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Martin Randall Travel is the leading cultural tour specialist in the UK. The 7-day tour “The Dresden Festspiele - Art & Music in the Electoral Capital of Saxony” is led by art historian Dr Jarl Kremeier, who leads walks to see the fine 18th- & 19th-century architecture and outstanding art collections. The trip includes five performances in three historic buildings including Tosca (Puccini) at the Semperoper as well as excursions to the surrounding area. Rebuilding, restoration and refurbishment has wrought wonders in this once shattered city.
Fly at c. 10.45am from London Heathrow Airport (British Airways) to Berlin. An evening lecture is followed by dinner.
Dresden. Morning visit of the Residenzschloss to see the wonderful Green Vault and its content, one of the world’s finest princely treasuries, once again displayed in their original venue. Evening concert at the Semperoper with the Prague Philharmonia, Emmanuel Villaume (conductor) Diana Damrau (soprano), Nicolas Testé (bass-baritone): ‘Belcanto Drammatico’: Opera Arias by Meyerbeer, Massenet, Verdi and others.
Dresden. Visit the New Masters Gallery in the Albertinum, reopened in 2010 after extensive renovations following flood damage and home to the New Masters Gallery. Afternoon visit to the great domed Frauenkirche, whose restoration is now complete. Some free time before the evening opera at the Semperoper with the Saxon State Orchestra and Saxon State Opera Choir: Die Lustige Witwe (Franz Lehár).
Dresden. In the morning visit the Zwinger, a unique Baroque confection, a pleasure palace, arena for festivities and museum for cherished collections. See the Old Masters Gallery, one of the finest collections in Europe, particularly strong on Italian and Netherlandish painting. A free afternoon is followed by an evening concert at the Kulturpalast with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Jurowski (conductor), Steven Isserlis (cello): Mikhail Glinka, Waltz Fantasy in B minor; Prokofiev, Cello Concerto in E minor Op. 58; Shostakovich, Symphony No. 15 in A, Op. 141.
Meissen, Dresden. Drive downstream to Meissen, ancient capital of Dukes of Saxony and location of the discovery of hard-paste porcelain. The largely 15th-century hilltop castle overlooking the Elbe, the Albrechtsburg, is one of the first to be more residential than defensive, and within the complex is a fine Gothic cathedral. Evening concert at the Kulturpalast with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä (conductor), Peter Serkin (piano): Brahms, Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15; Richard Strauss ‘Ein Heldenleben’, Op. 40.
Pillnitz, Dresden. Travel by boat upstream to Pillnitz, a summer palace in Chinese Rococo style, with collections of decorative art and a riverside park. After lunch return to Dresden for some free time. Evening concert at the Palais im Großen Garten with the Schumann Quartet: Haydn, String Quartet in E, Op. 33/2, Hob. III: 38; Mozart, String Quartet No. 14 in G, KV 387; Beethoven, String Quartet No. 7 in F, Op. 59/1.
Fly from Berlin to London Heathrow airport, arriving c. 3.45pm.