9 - 15 June 2018

Adám Fischer’s remarkable Wagner cycle, performed in “semi-staged” performances in the Bela Bartok Concert Hall at the the award-winning Palace of Arts in Budapest where the seats are comfortable, the acoustics are first-rate (Russell Johnson was the consultant) and the air conditioning is silent. This year there are performances of Der fliegende Holländer, Tannhäuser and Tristan und Isolde with Anja Kampe, Sophie Koch, Stephen Gould and Robert Dean Smith amongst others. The Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Adám Fischer, recent music director of the Budapest opera and veteran Ring conductor at Bayreuth and Vienna.

And we attend a performance of Götterdämmerung at the Hungarian Opera, currently at the refurbished Erkel Theatre with a cast of leading Hungarian Wagner singers.

We stay at the renovated Grand Hotel on the Margaret Island, the wooded paradise in the middle of the Danube in the heart of the Hungarian capital. Edwardian luxury is combined with the latest in recreational facilities. A pleasant outdoor pool and sunbathing area complement hot and cold indoor pools, steam rooms and saunas (all included) and various health treatments and massages (not included but very reasonable). A quick and easy journey to anywhere in the centre and of course we have a private transfer between hotel and opera. Very good meals are provided during the opera intervals. Those that wish have the opportunity to walk the length of the island afterwards, listening to the nightingales.

If you missed David Nice’s 2017 roundup on the ArtsDesk ( :

An epic on an even bigger scale was the best Wagner Ring I've seen since Kupfer's at Bayreuth in 1990 – the underrated Ádám Fischer masterminding a minimally staged production, integrated with very original video work, within the world's best concert-hall acoustics, those of Budapest's Müpa concert hall. Iréne Theorin managed a triple whammy of Brünnhildes on three consecutive nights: a living legend. That's the last outing for this 11-year triumph, but more Wagner is on the bill next summer.

Cost to include return scheduled BA flights, good tickets for four operas, transfers and interval meals on 13 and 14 June, supper on arrival, sightseeing and 6 nights b&b accommodation with spa facilities £1380. Single Supplement £190. Deposit £400 pp

Saturday 9 June
BA flight departs Heathrow 13.20, transfer to hotel. Supper.

Sunday 10 June
Half-day tour of Budapest and lunch at Gundels.
in the 1841 first version in one act conducted by Marc Albrecht

Monday 11 June
Fine Art Museum and Millenium Park.
GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG at the Hungarian Opera (Erkel Theatre)

Tuesday 12 June
Visit the homes of Liszt, Kodaly and Bartok then an excursion to the royal castle of Gödöllö, summer residence from 1867-1918 of the ruling Habsburg family.

Free evening and suggested dinner at a fine Budapest restaurant.
Wednesday 13 June
Hungarian National Gallery .

Thursday 14 June
Jewish Budapest tour .
TANNHÄUSER with Stephen Gould and Sophie Koch

Friday 15 June
Transfer to airport Departure BA flight 13.15 arrives Heathrow 15.00.

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