With its three opera houses and numerous other performance venues, Berlin is a city that takes music and opera very seriously. Our program takes the best of the springtime season’s rich operatic offerings and includes five performances, with four Verdi masterpieces at the Deutsche Oper and a visit to the newly re-opened Staatsoper Unter den Linden. We are also offering an optional concert at the Philharmonie with the mighty Berlin Philharmonic, led by Sir Simon Rattle in one of his final performances in his tenure as Artistic Director.
A week is too short to fully experience all that the city of Berlin and its surrounding region can offer. It really does cater to all tastes. Choices of museums that are exceptional by any standard can occupy any amount of free time. Group activities will include an orientation tour with our preferred guide Thomas Abbott, a morning of traditional art on Museum Island and a day excursion to Potsdam. We will also sample the city’s unique contemporary art scene with a specially arranged private visit to Sammlung Hoffmann, a unique private art collection. There are numerous excellent dining choices in the immediate vicinity of the hotel and some will be included in the itinerary.
The Regent Berlin, one of the city’s landmark 5 star properties, enjoys a perfect location near the Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin’s most beautiful square, and is within a comfortable walking distance of the Museum District, the Staatsoper and the prime retail area around Friedrichstrasse. Spacious superior rooms have been reserved with a generous daily breakfast in the elegant Fischers Fritz, the Regent’s noted Michelin-starred restaurant.
Deutsche Oper: La traviata (Montanaro; Agresta, Glaser), Rigoletto (García Calvo; Kang, Brück), Nabucco (Brignoli; Lucic, Rivero, Li, Metlova) and Don Carlo (Runnicles; D’Arcangelo, Kang, Dupuis).
Staatsoper Unter den Linden: Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
Optional: Berlin Philharmonic with Sir Simon Rattle and Schumann’s Oratorio Paradise and the Peri.
Monday, May 14
Independent early arrivals or US air departures for Berlin (TXL) from the USA.
Tuesday, May 15
Independent arrivals into Berlin and transfer to The Regent Berlin at Charlottenstrasse 49. Airport transfers may be arranged upon request. Spend personal time before gathering for a leisurely dinner at the nearby Brasserie am Gendarmenmarkt.
Wednesday, May 16
After breakfast we leave for a guided driving tour of the city, returning to the city center for lunch at Bocca di Bacco on Friedrichstrasse, a few steps from our hotel. The afternoon and balance of the day is open for individual activities, with recommendations upon request.
Our first visit to the Deutsche Oper this evening is for the staging of Verdi’s La traviata (Montanaro; Agresta, Glaser, Viviani, Berzhanskaya).
Thursday, May 17
The morning’s highlight is a curated visit to one of the exceptional fine arts museums on Museum Island, the Alte Nationalgalerie, with focus on German 19th century Romanticism. The afternoon will be at leisure.
In the evening we head once again to the Deutsche Oper for a performance of Rigoletto (García Calvo; Kang, Brück, Fahima, Whelton). Pre-performance food and drinks will be available at the opera.
Friday, May 18
This is a day to pursue individual interests. In the afternoon we plan to take a private tour of the totally restored Staatsoper Unter den Linden as precursor to our visit later in the day.
Gather again for dinner before the performance of Gioachino Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Cohen; Korchak, Girolami, Erraught, Shkarupa).
Saturday, May 19
This morning we include a visit to the intriguing Sammlung Hoffmann, an ever-changing collection of contemporary art housed in the Hoffmann Family’s private residence, in one of the city’s emerging districts. We then transfer for lunch at Käfer Restaurant, situated on the roof of the Reichstag (the German Parliament), with splendid panoramic views over the ever-changing city.
The evening is open, with the option to attend the Berlin Philharmonic concert at the Philharmonie with Schumann’s Oratorio Paradise and the Peri.
Sunday, May 20
Today we head out of Berlin to the city of Potsdam and a visit to Sans Souci, Frederick the Great’s pleasure palace, and then to Cecilienhof, the significantly historical location of the WWII Potsdam conference, a series of meetings that determined the course of 20th century European history. Lunch is included at Marché Mövenpick.
Return to Berlin to relax before the evening performance of Verdi’s Nabucco (Rizzi Brignoli; Lucic, Rivero, Li) at the Deutsche Oper.
Monday, May 21
The last day in Berlin is open for independent personal exploration. We leave in the early evening for a Farewell Dinner at the Restaurant Deutsche Oper before the start of Don Carlo (Runnicles; Harteros, D’Arcangelo, Kang, Dupuis).
Tuesday, May 22
Independent departures or extension.
COST OF TOUR
Extra nights per room:
Optional Berlin Philharmonic concert $200 (price to be confirmed)
A non-refundable deposit of $2,450 per person is due at registration, to cover advance commitments for tickets and hotels, with the balance by March 14, 2018. Payment is due in full if registering after that date.
Trip insurance is strongly advised to offset financial losses should the need to cancel arise between registration and the start of the tour. Act 1 Tours can arrange suitable travel insurance coverage with AIG Travel Guard on your behalf.