, Ashley was the first European to be awarded the coveted Hans Roth Prize in 2008. He leads music tours for ACE all over the world and is delighted to be returning to the Beaune Baroque Festival in 2024.

 

Tour Director Ashley Solomon says:

 

“I am delighted to invite you to join me in Beaune this summer for the International Baroque Festival, which this year includes two popular and exciting operas by Handel and Gluck. We last ran this tour in 2019 and I look forward to celebrating a feast of music as well as sampling some delicious Burgundy wines at La Table du Comte Senard. Do join me this July for a memorable tour.”

Days
5
Cost
£2995
Tour Code
BBMF-24

Places are limited - please contact the office on 01223 841055 to enquire.


Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, performances as described, four breakfasts, two lunches, four dinners (three light) with wine, water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.


Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £345.

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