Above: Interior of Frauenkirche, Dresden
Arriving by coach from Leipzig we disembarked at the Kempinski Taschenberg Palais, the most perfect luxury hotel. Wandering around the ground floor is like inspecting a beautiful private gallery as you move from space to space all filled with elegant furniture, books, paintings, objets d’art. The rooms are furnished lavishly in royal blue colour schemes and are huge with massively high ceilings, all suited to the former princess who built it 150 years ago. It is a lovely city, not large, and the central area is laden with history all lovingly restored since its total destruction in 1945. The extraordinary Frauenkirche in the centre with its incredible spire is now completely restored, as are the Zwinger Palace and the Semper Oper. One of the last pieces of the puzzle is the new concert hall for the Dresden Philharmonic, now nearly complete.
Last night we saw Weber’s Der Freischutz, our last performance on this wonderful tour. A new production in the gorgeous Semper Oper, it takes a distopian view of this old fashioned woodland fairy tale, with hints of brutality and incipient fascism – a very interesting way of updating a charming period piece to make it more relevant for today.