The Jewel of the Baltic
Lithuania’s capital city, Vilnius is one of jewels of the Baltic but of all the Baltic cities it is perhaps the least known by UK tourists.
Expectations that Soviet style architecture will predominate should be dismissed; the city boasts many fine examples of the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and classical styles and the standards in its hotels is comparable with any western city.
The city is not overwhelmingly big but there is much to see. A good place to start is the main square which is dominated by the gleaming white cathedral and the hill on which stands the Gediminas Tower.
The tower can be reached by a convenient funicular and from the top a great panorama of the town can be seen with its quaint cobbled streets and ancient church spires.
Outside the city is the nearby town of Trakai, the country’s former capital with its beautiful lake which surrounds its impressive medieval castle. Further afield there is the fascinating spa town of Druskininkai. Thanks to the exertions of its indefatigable mayor, the spa resources and hotel accommodation have been developed to the highest standards.
Vilnius Opera House
The Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet perform to a very high standard and unlike many former communist opera houses which have steadily increased their ticket prices, those in Vilnius are still at bargain levels, as are the prices at the city’s hotels. The company presents works of the standard repertoire with a fairly traditional approach but they also present new operas and ballets by Lithuanian composers and choreographers.
On an Operas Abroad visit a wonderful production of Carmen was experienced with a wonderful passionate Carmen and very imaginative staging which included for some scenes removing all the backdrops to create a huge performing space reaching to the back wall of the theatre. This same production is in the programme for 2013-2014.
Another fine production is Halévy’s La Juive (see video below). This production has been in the companies repertoire for many years and it has been instrumental in reviving interest in this formerly neglected work.
The Packages include
Private airport transfers airport/hotel/airport
Three hotel nights with breakfast
A guided tour of Vilnius (approx. 2 hours 30 minutes the main sights are visited including Vilnius’ University)
A best category ticket for your choice of performance at the opera house.
For all the above at Hotel Narutis 5* £370 (single room supplement £40 per night)
For all the above at Hotel Amberton 4* £350 (single room supplement £30 per night)
One extra night at Hotel Narutis 5* £75 per person sharing, in a single room £85.
One extra night at Hotel Amberton 4* £45 per person sharing, in a single room £60.
Prices are subject to availability and variation at the time of booking.
Hotel Narutis *****
This is a small, intimate hotel, located in Vilnius’ Old Town. The Gediminas Tower, the Cathedral Area, the Grand Duke’s Palace and the Presidential Palace are all within 600 yards. Its facilities and services include non-smoking rooms, facilities for disabled guests, a lift, safety deposit box, air conditioning, 24 hour front desk, luggage storage, room service, laundry, dry cleaning, ironing service, gift shop, tour desk, two restaurants, bar, breakfast in the room, sauna, spa, wellness centre, massage, hot tub, library, Turkish bath, indoor pool and free WiFi in all areas.
Hotel Amberton ****
The hotel is just across the road from the cathedral and other sights which can are also within easy walking distance are the Grand Duke’s Palace, the Gediminas Tower, the National Museum, the Presidential Palace and Gediminas Avenue, the main shopping area. It has spacious rooms and the facilities include non-smoking rooms, facilities for disabled guests, lift, safety deposit box, allergy-free room, air-conditioning, 24 hour front desk, luggage storage, room service, laundry, dry cleaning, ironing service, gift shop, restaurant, bar and free WiFi in all areas.
LITHUANIAN NATIONAL OPERA AND BALLET
Fri 12 Feb 2016 Ballet CARMEN
Sat 13 Feb 2016 Ballet LA BAYADÈRE
Sun 14 Feb 2016 L’ELISIRE D’AMORE-Donizetti
Wed 17 Feb Ballet THE NUTCRACKER
Thu 18 Feb 2016 ALEXANDER’S FEAST-Handel
Fri 19 Feb 2016 Ballet GISELLE
Sat 20 Feb 2016 MANON-Massenet
Fri 4 Mar 2016 DON CARLO-Verdi
Sat 5 Mar 2016 DON CARLO-Verdi
Sun 6 Mar 2016 DON CARLO-Verdi
Wed 9 Mar 2016 Ballet SWAN LAKE
Thu 10 Mar 2016 LA BOHÈME-Puccini
Sat 12 Mar 2016 THE MERRY WIDOW-Lehár
Wed 16 Mar 2016 MANON-Massenet
Thu 17 Mar 2016 Ballet BARBORA RADVILAITE
Fri 18 Mar 2016 Ballet BARBORA RADVILAITE
Sat 19 Mar 2016 EUGENE ONEGIN-Tchaikovsky
Wed 23 Mar 2016 Ballet SWAN LAKE
Thu 24 Mar 2016 FIDELIO-Beethoven
Wed 30 Mar DIE FLEDERMAUS-J. Strauss
Thu 31 Mar Ballet BOLERO+
Fri 1 Apr 2016 LA BOHÈME-Puccini
Sat 2 Apr 2016 Ballet TRISTAN UND ISOLDE
Wed 6 Apr 2016 CARMEN-Bizet
Thu 7 Apr 2016 Ballet THE BLUE DANUBE
Fri 8 Apr 2016 Ballet THE BLUE DANUBE
Sat 9 Apr 2016 Ballet EUGENE ONEGIN-Tchaikovsky
Thu 14 Apr 2016 THE FLYING DUTCHMAN-Wagner
Fri 15 Apr 2016 Ballet CIURLIONIS
Sat 16 Apr 2016 DON CARLO-Verdi
Fri 29 Apr 2016 Ballet DON QUIXOTE
Sat 30 Apr 2016 Ballet DON QUIXOTE
Wed 4 May 2016 Ballet THE BLUE DANUBE
Thu 5 May 2016 Ballet THE BLUE DANUBE
Fri 6 May 2016 DON CARLO-Verdi
Sat 7 May 2016 Ballet CARMEN
Wed 11 May 2016 MANON-Massenet
Thu 12 May 2016 Ballet CIURLIONIS
Fri 13 May 2016 Ballet DON QUIXOTE
Sat 14 May 2016 FIDELIO-Beethoven
Wed 18 May 2016 EGLE THE QUEEN OF GRASS SNAKES
Thu 19 May 2016 ALEXANDER’S FEAST-Handel
Fri 20 May 2016 Ballet SWAN LAKE
Sat 21 May 2016 LA BOHÈME-Puccini
Thu 26 May 2016 Concert THE LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – Conductor Antonio Papano, Violin Soloist Nikolaj Znaider. Beethoven Concerto for violin & Elgar’s Symphony No. 3.