The Ring in Budapest, departing 12 June 2019

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With 2019 bringing Das Ring des Nibelungen back to the Budapest Wagner Days, afficionados of the tetralogy are eagerly looking forward to the performances, and curious to discover what will remain the same and what will change. One thing is certain: This thrillingly original production of Wagner's Ring has become one of the hallmarks of Müpa Budapest in recent years.

This special Wagner tour is a rare opportunity for opera lovers to hear four of Wagner's classic operas in unique adaptations tailored to the wonderful Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in Budapest’s Palace of the Arts.  In the words of one critic, The Wagner in Budapest Festival has established a new style of performing opera that builds on the characteristics and outstanding acoustics of the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall to extend far beyond the realm of the semi-staged production. Sprawled across four consecutive evenings in accordance with the composer's intentions, the Ring of the Nibelung tetralogy is directed by Hartmut Schörghofer. MUPA.

Budapest is one of the most magnificent cities in Europe.  It is an enchanting city with beautiful palaces and castles. See the city sights on a city tour as you are chauffeured along Budapest's elegant boulevards to Heroes’ Square, across the mighty Danube and up to Gellert Hill. Look out over the famous river dividing Buda and Pest - the two sides linked by the Chain and Elizabeth Bridges. Visit the Castle District and enjoy the amazing views from the Fisherman’s Bastion over the exquisite Parliament building, one of the largest in Europe.  During your free time, perhaps take time to spend the afternoon at the popular pedestrian shopping street of Váci utca where the city’s fine museums and monuments, churches and synagogues, historic squares and buildings are within easy reach or enjoy a relaxing visit to one of Budapest's famous thermal baths, literally an institution in Budapest!


Inclusions

  • Return scheduled flight from Dublin, taxes
  • Five-nights in the 4* Mercure Budapest City Centre Hotel with breakfast
  • Welcome dinner
  • Highlights of Budapest sightseeing tour of Pest, with a guided tour of Hungarian Parliament building. See the best of Budapest on our highlights tour including the famous lookout towers of Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church and Heroes’ Square and explore the neo-Gothic Parliament building
  • Highlights of Budapest sightseeing tour of Buda, visiting the Castle district
  • Four lunches – one in hotel and three in local restaurants
  • Category one tickets for four performances at the Palace of the Arts:
    • Das Rheingold, Die Walkure, Siegfried and Gotterdammerung
  • Three dinner breaks mid-performance including buffet meal, soft drinks and coffee
  • Private coach and guide assistance for all transfers and excursions

Itinerary

Day 1

Your tour will start with flight to Budapest. (Airline and flight times to be advised)

On arrival in Budapest, meet your local guide and transfer to the 4* Mercure Budapest City Centre Hotel where you are booked for five-nights on a bed and breakfast basis.

The Mercure Budapest City Centre Hotel                                                                                                  The Mercure Budapest City Center hotel is located in the historical and business center of Budapest on Váci Street. The River Danube, museums, stylish restaurants and famous baths are within an easy reach.  The hotel offers free WiFi throughout the hotel.  Váci street, Vörösmarty square, UNESCO world heritage sights like the banks of the River Danube and Andrássy Avenue are at your feet.

In the evening, join your fellow travellers for a buffet style welcome dinner in the Trofea Restaurant, located within walking distance from your hotel (approx. 100 metres)


Day 2

Today, join your local guide for a guided city tour of Budapest.   Your sightseeing tour will visit all the main attractions of the Pest side of Budapest and will include a guided tour of the stunning Hungarian parliament.

Located on the river Danube and one of Budapest’s most famous landmarks. The story behind the building of The Hungarian Parliament is fascinating.   The parliament was built between 1885 and 1902 along the Danube and was, for a time, the largest parliamentary building in the world. With 691 rooms and staircases stretching for more than 12 miles (20 kilometers), the building is topped by a dome that sits 226 feet (69 meters) high in the sky. Your guided tour will explore the buildings impressive interior, including the Session Room and the Great Vaulted Hall.  Explore this monumental building as you learn about Hungary’s parliamentary policies.

