Karlsruhe Ring Cycle

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May 4 - 13, 2018 (5, 6, 10, 12)



 Since 2008 Justin Brown has led the Badisches Staatstheater as its General Music Director, earning accolades for his work there, especially for his mastery of the Wagner canon.  To quote the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper "Justin Brown has built a well-deserved reputation as one of today’s leading Wagner conductors.”  

This will be Brown’s second Ring Cycle within the past four years, a new staging that will be performed in full for the first time in spring 2018, combining the talents of four very significant stage directors and resulting in its unofficial title of “The Diversity Ring”. 

We have received a very limited allocation of twelve prime center stall Orchestra seats, starting with Das Rheingold on May 5 and finishing with Götterdämmerung on May 12.  As a bonus, we return to the Staatstheater on one of the non-Ring evenings for Israeli-American composer Avner Dorman’s new opera Wahnfried, staged by Keith Warner, and then, later in the week there also is the option to attend Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.

We have selected Karlsruhe’s premier hotel, the centrally located and recently renovated Schlosshotel Karlsruhe as the base for our group, just a short transfer from the Badisches Staatstheater.  The tour program will be led by Ian Sale, Act 1 Tours’ Founding Partner and, while the emphasis is on Wagner’s music, we will be making full use of the free days to include visits to the beautiful neighboring cities of Strasbourg and Heidelberg.  In addition, there will be the option to extend our Rhineland sightseeing with a day out in Basel, one of Switzerland’s major art and cultural cities. 


Conductor: Justin Brown


  • David Hermann           Das Rheingold
  • Yuval Sharon               Die Walküre 
  • Thorleifur Örn Arnarsson   Siegfried   
  • Tobias Kratzer                   Götterdämmerung

Wotan/Wanderer    Nathan Berg/Renatus Mészár

Alberich       Jaco Wenter

Fricka           Katharine Tier

Mime             Klaus Schneider

Siegmund     Peter Wedd

Sieglinde       Katherine Broderick

Siegfried        Eric Fenton

Brünnhilde     Heidi Melton

Erda                Ariana Lucas


Arrivals Information: 

Karlsruhe is in the southwest German state of Baden-Württemberg.  It is well connected by road and rail, and the closest international airport is Frankfurt (FRA), approximately ninety miles to the north.  As part of our program we include a group transfer by private coach to coincide with the main transatlantic morning arrival times on Saturday, May 5.  Alternatively, one may elect to ride the rapid hourly direct train service from FRA to Karlsruhe Main Station, steps from our hotel.  This takes just over one hour and is a quick and economical option;  Act 1 Tours will be pleased to assist with reservations on request.



Friday, May 4 

Independent North American air departures for Frankfurt (FRA), or optional independent early arrivals in Karlsruhe and the Schlosshotel Karlsruhe.  See Arrivals Information.

Saturday, May 5 

Independent air arrivals at Frankfurt airport (FRA) and transfer as a group to Schlosshotel Karlsruhe, arriving shortly after noon.  Relax and refresh after the journey.  The group gathers for a welcome reception before leaving for the Staatstheater and 7:30pm start of Das Rheingold.

Sunday, May 6 

After breakfast (included daily), we leave for a late morning privately curated visit to the Staatsliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe.  The museum has an impressive collection of European art, with its core collection spanning the 14th-18th centuries.  We lunch together and then return to the hotel to refresh before departing for the 5:00pm start of Die Walküre.

Monday, May 7 

Today we make an excursion to the picturesque university city of Heidelberg, a mosaic of Renaissance architecture and red-hued rooftops, where we take a guided walking tour and visit the Castle. Lunch today will be at Qube, an elegant restaurant specializing in Mediterranean-influenced dishes.  Return to Karlsruhe for an evening at leisure. 

Tuesday, May 8 

The day is open for individual pursuits.  We dine together early evening and then return to the Badisches Staatstheater for the 8:00pm performance of Avner Dorman’s Wahnfried. Premiered in 2017, the compelling story of Wagner enthusiast Houston Stewart Chamberlain’s influence on Adolf Hitler “is a parable about what terrible things can happen when a mediocre spirit and intellect are welded to overwhelming ego and ambition” (Avner Dorman).

Wednesday, May 9 

France’s Grand Est (formerly Alsace) regional capital Strasbourg is today’s destination, located on the Rhine.  The “Grand Île”, with Place Kléber at its center is a World Heritage site, its 15th century Gothic cathedral is the fourth tallest in Europe and there are many medieval churches and half-timbered structures in the historic city.  Lunch will be at the Maison des Tanneurs, a historically significant Alsace restaurant, and the day will conclude at the Musée des Beaux-Arts where we will see highlights of its unique collection of Rhenish artists.  Return to Karlsruhe in the late afternoon. 

Thursday, May 10 

The morning is at leisure and we meet again for lunch.  Siegfried starts at 5:00pm and concludes by 10:00pm.

Friday, May 11 

Today we offer the option to take a trip further down the Rhine to the Swiss city of Basel, a convenient ninety-minute journey by high-speed train. The city is well known as a destination for art, with almost forty museums.  We will spend time exploring the old city and pay a visit to one of the best art museums, the Fondation Beyerler, designed by Renzo Piano and housing a fine collection of Classic Modernist works. Lunch is included.  In the evening we offer the optional performance of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette to enhance the music program.

Saturday, May 12 

The morning and early afternoon will be free and independent for individual pursuits.  We lunch together and at 5:00pm return to the Badisches Staatstheater for Götterdämmerung, the nale to our week in Karlsruhe.  Post-performance celebration back at our hotel.

Sunday, May 13 

Group check out and transfer to Frankfurt for airport departures, or independent continuation. 


  • Eight nights with Superior rooms Schlosshotel Karlsruhe
  • Breakfast daily
  • Prime center stalls seats for the four Ring Cycle operas
  • Prime center stalls seats for Wahnfried
  • Welcome reception with six lunches and/or dinners
  • Kunsthalle Karlsruhe private tour
  • Excursions to Heidelberg and Strasbourg
  • Act 1 Tours’ partner, Ian Sale, as host throughout

Not included:

  • Air travel USA - Europe.
  • Airport transfers to and from hotel may be arranged on request.
  • Any meals and personal expenses not mentioned as part of the itinerary. 


  • Daytime train excursion to Basel on May 11 ......................$TBD (minimum 5 guests)
  • Roméo et Juliette on May 11 ................ $100



$ 4,750 per person sharing a double occupancy
$ 5,350 per person with single occupancy


A deposit of $1,750 per person is due at registration ($1,000 non-refundable), with the balance due by March 5, 2018.  Payment is due in full if registering after that date. 


Trip insurance is strongly recommended to offset financial loss should the need to cancel arise between the registration date and the start of the tour.  Pre-existing medical conditions may be waived under certain policies.  Act 1 Tours can arrange coverage on your behalf through AIG Travel Guard. 



How To Register

Please download and complete your reservation form. Once completed, please mail, fax or scan and email back with a check or credit card authorization for your deposit:
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