Jul 2 - 13, 2019
12 days
$11,980per person, twin share (land content only). $1,970 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.

Tour Leader

Robert Gay
Jul 2 - 13, 2019

Tour Leader

Robert Gay
  • Tour Info
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions


Through its special connections in Munich and at Glyndebourne, Academy Travel is pleased to again offer entrée to difficult-to-access performances at two of the world’s leading opera festivals. Each year in Munich, the Bavarian State Opera presents all its new productions for the season over three weeks. The festival draws an impressive roster of singers, such as sopranos Anna Netrebko and Anja Harteros, and tenor Jonas Kaufmann. Established in 1934, Glyndebourne is the doyen of English country-house opera festivals, with superb productions, excellent singers and the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the pit.


Best available tickets to seven outstanding performances, with six operas and one vocal recital.

Munich Opera Festival

  • Bellini’s masterpiece Norma at the Bavarian State Opera, starring Sonya Yoncheva in the title role and Riccardo Massi as Pollione
  • Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at the Bavarian State Opera, starring Alex Esposito as Figaro
  • A new production of Strauss’s Salome at the Bavarian State Opera, starring Marlis Petersen in the title role and conducted by Kirill Petrenko
  • Song recital by bass-baritone Erwin Schrott at the Bavarian State Opera

Glyndebourne Opera Festival

  • A new production of Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust, with Allan Clayton as Faust and Christopher Purves as Mephistopheles, conducted by Glyndebourne’s musical director Robin Ticciati
  • Dvo ak’s masterpiece Rusalka, with Sally Matthews as the heroine and Patricia Bardon as Jeibaba, conducted by Robin Ticciati
  • Massenet’s rarely-staged Cendrillon (Cinderella) with Danielle de Niese as the heroine and Kate Lindsey as her Prince Charming, conducted by John Wilson

Itinerary Overview

Days 1–7: Munich, attend four fine operas by the Bavarian State Opera. Visit the superlative Alte Pinakothek; admire historic social housing in Augsburg, established by the Fuggers in the 16th century; and enjoy the iconic villages of the Romantic Road, crucial to modern Germany’s national identity.

Day 8: Fly to London and transfer to seaside city of Brighton.

Days 9–12: Attend afternoon performances at Glyndebourne, with long interval dinners. During the day, explore the charming coastal city of Brighton, including the famous pavillion and encounter Bloomsbury Group intrigue at bohemian Charleston.

Detailed Itinerary

Start & Finish

The tour begins at our Munich hotel and ends at London Heathrow airport. Emirates, Qatar, Singapore and Etihad Airlines offer the best connections into Munich and onwards from London for this tour, with minimal transit time. Contact us for quotes and bookings.

Detailed Itinerary

Included meals are shown with the letters B, L, D and C for canapes.

Tuesday July 2: Arrival

If you have booked your air travel through Academy Travel we will organise a transfer from Munich Airport to our hotel. Please note that hotel rooms may not be available until early afternoon. In the evening, meet Robert Gay and fellow travellers in the hotel for drinks and canapes. Overnight Munich (C)

Wednesday July 3: Exploring Munich – Norma

This morning there is a talk on Bellini’s Norma, an opera that is regarded as a leading example of the bel canto style. After the talk we take a guided walking tour of Munich’s historical old town, and have our welcome lunch at a fine Munich restaurant. The later afternoon is at leisure before this evening’s performance, which begins at 6.00pm. You may choose to explore Bavaria’s royal past at the Residence Palace, or explore the city at your own pace. Overnight Munich (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: National Theatre Munich
Program: Bellini’s Norma
Performers: Sonya Yoncheva (Norma), Angela Brower (Adalgisa), Riccardo Massi (Pollione), Andrea Battistoni (conductor)

Thursday July 4: Augsburg and the Mozart Family

Our excursion today takes us to nearby Augsburg, one of Germany’s oldest cities. Founded by the Romans in the first century AD, the city is best known for the religious tolerance it extended its citizens in the mid-sixteenth century when the Augsburg Confession allowed the peaceful coexistence of Catholics and Protestants. The immensely rich Fugger family, who lent money to the Holy Roman Emperor no less, established a remarkable ‘town within a town’ for the virtuous poor – the ‘Fuggerei’ – probably the world’s first social housing scheme. We also visit the Schaezlerpalais with its spectacular rococo ballroom. After lunch, we visit the house/museum of Leopold Mozart who was born in Augsburg in 1719. In the late afternoon we return to Munich where the evening is at leisure. Overnight Munich (B, L)

