Early prices are in on the European trips I've constructed thus far.
Fact #1: The trip will be more expensive this year.
Fact #2: This is a difficult decision.
Analysis of our current choices:
To me, the first trip mentioned still looks the best (Munich-Salzburg-Gorizia-Venice). This is a slightly cheaper version than (Munich-Salzburg-Gorizia-Venice-Florence) with the obvious deletion of Florence to save $250. For another couple of hundred dollars, a trip to Florence seems worth it to me (but there has to be a line there somewhere.)
The good: Those are some very exciting cities with a competition of significant caliber (a gran premio competition).
The bad: It's over 2500, my original self-imposed limit.
The cheapest trip ($2349) has some good points. It happens in May (less time for our hard work to dissipate over the summer), the competition is prestigious (which is one of its problems), and Vienna is a fantastic destination. The Marktoberdorf competition, however, is problematic for two reasons. First, it is incredibly difficult to be invited (last time they invited 10 of 66 applications). Second, the length of the festival (six days) keeps us from seeing more of Europe for our significant investment.
The other current option (Frankfurt-Wernigerode-Leipzig-Prague) is a mixed bag, too. This is the latest competition . . . if it had happened this summer we would have returned yesterday. Dr. Jordan says that Wernigerode is a fantastic city--one that the East German government kept pristine and a showcase for their country. he also says that the performing space has wonderful acoustics. The competition there offers opportunity for a large number of choirs (women's, men's, large choirs, chamber choirs). The price is on the higher side.
It's a tough decision. If you have comments, give them to me. Email might be better than the normal commenting on a post . . . (philip.copelandATgmail.com)