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Small group tours European Ballet

This escorted small group tour of the European Ballet is designed especially for mature-aged and senior travellers, whether travelling solo or with a companion. It is ideal for those interested in culture, history, and the performing arts. This is one of several small group tours offered each year for travellers seeking fully escorted, small group tours of Europe.

The European Ballet 17 day small group tour includes nine wonderful performances in five European cities. You will experience six ballets, plus modern dance and two operas performed in beautiful opera houses. This unique travel experience will also give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the history, culture, and natural beauty of the destinations. We visit museums, galleries, and even a ballet school.

Because of the nature of this tour, please note that we must respond to the programs and performances made available each year. In designing this tour, we seek out magnificent shows across Europe. The structure of the tour may vary, but be assured that the experiences themselves, the landscapes we will see, and the people with whom you share, them are the cornerstones of this tour.

Small group tours European Ballet | Sample Itinerary

BY LATE 2021 the program for June 2022 will be set. Please call or send an email for more information.

On a typical small group European ballet tour, we begin in Leipzig. We spend three days in this cultural city visiting attractions such as the Handel House Museum, Richard Wagner Museum, and the Mendelssohn House. Whilst in Leipzig, program pending, we attend two ballets. Afterwards, we travel on to Dresden, staying for four nights and attending two concerts. During our time in Dresden, there will be a visit to the Palucca University of Dance. Following Dresden, we cross by train to Berlin. We will spend five nights here in the nation's cosmopolitan capital.

While in Berlin, we attend two performances: a ballet and a modern dance. And during our days, we are led by expert local guides who share their knowledge of Berlin. We spend time touring the city, interspersed with visits to galleries and museums. From Berlin, we head north to Hamburg for two days. Whilst in Hamburg, we attend another ballet.

After Hamburg, we travel on to Paris, where we spend three dreamy nights. We experience a backstage tour of the Lido de Paris. In addition, we visit the Marais and have a guided tour of the Picasso Museum. The tour also includes tickets to two concerts in Paris, before we conclude here in the city of romance. If you are a lover of the ballet, and dream of experiencing performances in some of the world's premiere venues, we would love to welcome you on board for our next 2020 departure.

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.

To see our other tours to Europe, please click here.


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Tour Notes
  • The group size is limited to 15 people.

PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

Overview: We have a tour introduction and welcome dinner.

Accommodation: Accommodation: Victor’s Residenz Hotel Leipzig or similar.

Overview: Today we enjoy a half-day excursion to nearby Halle. The group will make a visit to the house museum of Handel, who became known for his operas. The group will also be able to view the Halle Opera venue.

Tonight, we enjoy our first ballet Van Gogh at the Oper Leipzig.

Van Gogh

Artists often possess vulnerable personalities. The overwhelming need to share of one’s self often leads an artist to the very limits of existence, manifested as neglect of one’s physical or psychological well-being. The artist who discovers truly new, trend-setting, revolutionary ideas is often confronted with a lack of understanding and incomprehension. When modern psychoanalysis took a closer look at serious artists, it noticed (perhaps not surprisingly) periods of prolific output alternating with complete lethargy. It is from these alternating moments of manic creation and paralyzing self-doubt that genius emerges.

Vincent van Gogh was one of these artists. His active period of creation only lasted a decade, during which time he produced over 800 paintings and more than 1,000 drawings. Today, his well-known sunflowers have been reproduced so widely that they are almost banal; in his lifetime they were ignored. In addition to his creative output, the letters he exchanged with his brother Theo provide moving insights into his personal and artistic life. In addition, they afford evidence of his apparent psychological condition, particularly of the events that led to him removing his ear. After a short, incredibly active period of productivity, van Gogh ended his own life.

After Chaplin and Jim Morrison, Mario Schröder continues his popular biographical ballets with Van Gogh.

Accommodation: Accommodation: Victor’s Residenz Hotel Leipzig or similar.

Overview: A full day touring visiting the Richard Wagner Museum, Mendelssohn house museum and the Museum of musical instruments.

The focus today is on the classical musical heritage of Leipzig, with many of these composers being famed for their operas in particular, such as Wagner.

Accommodation: Accommodation: Victor’s Residenz Hotel Leipzig or similar.

Overview: The group attends the late morning performance of Grimms Fairy Tale ballet at Oper Leipzig.

