Chicago Lyric Opera and Birding Tour
The Lyric Opera of Chicago performs Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle in April 2020 and Kaiyote Tours is offering an Opera and Birding tour for the event. During the day we will be visiting Chicago's best birding locations and there will be four evenings of operas, as well as two evening events to see "The Second City" comedy performances.

“Join us for an extraordinary story told over the journey of four operas. Together, they comprise Wagner's magnificent  Ring  cycle, one of the greatest musical achievements in Western culture and an immersive operatic adventure that every opera lover should experience. Lyric is proud to present a brand-new Ring in April 2020 — a rare and monumental undertaking that will attract audiences from all over the world to the city of Chicago.”   Lyric Opera of Chicago 

What is the “Ring Cycle” opera? It is short for “Der Ring des Nibelungen” (The Ring of the Nibelung), which Richard Wagner completed in 1876. It took Wagner 26-years, from 1848 – 1874, to complete his masterpiece of 15-hours of opera. Wagner wrote both the music and the lyrics and his vision was that the opera was one very long song, which is his interpretation of the Nordic Sagas compressed into one opera. It is truly an amazing and complicated work, but no singer, musician or audience, can perform or sit for 15-hours and so the opera is performed as 4 separate operas, usually over a week. Although the story encompasses the entire life and length of the universe and all things considered, at the core of the story is the fight and battle to possess a “magic ring”, which will allow its owner control of the world. Sound familiar? 

Besides attending all four operas with Kaiyote Tours, we will also be attending nightly talks and events which will help explain content and history of the Ring Cycle operas.  One event called Longer! Louder! Wagner! is performed with help of The Second City comedy team. Just about every stereotype about opera comes from Wagner’s Ring operas, it is how people make fun of opera or think they won’t like opera. And even Wagner created a few stereotypes; one being the belief that Vikings worn horns on their helmets, when if fact there is no evidence that Vikings had helmets with horns, this was Wagner’s idea. 

Birding:  There will be lots of time for urban birding. Over 300 species of birds have been identified in Chicago and because Chicago is located on Lake Michigan, it is an important fly-way for nearly 200 bird species.

Lodging will be at the historic Congress Plaza Hotel; perfectly situated with great views of Lake Michigan and a short walk to the best parks.

  • Travel Dates: April 12 - 19, 2020
  • Group Size: 6 Travelers plus guides
  • Trip Length: 8 days
  • Rates: Rate per person = $5,350 (based on double occupancy)
  • Rates include: Transport within Chicago, lodging, breakfast, lunch, dinner, opera tickets and group tours
  • Not included: Airfare to Chicago
  • Adventure level: Easy, please check the "Welcome" page on our website

Special offer:    Included with your trip (one per room) is a copy of the field guide “Sibley Birds West: Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America” by David Allen Sibley. You will receive this when you reserve your trip so you will have time to study and know the beautiful birds!
Reservations:   To reserve a spot on the trip, it is a non-refundable 50% deposit = $2,675 per person.

April is a beautiful time to visit Chicago!

2020 Itinerary

Day 1 Sunday April 12:  Fly to Chicago
  • Arrival day: No scheduled activities
  • Dinner: TBA

Day 2 Monday April 13
  • 6:00am – 8:00am: Morning bird walk
  • 8:00am – 9:00am: Breakfast
  • 9:00am – 12:00pm: Birding Jackson Park
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm: Picnic lunch
  • 1:00pm – 4:00pm: Birding Washington Park
  • 4:00pm – 5:00pm: Afternoon break
  • 5:00pm: Dinner
  • 6:30pm: Pre-opera talk
  • 7:30pm: Das Rheingold

Day 3 Tuesday April 14
  • 6:00am – 8:00am: Morning bird walk
  • 8:00am – 9:00am: Breakfast
  • 9:00am – 12:00pm: Montrose Park Bird Sanctuary
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm:  Picnic lunch
  • 1:00pm – 2:30pm: Afternoon break
  • 2:30pm – 4:00pm: The Philosophy of the Ring Talk
  • 4:00pm: Afternoon meal
  • 5:00pm: Pre-opera talk
  • 6:00pm: Die Walküre

Day 4 Wednesday April 15
  • 6:00am – 8:00am: Morning bird walk
  • 8:00am – 9:00am: Breakfast
  • 9:00am – 12:00pm: Notebaert Nature Museum and Sanctuary
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm:  Picnic lunch
  • 1:00pm – 4:00pm: Birding Lincoln Park
  • 4:00pm – 5:30pm: Afternoon break
  • 5:30pm: Dinner
  • 7:00pm:  Longer! Louder! Wagner! with The Second City comedy team