In the afternoon, a two –course lunch will be served in your hotel and afterwards transfer to the Palace of the Arts for your first Wagner performance – Das Rheingold

Performance Start Time  - 18:00

Performance End Time -  20:45

Das Rheingold

Constituting the Vorabend or 'preliminary evening' of the cycle, Das Rheingold is full of bright colours, humour and irony, and is more fairy tale than myth. With great narrative gusto, Wagner presents the Fall: the craving for the treasure - and power - that has everyone in its thrall. Along, of course, with the story of Wotan's arrogant architectural folly: he is bent on having Valhalla and will pay any price for it... The society of gods clearly resembles the human world: everyone is just as petty and fallible as the people we encounter in our own lives. One thing constant about the production is the perfectionism with which Ádám Fischer always finds new colours in the music and the deep humanism of his conducting, as well as the imaginative reconceptualisation that Hartmut Schörghofer's directing brings to the work. And what is new? A change of personnel in the central role. Following James Rutherford's turn at the role in 2017, this year we welcome back the wonderful - and very versatile - Danish baritone Johan Reuter as Wotan. Two other important roles remain in the same safe hands as last time, with the outstanding Péter Kálmán as Alberich and Gerhard Siegel as Mime. Zsolt Haja (Donner), Atala Schöck (Fricka) and Lilla Horti (Freia) will also be familiar from the 2017 cast. For those who have never warmed to or really known Wagner, it would be sound advice to start with Das Rheingold as the work to ‘master' the composer - and to cultivate the urge to see and hear the other three works in the tetralogy. Excerpt from  Mupa website.

Coach transfer back to your hotel at the end of the day.

Day 3

Morning at leisure

In the afternoon, a two–course lunch will be served in a local restaurant and afterwards transfer to the Palace of the Arts for your second Wagner performance – Die Walkure

Performance Start Time - 18:00

Buffet meals, snacks and coffee served during the first break ca 18:00

Performance End Time - 22:00

Die Walkure

"Die Walküre is a tragically beautiful opera about springtime, love, finding one another and recognising a shared past. As in Das Rheingold, sins are also committed. A capital crime, in fact, when two siblings violate the taboo of falling in love with each other. Oddly enough, however, we do not condemn them, but actually feel for them with all our sympathy and compassion. And the pain of seeing Siegmund have to die in the deciding duel with Hunding is enough to pierce one's heart. We also understand the bitter vacillations of the chief of the gods as he is forced into a dilemma - for even chief gods can wind up with dilemmas! The effect of his dialogue with his wife, Fricka, which is on the one hand a parody of the distasteful bickering familiar from civil marriages (Wagner was no model husband, and knew this genre from experience), and on the other hand, about the eternal and sacred moral principals, is a shocking one. And we are also shaken by the sight of Wotan as, grappling with his pain, he sends Brünnhilde into a deep sleep and envelopes her with an impenetrable wall of fire, so that only the most worthy hero, a man without fear, can awaken her. The audience will be welcoming newcomer Stuart Skelton as Siegmund and, as Brünnhilde, the fondly remembered and wonderful Catherine Foster". Excerpt from  Mupa website.

A music drama in three acts.

Coach transfer back to your hotel at the end of the evening.

Day 4

Join your local guide for a guided city tour of the Buda side of the city.  Visit Budapest’s historical UNESCO-listed Castle District. Visit the jewel of the area, the Buda Castle, and see the lovely murals inside Matthias Church. Learn all the fascinating local history from your guide as you wander the medieval streets and pathways. Enjoy a photo stop at the Fisherman’s Bastion, the neo-Gothic arcade that overlooks the Danube and Parliament.  Explore Budapest’s medieval streets and hidden pathways while hearing Budapest’s folklore tales and legends and enjoy jaw-dropping panoramic views of Budapest and the Danube River from Fisherman’s Bastion.