Mario Schroder

Say the words “Brothers Grimm” and one thing springs to mind: Familiar fairy tales that accompanied us through childhood. The collection assembled by these two brothers from Hesse is still significant to German literature today. Their writings have helped preserve what was then primarily oral tradition from oblivion. In the fast-paced world in which we live today – in which a story is worth as much as its potential headline – the image-filled word of Grimms’ Fairy Tales is a welcome oasis for the soul.

There are good reasons why parents continue to reach for any one of the numerous editions of the Fairy Tales. As they teach their children cultural history, parents simultaneously provide them with countless anchors in an ocean of fantasy. Children learn to use their imaginations, picturing the deep forests, dark caves, and powerful giants, while those same images wait on the page to be awakened by a child’s fantasy.

Mario Schröder presents the most-beloved of Grimms’ Fairy Tales on the stage, in an evening that combines modern choreography with centuries-old storytelling. “A fairy tale shows children that we can reach past our everyday limits to achieve the impossible, ” says Schröder, the Ballet Director and Head Choreographer of the Leipzig Ballet. “That is what we want to show on the stage.” Accompanied brilliantly by the Gewandhaus Orchestra, this show has something for the whole family. The musical selections come primarily from the great symphonic classics, but also feature unexpected gems, all of which come together to provide a stunning theatrical spectacle.

This afternoon we transfer by coach to Dresden.

Free time prior to a group Dinner this evening.

Accommodation: Accommodation Park Inn by Radisson

Overview: We begin today with a private guided tour of the stunning Semperoper opera house in Dresden. The day continues with a city highlights tour to take in some more of the impressive architecture and character of the city – including a stop to view the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts.

We also find time to visit the Green Vault, the largest collection of art treasures in Europe.

Accommodation: Accommodation Park Inn by Radisson

Overview: We intend to begin the day with a visit to the Pelucca University of Dance in Dresden. This is very much subject to availability.

Tonight we intend to attend the opening night of the opera ‘The Passenger’, a two-part opera at the Semperoper.

Opera in two acts, eight pictures and one epilog by Mieczysław WeinbergLibretto by Alexander Medwedew after Zofia Posmysz’s tale of the same namePerformed in German, English, Polish, and Hebrew with German surtitles

On an ocean liner the former SS camp guard Lisa meets one of the old inmates, Marta. Suddenly the past impinges on the present, dredging up memories of a horrific reality that, only a few years after the end of the war, has been hushed up. Against the background of the concentration camp, Weinberg’s opera is an eternal warning against the premature suppression and forgetting of dreadful human crimes.

Opera in two acts, eight pictures and one epilog by Mieczysław WeinbergLibretto by Alexander Medwedew after Zofia Posmysz’s tale of the same namePerformed in German, English, Polish, and Hebrew with German surtitles

On an ocean liner the former SS camp guard Lisa meets one of the old inmates, Marta. Suddenly the past impinges on the present, dredging up memories of a horrific reality that, only a few years after the end of the war, has been hushed up. Against the background of the concentration camp, Weinberg’s opera is an eternal warning against the premature suppression and forgetting of dreadful human crimes.

Complete Cast


Christoph Gedschold


Anselm Weber


Corinna Tetzel


Katja Haß


Bettina Walter


Olaf Winter


Bibi Abel


Jörn Hinnerk Andresen


Norbert Abels


Christina Bock


Jürgen Müller


Barbara Dobrzanska


Markus Butter


Emily Dorn


Ewa Zeuner


Lucie Ceralová


Jelena Kordić


Larissa Wäspy


Rebecca Raffell


Sabine Brohm


Matthias Henneberg


Michael Eder


Tom Martinsen


Angela Liebold


Timothy Oliver
Sächsischer Staatsopernchor Dresden
Staatskapelle Dresden

Accommodation: Accommodation Park Inn by Radisson

Overview: Today is a free day to explore Dresden for the group.

Tonight we attend the Ballet Gisselle at the Semperoper.
David Dawson
Ballet in two acts

More than even dance itself, Giselle loves the mysterious stranger Albrecht who returns her ardour. On the threshold of becoming a woman, she discovers for the first time the passion and yearning of a love that knows neither mistrust, disappointment nor loss. Yet these nascent feelings are destined to be dashed. Giselle is suddenly confronted with the revelation that Albrecht is already betrothed. Giselle is heartbroken. But is this the end for her? Having crossed over into the strange and dreaded world of the mythical »Wilis«, Giselle resists the temptation to seek revenge or demand restitution. Omnia vincit amor. Love conquers all

This link takes you to a short introduction to David Dawson’s Giselle.

