Semper Opera House
Richard Strauss conducting
Image from "The Orchestra and its Instruments" (1917), Public domain via Internet Archive Book Images on Flickr
Enjoy outstanding concerts by the Dresden Staatskapelle and the Dresden Philharmonic, under the baton of world-renowned conductors Antonio Pappano and Kent Nagano
Attend productions of Mozart’s enchanting opera The Magic Flute and Richard Strauss’s Elektra at the world famous Semper Opera House
Visit the city described as the ‘jewel box’ of Germany, discovering a wealth of cultural riches, including the Royal Palace’s Historic Green Vault and the restored Frauenkirche
“Paul Jackson was outstanding – one of the best tour leaders I’ve ever had"
- ACE customer on a previous tour with Paul Jackson
Dresden has a long and distinguished musical heritage and has been the home of many famous composers, including W F Bach, Carl Maria von Weber, Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss and Sergei Rachmaninoff. The Semper Opera House, perhaps the most famous opera house in Germany, forms the centrepiece of our celebration of music and opera in Dresden. Largely destroyed in 1945, the magnificent building was carefully reconstructed and in 1985 the home of the Saxony State Opera opened its doors to the public once again. It has since played a leading role in this most musical of cities, and at our first visit to the opera house we will enjoy a production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.
By contrast, on our second visit to the Semper Opera House, the Staatskapelle will present an evening of chamber music, including Richard Strauss’s Cello Sonata in F major Op 6, one of the composer’s most loved works, and Max Reger’s Clarinet Quintet in A major. Dresden held a special place for Richard Strauss, with nine of his fifteen operas premiered in the city, and his music continues to be championed by the Staatskapelle’s current principal conductor, Christian Thielemann.
We will return to the Semper Opera House for a performance of Elektra, first performed in Dresden in 1903, and the first of Strauss’s many collaborations with Hugo von Hofmannsthal.
We also look forward to a performance of Richard Strauss’s epic tone poem, Don Quixote, inspired by Cervantes’s novel, in a concert paired with Max Reger’s most popular piece, the Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart.
We celebrate the culmination of our visit to Dresden with an all-star concert at the Kulturpalast, featuring the Dresden Philharmonic conducted by Kent Nagano. María Dueñas Fernández is the soloist in Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G minor, in a programme that also includes Schubert’s Symphony No 3 and Richard Strauss’s delightful orchestral suite Le bourgeois gentilhomme.
“There are unbelievable treasures of all kinds in this beautiful place”, wrote Goethe of Dresden, where the magnificent Baroque dome of the re-consecrated Frauenkirche, in which Bach and Wagner once performed, vies with Augustus the Strong’s Zwinger Palace as the city’s dominant landmark.
Complementing the musical performances, we will enjoy visits to Dresden’s Historic Green Vault and the refurbished Old Masters Picture Gallery. The latter is home to works by Raphael (notably his Sistine Madonna), Botticelli, Velázquez, Dürer, Vermeer and Rembrandt. We will also visit Leipzig, the home of Johann Sebastian Bach, for a walking tour taking in building exteriors including the Renaissance Old Town Hall, the Gothic Church of St. Nicholas and the famous Thomaskirche where Bach acted as musical director from 1723 until his death in 1750.
This tour will be based at the Hyperion Dresden am Schloss, a stylish hotel conveniently located in the heart of Dresden in the city’s old town.
This tour will be led by Paul Jackson, PhD, conductor, pianist, musicologist and former Director of Music at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Paul has enjoyed an extensive career as a conductor of opera and as a chamber musician, performing widely in the UK, Europe and America.
To see the Dresden Philharmonic performing Schubert at the Kulturpalast, watch the video below:
Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, performances as described, six breakfasts, one lunch, six dinners (three cold plates with a glass of wine) with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.
Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £395.