I'm planning an April 22-May 6, 2014 trip through Germany by train. I'd like to attend as many operas and early music performances as possible. I'd like to experience Handel in Halle and Bach in any of the Cathedrals where he played. I will likely fly in and out of Frankfurt. I will appreciate any suggestions for places to search for concerts and opera schedules.
Any major city on your itinerary will have at least one symphony orchestra and opera company. Which cities do you plan to visit? Frankfurt hosts the hr-sinfonieorchester .
I haven't visited, but for Bach, obviously Leipzig and Weimar probably offer regular performances, particularly in Leipzig's Thomaskirche. Weimar also specializes in works of German Romanticism.
Eisenach's Bachhaus regularly sponors concerts in town.
Try this search engine for operas. It will also act as a ticket broker.
Don't discount zipping over to Prague. I see the Estates Theatre is doing Don Giovanni on May 4. With prime tickets at $55 US, it is the outstanding bargain in the opera world. The Estates Theater has only 600 seats and it is where Mozart himself conducted the premier in 1787. I hear this is a new production. The one I saw in 2009 was fabulous.
These are great resources! Thank you very much.
Leipzig is definitely worth a visit. I did a quick check on the schedule for the Thomas Church and they do have evening concerts (Motet) pretty much every night during your trip:
You could also check out the schedule for the Gewandhaus in Leipzig:
With your interest in opera I would highly recommend visiting the Semper Opera in Dresden. Beautifully restored! Here is their schedule:
And Prague is only 2 hour 20 minutes from Dresden. Direct EC trains every 2 hours.
I just keep pushing that button.
I finally got the courage to buy my tickets for Don Giovanni in Prague per the 1/29/14 suggestion. They don't seem to have Will Call. How do you usually order your opera tickets?
My tentative itinerary allows me to catch 8 operas and visit Handel's birthplace in my 14 day trip. That means 3 nights in Leipzig and only 1 in Dresden. Before I book my lodging, I want to make sure I can find enough music sites, art museums, and classical music activities in Leipzig to fill up 3 days. Does anybody have any suggestions for Leipzig or for my itinerary? For me I think booking the next town's lodging before I get on the train would be ideal, but I don't know how to find travel agencies that will do that. And I also don't know whether to book my opera tickets in advance or go with the flow.
April 22 sleep in Munich
April 23 sleep in Munich
April 24 Simon Bocanegra - sleep in Munich
April 25 bus or train to Leipzig – sleep Leipzig
April 26 side trip to Halle – Handel's birthplace – sleep Leipzig
April 27 Der Rosenkavalier – Leipzig – sleep Leipzig
April 28 train to Dresden - Alcina – Dresden – sleep Dresden
April 29 Dresden to Berlin – sleep Berlin
April 30 Elixer of Love or Tales of Hoffman – sleep Berlin
May 1 Carmen and Cosi Fan Tutte – sleep Berlin
May 2 Berlin to Prague – Rusalka at Prague National Theater or La Boheme at Prague State Opera - sleep Prague
May 3 tour Prague - The Bartered Bride at Prague National Theater - sleep Prague
May 4 Don Giovanni – Estates Theater - Prague - sleep Prague
May 5 Prague to Munich (via Regensburg?) sleep Munich
May 6 Fly home from Munich
" And I also don't know whether to book my opera tickets in advance or go with the flow." Look carefully at the featured singer and conductor. If the names ring a bell, you probably want to book in advanced. Particularly in Berlin.
"May 2 Berlin to Prague – Rusalka at Prague National Theater or La Boheme at Prague State Opera - sleep Prague" Ooh, go with Rusalka, definately. Nothing against La Boheme, but that's in the repetoire of just about any opera company in the world. When will you ever get the opportunity again to see Rusalka live?
"I want to make sure I can find enough music sites, art museums, and classical music activities in Leipzig to fill up 3 days". Hmm, that's going to be a bit of a stretch. Leipzig has Bach, Mendelssohn and the Gewandhaus. But it's a secondary city, not a major metropolis. Maybe the zoo, which has a huge primate house?
Yes, they just did Rusalka for the first time here in Chicago to rave reviews (missed it!). I don't know your budget, but we stayed at the Falkensteiner Maria in Prague, which is a classic older building but with a completely modern (even ultra modern) interior. It is a very short walk (150 feet) from Hlavni station (main station where you arrive from Dresden). and an equally short walk to the State Opera. The National Theater is along the river about a mile away, and the Estates Theater about a half mile away in the old center. Rooms are about 150 euro/night with breakfast. There is also a nice bistrot across the street for after theater dining.
Check the other big houses for ticket availability. The Bayerische Staatsoper sells out a lot.
PS. Still good availability in Munich.
In Leipzig alone you do have enough music oriented sights, say museums/composer houses etc to fill up three days. I wish I had had that much time set aside for Leipzig. Leipzig is not only Bach in music. See Händel's house/museum in Halle.
Should you want to see something historical, I suggest the huge monument, the Völkerschlachtdenkmal and Museum, to commemorate the final defeat of Napoleon in Germany. Take the S-Bahn outside of Leipzig Hbf. which stops across the street from the monument.