Complete Cast


David Dawson


Adolphe Adam


David Coleman


David Coleman
17., 18., 25. June 2017
Benjamin Pope
26., 28. June 2017


Tim Couchman


Arne Walther


Yumiko Takeshima


Bert Dalhuysen


Freya Vass-Rhee
Semperoper Ballett
Staatskapelle Dresden

Accommodation: Accommodation Park Inn by Radisson

Overview: Transfer by rail from Dresden to Berlin.

Afternoon tour of local galleries and museums of interest with a local guide

Group Dinner this evening.

Accommodation: Accommodation Leonardo Hotel Berlin Mitte or similar

Overview: Guided tour of Berlin including a visit to the Academy of Arts on Pariser Platz. The Academy of Arts (Akademie der Künste) is open to visitors, and regularly hosts temporary exhibitions on a range of topics. The schedule of exhibitions for next summer is still to be announced. The academy may also be subject to unexpected infrequent closures, which has been the case recently, so please be aware of this.

Free time this afternoon.
This evening we attend modern dance performance of ‘Duato I Shechter’

Creation by Nacho Duato


Choreography by Hofesh Shechter

After Nacho Duato significantly extended the Staatsballett Berlin’s aesthetic boundaries last season with his piece “Herrumbre”, what will now follow is another creation by the Staatsballett’s artistic director. Duato has asked Hofesh Shechter, celebrated worldwide for his angry, spectacular and excessive pieces, to join him for the second part of the evening.

Accommodation: Accommodation Leonardo Hotel Berlin Mitte or similar

Overview: Full day of self-guided sightseeing on this day, visiting a contemporary art gallery, a decorative arts museum and the Bauhaus Archive, which has a special exhibition on theatre relating to the trendsetting Bauhaus school, including exhibits on ballet.

Accommodation: Accommodation Leonardo Hotel Berlin Mitte or similar

Overview: Free day to explore Berlin.


Accommodation: Accommodation Leonardo Hotel Berlin Mitte or similar

Overview: Escorted visits to the Charlottenburg Palace and gardens and the KW Institute for Contemporary Art.

This afternoon is free time.

This evening we attend the ballet of Sleeping Beauty at the Deutsche Oper.

The artistic director of the Staatsballett Berlin, Nacho Duato, has brought new life to this beloved classic, which itself is over a hundred years old and for which Peter I Tchaikovsky has composed the unforgettable music.

When she is finally released from an evil spell by the kiss of a young prince, the Sleeping Beauty awakes and is – inspite of a hundred years of sleep– as beautiful as a young woman. The love of the prince is simply stronger than the curse that rests on the haunted princess.

This production demonstrates that Nacho Duato, who to the Berlin public has been so far mainly known for modern choreographies, can also tackle classical ballets with dance en pointe with great success. Nothing in this production is old and dusty, rather the entire choreography looks fresh and is bursting with vitality and brings an air of spring to the stage.

The costumes by Angelina Atlagic deserve likewise admiration as they sparkle on stage like spring buds in morning dew. The stage design, also designed by Atlagic, offers as refined setting for the ballet fairy tale. The decor of this production is highly imaginative and colorful, yet at the same times very elegant and stylish. The superior freshness of the production has yet another reason: For his “Sleeping Beauty” Duato omitted unnecessary ballast and has deleted scenes that do not advance the plot. His focus is mainly on the characters. By doing so, Duato wants to lure people to the ballet who are not (yet) ballet lovers.

Non-experts should be told: The ballet “Sleeping Beauty” follows in its plot the French version by Charles Perrault: At her baptism Princess Aurora is cursed by the evil fairy Carabosse. On her 16th birthday the curse becomes reality. Aurora pricks herself on a spindle and falls into a hundred-year-long sleep. Finally, Prince Desiré finds the way to Aurora’s bed and kisses the princess awake. The inevitable end: a fairytale wedding.

Choreography and Production: Nacho Duato
Music: Peter I. Tschaikowsky
Sets and Costumes: Angelina Atlagic
Light Design: Brad Fields
Musical Direction: Robert Reimer
Orchestra: Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin
Dancing: Soloists and Corps de Ballet of the Staatsballett Berlin
Princess Aurora: Iana Salenko
Prinz Desiré: Leonid Sarafanov
Carabosse: Rishat Yulbarisov

Accommodation: Accommodation Leonardo Hotel Berlin Mitte or similar

Overview: Transfer from Berlin to Hamburg by train.