A two–course lunch will be served in the Kaltenberg Restaurant and afterwards transfer to the Palace of the Arts for your third Wagner performance – Siegfried

Performance Start Time - 18:00

Buffet meals, snacks and coffee served during the first break ca 18:00

Performance End Time 22:00

Siegfried

"Discussing the thinking behind his concept for Müpa Budapest's production of The Ring of the Nibelung in a 2008 interview, director Hartmut Schörghofer said, "When Ádám Fischer approached me, my stomach went into a knot, because the Ring is full of the familiar leitmotifs that evoke some kind of special, individual image in everyone - and I didn't really wish to overlay these images with my own. I tried to give Wagner a reading such that I wasn't tying it tightly to something - I didn't want it to take place in a petrol station or in the branch of a bank. And I didn't want it to speak only to professionals or the cognoscenti, but for it to have something to say to the proverbial man on the street who has never approached this before. It wasn't for Wagnerians that I wanted to direct. […] I consciously wanted to avoid projecting a single big ‘message'. It was more important for me to inspire associations in people so that they could take over in lots of different directions. If the central idea appeared the same to everyone, then I was doing something wrong. From here, everyone is going to take something different home.” Siegfried, the third piece of the tetralogy, has the greatest element of playfulness and humour and the strongest fairy-tale quality. As if everything that turns out for the worse and presages catastrophe later in Götterdämmerung is still gazing amiably at the audience. The hero without fear, the paradigm of German mythology, sets off on his path in life with unsuspecting good cheer, slays the dragon and finds his mate. In the title role will be German tenor and triumphant Bayreuth veteran Stefan Vinke, who made his début at the Budapest Wagner Days in 2015 as Siegmund in Die Walküre". Excerpt from  Mupa website.

A music drama in three acts

Coach transfer back to your hotel at the end of the day.

Day 5

In the morning, we visit the charming town of Szentendre, located on the Danube Bend.  Spend the morning learning about the history of the Danube Bend towns and take time to explore the town, and its galleries. 

A two–course lunch will be served in Szentendre at the Rab Raby Restaurant afterwards transfer to the Palace of the Arts for your final Wagner performance – Gotterdammerung

Performance Start Time - 18:00

Buffet meals, snacks and coffee served during the first break ca 18:00

Performance End Time - 22:30

Gotterdammerung

The final music drama to round out The Ring of the Nibelung sees fate fulfilled and the curse striking the owner of the ring. The naive young hero proves defenceless against intrigue and trickery. The tragedy of the fate of Brünnhilde, betrayed by Siegfried while under the influence of a potion that erases his memory, is that she herself, against her will, becomes party to his devious murder. The all-consuming fire at the end of Götterdämmerung surpasses itself as a symbol, since it is not only Siegfried and Brünnhilde who die, but the entire old order, and world of the gods, are finally destroyed. The ring, however, is freed from the curse, making it possible for a new and purer world to emerge from the ashes of the old. "Conducting the Ring in Bayreuth never exhaust me, and the Budapest Wagner Days performances don't exhaust me either,” said Ádám Fischer about his work as a conductor at the festival. "Of course, it's not primarily the extent of the physical efforts that poses a risk, but rather getting tuned in psychologically and the need to be constantly prepared. As if one were driving 140 kilometres per hour on the motorway: for minutes on end nothing happens, but then a situation comes up where you have to react correctly in a split second in order to prevent a catastrophe. This increased focus, however, results in much more intense empathy, with all of its beauty.” Excerpt from Mupa website.

A music drama in three acts.

Coach transfer back to your hotel at the end of the day.

Day 6

Check out of your hotel and depart Budapest. (airline and flight times to be advised)

Accommodation

Mercure Budapest City Center Hotel is located at the heart of the historical and business center of Budapest on Váci street. The River Danube, museums, stylish restaurants and famous baths are within an easy reach. It offer free WiFi throughout the hotel and an Internet corner at the bar. It is a straight road from the airport to the hotel and limited onsite parking is possible. Váci street, Vörösmarty square, UNESCO world heritage sights like the banks of the River Danube and Andrássy Avenue are at your feet. 

Extra Information

Booking Information

  • •Price is inclusive of one piece of hand luggage. Checked in luggage is extra according to airline fees at time of booking. Please advise at the time of booking should you wish to check-in a bag.
  • Single supplement €339
  • A non-refundable / non-transferable deposit of €400 per person is required at time of booking (by debit card, cheque or credit card).
  • Balance is due 10 weeks prior to departure. •
  • Minimum numbers required to travel or deposit refunded.
  • Prices, flight times & listed itinerary are subject to change. Please note that flight times are subject to change at airline discretion and changes to flight times are out of our control.
  • Booking terms and conditions apply

  Cost per person: €1,639pp
  Number of nights: 5
  Dates available: Departing 12 June 2019

Tour supplied in Partnership with:

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