Friday July 5: Munich’s Blue Rider School – Le nozze di Figaro

Our pre-performance talk today explores Mozart’s comic opera Le nozze di Figaro. Afterwards we visit the Lenbachhaus Museum, home to the stunning collection of art from the early-20th-century Der Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider) school of painters, who include Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, August Macke and Franz Marc. Tonight’s performance begins at 6.00pm. Overnight Munich (B)

Performance details
Venue: National Theatre Munich
Program: Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro
Performers: Mariusz Kwiecień (Count Almaviva), Federica Lombardi (Countess Almaviva), Pretty Yende (Susanna), Alex Esposito (Figaro), Anne Sofie von Otter (Marcellina), Christof Loy (director), Ivor Bolton (conductor)

Saturday July 6: Nymphenburg Palace – Salome

After a talk on tonight’s opera, we head to the Nymphenburg Palace, a small baroque summer palace set in vast grounds on the edge of the city. After visiting the palace, we stroll to the amazing rococo Amalienburg hunting lodge designed by François Cuvilliés. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. The conductor of this evening’s new production of Strauss’s Salome is Kirill Petrenko, the current General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera, and Chief Conductor-designate of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for the 2019/2020 season. The performance begins at 8.00pm. Overnight Munich (B)

Performance details
Venue: National Theatre Munich
Program: Strauss’s Salome
Performers: Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (Herodes), Michaela Schuster (Herodias), Marlis Petersen (Salome), Wolfgang Koch (Jochanaan), Krzysztof Warlikowski (director), Kirill Petrenko (conductor)

Sunday July 7: Munich’s great art galleries

Today we have a special all-day ticket to four of Munich’s great art galleries which are all located within a short walk of each other. The recently refurbished Alte Pinakothek, brimming with masterpieces by Rubens, Rembrandt and others is one of the great art galleries of the world; the Neue Pinakothek has mostly nineteenth century German artists, but some French Impressionists as well; the small Museum Brandhorst features a remarkable set of late Cy Twombly canvasses; and the relatively new Pinakothek der Moderne houses graphic art, architecture and design, as well as a collection of works by twentieth century and contemporary masters, under the one cupola-topped roof. In the evening we have dinner together at a fine local restaurant. Overnight Munich (B, D)

Monday July 8: Munich – Song recital

Today is a full day at leisure in Munich. This evening, charismatic bass-baritone Erwin Schrott – a major star of the opera world who sings regularly at Covent Garden, the Met and La Scala – gives a recital in the National Theatre. The performance begins at 8.00pm. Overnight Munich (B)

Performance details
Venue: National Theatre Munich
Program: Song recital – program to be announced
Performers: Erwin Schrott (bass-baritone)

Tuesday July 9: To England

We check out of our hotel this morning and take a late morning flight to London’s Heathrow airport. From there it is a 90-minute transfer to Brighton, England’s most vibrant seaside city, a rich cultural mix of Regency architecture and an eclectic arts scene. This evening we have dinner in the hotel’s bistro restaurant. Overnight Brighton (B, D)

Wednesday July 10: Royal Pavilion – La damnation de Faust

After a morning talk on Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust, we take a stroll through Brighton to visit the Royal Pavilion, built as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811. In the early afternoon, we travel to Glyndebourne with time to relax and enjoy a pre-performance refreshment. During the long interval, there will be dinner in Nether Wallop, one of Glyndebourne’s three fine restaurants. Overnight Brighton (B, D)

Performance details
Venue: Glyndebourne Opera House
Program: Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust
Performers: Allan Clayton (Faust), Christopher Purves (Méphistophélès), Robin Ticciati (conductor)

Thursday July 11: Charleston – Rusalka

After a talk on Dvořák’s masterpiece Rusalka, we travel to Charleston, the country house associated with London’s literary Bloomsbury Group. It was here in the first decades of the 20th century that group members escaped London to work, argue and make love. Critic Clive Bell and his artist wife Vanessa Bell established Charleston, and a great number of artists, writers and public figures passed through over the years. The house is decorated throughout with furniture and artworks by the Bloomsbury group, while in a room on the first floor John Maynard Keynes wrote his ground-breaking work, The Economic Consequences of the War. We return to the hotel to freshen up and change for the opera. During the long interval, there will be dinner in Mildmay restaurant. Overnight Brighton (B, D)

Performance details
Venue: Glyndebourne Opera House
Program: Dvořák’s Rusalka
Performers: Sally Matthews (Rusalka), Patricia Bardon (Ježibaba), Robin Ticciati (conductor)