Short walking tour of Hamburg central city area with a local guide, focus is on musical history.

Today our guide shares with us the important culture and museums of Hamburg, including visits to a museum as well as an overview of the history of Hamburg and the influence on contemporary culture.

Hamburg has several large museums and galleries showing classical and contemporary art, for example the Kunsthalle Hamburg with its contemporary art gallery (Galerie der Gegenwart), the Museum for Art and Industry (Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe), and the Deichtorhallen/House of Photography. The Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg opened in the HafenCity quarter in 2008. There are various specialised museums in Hamburg, such as the Archaeological Museum Hamburg (Archäologisches Museum Hamburg) in Hamburg-Harburg.

Group Dinner this evening

Accommodation: Accommodation Hotel Alster –Hof or similar

Overview: Today our local guides take us for a tour of Hamburg. Highlights of this tour include The Rathaus, Binnenalster, Hafencity and warehouse district as well as a visit and private tour of the Brahms Museum.

When we visit the Brahms Museum and Komponistenquartier. Here we discover Georg Philipp Telemann, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Johann Adolf Hasse, Fanny & Felix Mendelssohn, Johannes Brahms, and Gustav Mahler in an attractive, lively, and educational venue. Hamburg was once described by the composer Georg Philipp Telemann as a place “where music seems, as it were, to have its homeland.” The many-faceted Baroque composer was municipal Director of Music here for 46 years. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, the “Hamburg Bach” and Telemann’s godson, succeeded him in 1768. He was celebrated by his contemporaries as an “original genius” and lived in the city up to his death in 1788. The Bergedorf-born composer Johann Adolf Hasse also began his meteoric rise to international fame at the Hamburg Opera House on Gänsemarkt, going on to be the toast of such cities as Naples, Dresden, and Venice.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the immensely musically gifted siblings Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn were born in Hamburg. Johannes Brahms, born in the Gängeviertel, made his debut as a pianist and composer here. Brahms achieved worldwide fame outside his home city, which awarded him honorary citizenship in 1889. In 1891 Gustav Mahler came to Hamburg to take up a position as First Conductor at the Hamburg Stadt-Theater. He brought operatic and concert music here to new, unparalleled heights of excellence.

At the end of 2014, new museums dedicated to the “Hamburg Bach” and his contemporary Johann Adolf Hasse opened for the public. For the first time, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach thus, in the year of the tricentenary of his birth, received recognition befitting his rank, close to the places where he lived and worked, and not far from his last resting place in the crypt of St. Michael’s Church. Museums for Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn and for Gustav Mahler will then be added in a second construction phase. The musical tradition of the Hanseatic city from the Baroque to modern times will be presented in a way which makes it come vividly to life.

Tonight will expect to attend the premiere performance of the Ballet ‘Anna Karenina’.

Among connoisseurs, Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” is considered one of the most perfect novels ever written. There are popular titles that are meaningful for many people and that evoke images and allusions even though they do not really know the work completely. “Anna Karenina” is such a title.

When thinking about this novel, a contemporary quote struck me:
“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”
(Madeleine Albright – 2016)

John Neumeier


Overview: Before we depart Hamburg today it is  intended the group will have visit to the Hamburg Ballet School.

Then there is an afternoon flight to Paris and transfer to hotel.

Group Dinner this evening.


Accommodation: Le Magellan or similar.

Overview: This morning we start with a scheduled the visit to the Lido de Paris. Later we have a guided tour of the Opera Library museum at the Palias Garnier.

This afternoon, we have a private tour of Palais Garnier. The Palais Garnier is the most famous opera house in the world. This is at least partly due to its use as the setting for Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel “The Phantom of the Opera” and, especially, the novel’s subsequent adaptations in films and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s popular 1986 musical. The Paris Opera now mainly uses the Palais Garnier for ballet.

Tonight we attend a performance at the Opera Bastille.

