If you missed David Nice’s 2017 roundup on the ArtsDesk (www.theartsdesk.com) :
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 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.
And the Ring has been revised and is relaunched, now with the 3 Brünnhildes sung by former Nottingham nurse Catherine Foster, who has sung the role at Bayreuth for the past seven years.
This remarkable Ring cycle is performed over four evenings as the composer intended but never experienced. The acclaimed “semi-staged” productions by Hartmut Schörghofer are at the award-winning Müpa in Budapest where the seats are comfortable, the acoustics are first-rate and the air conditioning is silent. The Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Ádám Fischer, who is their chief conductor, recently and briefly music director of the Hungarian State Opera and veteran Ring conductor at Bayreuth and Vienna.
We stay at the newly (2018) 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 spa 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). No traffic sounds as we breakfast on the terrace, just birdsong. A quick and easy journey to anywhere in the centre with local bus and tram (free to EU pensioners) and we travel to and from the opera by boat (weather permitting). Very good meals are provided during the opera intervals. We have the opportunity to walk the length of the island afterwards, listening to the nightingales.
|Cost to include return BA flights, good tickets, transfers and interval meals, supper on arrival, sightseeing and
5 nights b&b accommodation with spa facilities Ł1675 Single Supplement Ł220 Deposit Ł400 pp
|Wednesday 12 June|
BA flight departs Heathrow 13.20, transfer to hotel. Supper.
|Thursday 13 June|
Half-day tour of Budapest and lunch at Gundels, the most famous restaurant in Hungary.
|DAS RHEINGOLD with Johan Reuter (Wotan) and Peter Kálmán (Alberich)
|Friday 14 June |
Fine Art Gallery (newly reopened) and Millenium Park.
|DIE WALKÜRE with Stuart Skelton (Siegmund), Albert Pesendorfer (Hunding) Johan Reuter (Wotan) and Catherine Foster (Brünnhilde) |
|Saturday 15 June|
|SIEGFRIED with Stefan Vinke (Siegfried), Gerhard Siegel (Mime), Tomasz Konieczny (Wanderer), Peter Kálmán (Alberich), Erika Gál (Erda) and Catherine Foster (Brünnhilde)|
|Sunday 16 June|
Hungarian National Gallery in the Royal Palace.
|GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG with Stefan Vinke (Siegfried), Catherine Foster (Brünnhilde) and Albert Pesendorfer (Hagen)
|Monday 17 June|
Transfer to airport Departure BA flight 13.15 arrives Heathrow 15.00.
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