Friday July 12: Brighton – Cendrillon

After a talk on Massenet’s rarely-performed opera Cendrillon – which is making its Glyndebourne debut starring Danielle de Niese – the middle of the day is at leisure in Brighton before making our way to Glyndebourne in the mid-afternoon. Our farewell dinner this evening is at Glyndebourne’s fine-dining restaurant, Middle & Over Wallop. Overnight Brighton (B, D)

Performance details
Venue: Glyndebourne Opera House
Program: Massenet’s Cendrillon
Performers: Danielle de Niese (Cendrillon), Kate Lindsey (Prince), John Wilson (conductor)

Saturday July 13: Departure

After breakfast, there is a group transfer to London’s Heathrow airport for travellers booking their flights through Academy Travel. (B)

Robert Gay

One of Australia’s leading music tour leaders and music educators, he has designed and led more than 90 tours.

Since 1987, Robert Gay has managed to combine his passion for music and his love of teaching with his enthusiasm for travel. He has visited the great opera houses and concert halls of Europe and America and heard most of the great singers and instrumentalists of the last half-century. Robert was President of the Sydney Schubert Society for eighteen years, and for several years was a guest lecturer for ADFAS.

After gaining a BA, Dip. Ed. from the University of Sydney, Robert trained as a lyric baritone in London and Munich before turning to the field of music education with a position at 2MBS-FM. He has taught music history courses at Sydney University’s Centre for Continuing Education since 1985. Robert’s musical expertise ranges wide, from baroque to modern. He particular enjoys placing works in their larger contexts – musical, biographical, social and historical.

In the early days, Robert always designed his tours to include a visit behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ – whether it was Berlin, Dresden, Prague or Budapest – thereby providing fascinating insights into a world which has now largely disappeared. His tours, which total nearly 90, have regularly featured the great musical cities of Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Russia, as well as Scandinavia and the United States of America.

“It has been an enormous privilege to have travelled the world for the last 30 years taking groups of music lovers to the great musical and cultural cities of Europe and America,” Robert says. “There is something magical about music – an art form which only truly lives as it is performed – which seems to bind people together so effortlessly and harmoniously.”

“I have always been a great believer in ‘the spirit of place’,” says Robert. “You can read and research and google all you like, but it cannot for a moment match the thrill of standing in the beautiful villa on the shores of Lake Lucerne where Wagner and his beloved Cosima first lived together; or of hearing a service in Bach’s unassuming St Thomas’s church in Leipzig; or seeing a performance in the old Paris Opéra, the auditorium ‘crowned’ by its superb Chagall ceiling celebrating both opera and ballet. Such experiences are treasurable and unforgettable!”

View Bio & Upcoming Tours


Hotels have been selected principally for their central location. Both of the hotels are excellent four-star properties that are within renovated historic buildings.

Munich – Hotel Torbraeu (7 nights)

This historic four-star family-run hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Munich, just a short walk from the National Theatre. The rooms are classically furnished and comfortable, each with modern amenities. www.torbraeu.de

Brighton, Hotel du Vin and Bistro (4 nights)

This boutique four-star hotel is nestled in the quaint narrow cobble-stoned alleyways of The Lanes, the oldest part of the Brighton. It has comfortable rooms and is well located in Brighton, just 100 meters from Brighton’s beach and promenade. The hotel is 30 minutes’ drive from Glyndebourne. www.hotelduvin.com/locations/brighton/

Tour Inclusions

What is included in the tour price? 
Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:

  • Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
  • Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate public transport is also used for short distance travel on some tours
  • All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
  • Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
  • Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
  • Services of tour leader throughout tour
  • All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Local guides at some sites
  • Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals

Airport Transfers

Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.

What is not included in the tour price?
Open-age tours do not include the following:

  • Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
  • Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
  • Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required
  • Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
  • Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity

Booking conditions

You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.


A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • More than 60 days before departure: $500*
  • 60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
  • 44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
  • 14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due

*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.

Unused Portions of the tour

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Travel Insurance

Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.

Passport and Visa

A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.

Will the tour price change?

If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.

Will the itinerary change?

Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.

Final Payment

Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.

Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller.

Tour Details

Fitness Requirement

Grade One

A Grade 1 tour is appropriate for travellers in good health with good mobility, who can comfortably participate in up to 3 hours of physical activity per day on most days.
More Details


A limited number of places remain on this tour and as such, internet bookings are not taken. Please contact our travel consultant listed below if you wish to make a booking.

Hold a Place Download Booking Form

Speak to a consultant

For further information or to secure a place on this tour please contact:
Rebecca Fussell 02 9235 0023 or 1800 639 699
(outside Sydney)

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