There is some free time this afternoon before this evening ballet at the Palias Garnier of La Sylphide.
La Sylphide

Ballet in two acts

Jean Madeleine Schneitzhoeffer
Adolphe Nourrit
Pierre Lacotte

After Philippe Taglioni

Set designs after Pierre Ciceri
Costume designs after Eugène Lami

Set design
Marie-Claire Musson
Costume design
Eugène Fresnay

Ermanno Florio

Les Étoiles, les Premiers Danseurs et le Corps de Ballet

Orchestre de l’Opéra national de Paris

The ways of the subconscious are infinite when reality becomes too oppressive and torment must be mitigated. Seized by doubts on the eve of his wedding to Effie, the young James is visited by a sylph in a dream. La Sylphide is an evanescent creature, the embodiment of the ideal woman and a metaphor for the freedom his marriage might steal from him. First performed in 1832 at the Paris Opera, Philippe Taglioni’s La Sylphide was the first work to draw inspiration from the Sturm und Drang literary movement. The misty forests of Scotland offer an ideal backdrop to the opposition between the real world and an inaccessible universe. Marie Taglioni, dressed in a long diaphanous white tutu performed the title role which was entirely choreographed on points, accentuating the ethereal sylph-like character of her character and outlining the emblematic silhouette of the ballerina. Unanimously praised by audiences and critics alike when first performed, La Sylphide left a lasting impression on a generation of poets and writers, including Théophile Gautier, the future librettist of Giselle, before disappearing from the repertoire at the end of the 19th century. In 1972, the ballet was faithfully recreated by Pierre Lacotte for the Paris Opera Ballet. Since then, its spell‑binding subtlety has never ceased to fascinate, establishing it as the romantic ballet par excellence

Accommodation: Accommodation   Relais Monceau or similar

Overview: A late morning start Guided city tour of the Marais quarter and recently re-opened Picasso Museum.

The collection in the Musée Picasso-Paris includes more than 5,000 works and tens of thousands of archive pieces. By its quality and its size shown by the diversity of artistic domains represented, it is the only public collection in the world that allows you on a journey following the creative process of the artist using all the work painted, carved, engraved and drawn by Picasso, including sketches, studies, drawings, sketchbooks, engravings, photographs, illustrated books, movies and documents. Established in 1985 in the Hotel Salé, one of the most iconic private hotels built at the end of the 17th century, the museum has just benefited from an important renovation that has enabled the directors to double size of the exhibition spaces for the public.

Afternoon at leisure prior to an early farewell dinner.

This evening we attend a performance of opera Carmen at the Opera Bastille.


The first words uttered by Carmen mark one of the greatest entrances in the history of opera and express all that need be said: “Love is a rebellious bird that no one can tame…” With a devilish sway of the hips and a hint of Andalusian flair, the beautiful cigar-maker sets her sights on a soldier: Don José. Fate will do the rest. Though immediately regarded as a masterpiece throughout Europe, it took time for Carmen to win acceptance in Paris where it received a lukewarm reception at its premiere in 1875. Composed to a libretto by Meilhac and Halévy based on Prosper Mérimée’s novella, the opera exploded the boundaries between tragedy and comedy with a modernity that caused a scandal at the time. Can we kill the one we love with love? The fiery beauty of Bizet’s music, where one unforgettable aria follows another, has worked year in, year out to make it the world’s most performed opera.

Opera in four acts (1875)

Georges Bizet
Henri Meilhac
Ludovic Halévy

After Prosper Mérimée
In French

Lionel Bringuier
Mark Elder
Calixto Bieito

Don José
Roberto Alagna

Bryan Hymel

Roberto Tagliavini

Ildar Abdrazakov

Le Dancaïre
Boris Grappe
Le Remendado
François Rougier
François Lis
Moralès, Andrès
Jean-Luc Ballestra
Clémentine Margaine

Varduhi Abrahamyan

Anita Rachvelishvili

Elīna Garanča

Aleksandra Kurzak

Nicole Car

Maria Agresta

Vannina Santoni
Antoinette Dennefeld

Set design
Alfons Flores
Costume design
Mercè Paloma
Lighting design
Alberto Rodríguez Vega
Chorus master
José Luis Basso

Orchestre et Choeurs de l’Opéra national de Paris

Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine / Chœur d’enfants de l’Opéra national de Paris

French and English subtitles

Accommodation: Accommodation   Relais Monceau or similar

Overview: Tour concludes after breakfast

Experience 9 great performances in 5 major European cities.
Share in the learnings from local guides as you enjoy over 30 entrances and performances all included in the tour cost.
Enjoy full days of guided touring in Leipzig, Dresden, Berlin , Hamburg and Berlin.
Visit the Picasso museum in Paris.
Enjoy a backstage tour of the Lido de Paris.

What’s included in our Tour

  • 16 nights accommodation.
  • 16 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 5 dinners.
  • All entrances and field trips as indicated.
  • Tickets to 9 performances.
  • 2 internal rail tickets and one Trans Europe flight (economy class).
  • Preparatory material and reading list.
  • Odyssey Tour Leader.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • International flights.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry.
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