Day 5 Thursday April 16
  • 6:00am – 8:00am: Morning bird walk
  • 8:00am – 9:00am: Breakfast
  • 9:00am – 12:00pm: Birding Douglas Park Lagoon
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm:  Picnic lunch
  • 1:00pm – 3:30pm: Birding Garfield Park Lagoon
  • 3:30pm – 5:00pm: Afternoon break and meal
  • 5:00pm: Pre-opera talk
  • 6:00pm: Siegfried

Day 6 Friday April 17
  • 6:00am – 8:00am: Morning bird walk
  • 8:00am – 9:00am: Breakfast
  • 9:00am – 12:00pm: Birding North Park Village Nature Center
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm:  Picnic lunch
  • 1:00pm – 4:00pm: Birding LaBagh Woods
  • 4:00pm – 5:30pm: The Second City Comedy Club
  • 5:30pm – 7:00pm: Dinner

Day 7 Saturday April 18
  • 6:00am – 8:00am: Morning bird walk
  • 8:00am – 9:00am: Breakfast
  • 9:00am – 12:00pm: Birding Humboldt Park
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm:  Picnic lunch
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm: Birding Northerly Island
  • 3:00pm – 4:30pm: Afternoon meal and break
  • 4:30pm: Pre-opera talk
  • 5:30pm: Götterdämmerung

Day 8 Sunday April 19
  • Departure day: You will be transferred from your hotel to your departure airport

Daily Birding & Nature Tours
Chicago has a lot of great birding locations with lots of birds to see. Everyday there will be a morning and afternoon bird walks in park throughout Chicagoland. In the evenings there will be four operas and two Second City comedy events.

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Beautiful Walks: There will be visits to the top birding spots in Chicago: Jackson Park, Washington Park, The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and North Pond Sanctuary, Douglas and Garfield Lagoons, Northerly Island, LaBagh Woods, Lincoln Park and Humboldt Park for birding.

Morning Bird Walks: Our lodging at the Congress Plaza Hotel is located across the street and easy walking to Grant Park, Millennium Park and the Maggie Daley Park. These areas are also good for morning birding walks.
Lodging in Chicago: The Congress Plaza Hotel, built in 1893, is not only one of the oldest hotels in Chicago, it is considered one of the most haunted hotels. Numerous presidents have stayed at the hotel including Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Franklin Roosevelt.  The hotel has great history and charm, it is located across the street from some of Chicago best parks and has great views of Lake Michigan,

Jackson Park: About 7-miles south of the Congress Plaza Hotel, south of downtown Chicago, is the 500-acre Jackson Park. The park is considered the best birding area and eBird hot spot in Chicagoland. The park was developed as part of the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. It is also the future site for the Barack Obama Presidential Center and Library.   

The Lyric Opera of Chicago: Since 1954, the Lyric Opera of Chicago has been producing world class operas at the Civic Opera House, which has 3,563 seats. The Art Deco building opened in 1929 and is the second largest opera house in the United States. The N.Y. Met. opera house is the largest, making Chicago once again, the "Second City" to New York. "Second City" is one of many Chicago nick-names.
Buckingham Fountain: Built in 1927, Buckingham Fountain is one of the largest fountains in the world; it contains 1.5 million gallons of water and can display 14,000 gallons per minute in the air. Our lodging is located across the street from this fountain, it is beautiful to see at night. Once I saw a Hermit Thrush near Buckingham never know what you might find flying through the city in springtime.
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Call us at 970-556-6103
International Travel Tours
We are expanding our tours in Asia, Africa and Europe
International Tours
  • Uganda: Birds, Wildlife and a chance to see the Mountain Gorillas and chimpanzees.
  • Sarawak and Northern Borneo: Birding and wildlife viewing, including orangutans
  • Sri Lanka: The best and most relaxing bird tour you will ever experience
  • Nepal: Birding the fantastic Himalayas and a great cultural experience
  • Mongolia: Birding the high steppes and staying in traditional "Gers" for lodging
  • Korea: Winter birding to view cranes and migrants
  • India: Birding for vegetarians, great culture and great food
  • Cambodia: Birding and cultural tour
  • Iceland: Three great tours in May and the best New Year's Eve trip ever
  • Sweden: Christmas tour, Southwest Sweden and the Åland Islands for mid-summers'
  • Nicaragua: Our all time favorite place for birding and traveling anytime of year
  • Taiwan: A very special place for birding and one of our favorites
  • Colombia: Birding the Andes and having a lot of fun
  • Colombia: Leticia and the Amazon
  • Argentina: Birds and butterflies, more than you can count

In the United States
  • Santa Fe Birding and Opera Festival
  • Chicago Lyric Opera and urban birding

Your Dedicated Guides
Kaiyote & Ed
Photo: Here we are atop the Empire State Building in New York City last September.

We look forward to showing you all the great birds and wildlife and adventures that can be found around the world, the United States and in Washington state.

Call us anytime! See you soon!
Kaiyote Tours +1 970-556-6103