Apr 2 - 14, 2021
13 days
$11,140per person, twin share (land content only). $2,640 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.

Tour Leader

Clive Paget
Apr 2 - 14, 2021

Tour Leader

Clive Paget$11,140per person, twin share (land content only). $2,640 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.
  • Tour Info
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions

Overview

Sonya Yoncheva, Joyce di Donato, Piotr Beczala, Oksana Dyka – the stars of the operatic firmament come out once more in a star-studded line-up at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, unrivalled by any other opera company anywhere in the world! Academy Travel is delighted to offer its 13-day opera and performance tour in the Big Apple that includes six outstanding performances at the Met, as well as a Carnegie Hall concert. We’ve secured seats in the Grand Tier for all performances, complemented by background talks and visits to a select range of galleries and museums.

Highlights

Six opera performances and a concert at Carnegie Hall are included.

  • Dvorak’s Rusalka – A dream team delivers this thrilling score, including Sonya Yoncheva, Piotr Beczala and Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša in his Met debut
  • Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette – Emerging stars Nadine Sierra and Benjamin Bernheim feature in this classic combination of grand French opera and Shakespearean drama
  • Verdi’s Nabucco – Oksana Dyka leads this much anticipated return of Verdi’s early career hit
  • Mozart’s Don Giovanni – Tony Award-winning Ivo van Hove makes his Met debut with a new production of Mozart’s dark ‘drama giocosa’
  • Heggie’s Dead Man Walking – One of the most successful contemporary operas, Jake Heggie’s masterpiece makes it Met debut with Joyce di Donato and Latonia Moore
  • Puccini’s La Bohème – Franco Zeffirelli’s remarkable Met production is an undisputed classic of the modern operatic stage, starring Angel Blue as Mimi
  • German singer and actress Ute Lemper performs Songs for Eternity at Carnegie Hall

Itinerary Overview

Days 1–2: Welcome reception. Midtown walking tour and Don Giovanni.

Day 3: Neue Museum private visit and a stroll in Central Park.

Day 4: Downtown walking tour and Nabucco.

Day 5: JP Morgan Library and Rusalka.

Day 6: Chelsea and the High Line, Carnegie Hall concert by Ute Lemper.

Day 7: Day at leisure and Dead Man Walking.

Days 8–9: MoMA private viewing, lunch at The Modern, The Frick Collection and Roméo et Juliette.

Days 10–11: Brooklyn and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Days 12–13: Farwell dinner at the Grand Tier and La Bohème.

Detailed Itinerary

Start & Finish

The tour begins and ends in our New York City hotel. Qantas, American Airlines, United and several other carriers offer suitable connections in and out of New York, via Dallas or Los Angeles, from most Australian cities. Contact us for quotes and bookings.

Detailed Itinerary

Included meals are shown with the symbols B, L and D.

Friday April 2: Arrive New York

Meet your tour leader and fellow tour participants over welcome drinks and finger food in our hotel, and have an introductory talk on the upcoming performances and New York’s cultural landscape.

Saturday April 3: Midtown – Don Giovanni

This morning we start with a guided tour of the historical and architectural landmarks of New York’s Midtown district, starting at the incredible Art Deco masterpiece, the Rockefeller Center, then continuing on to other architectural highlights such as Lever House, the Seagram Building, St Patrick’s Cathedral, the General Electric Building and grand stores of 5th Avenue. After a welcome lunch, Clive guides us through tonight’s opera, Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Based on the legendary story of Don Juan, this classic of the Mozart canon blends the light-hearted comic opera with a work that is serious and introspective. Considered one the of the greatest operas, this new production by Tony-award winning director Ivo van Hove is an exciting new take and a perfect start to our operatic line-up. (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: Metropolitan Opera
Program: Mozart, Don Giovanni
Performers: Ailyn Pérez (Donna Anna), Isabel Leonard (Donna Elvira), Hera Hyesang Park (Zerlina), Ben Bliss (Don Ottavio), Peter Mattei (Don Giovanni), Yannick Nézet-Séguin (conductor)

Sunday April 4: Neue Galerie & Central Park

The Neue Galerie, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, was established by the art dealer Serge Sabarsky and the art-loving entrepreneur Ronald S Lauder. The collection focuses on early 20th-century painting and decorative arts from Vienna, and its centrepiece is Gustav Klimt’s portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer, subject of the recent film, The Woman in Gold. Our before-hours tour will also include an excellent visiting exhibition of early 20th-century art. This afternoon we stroll through Central Park, once dubbed ‘the largest work of art in New York’, for the remarkable landscaping by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted. Alternatively, you might like to catch a Sunday matinee performance at Carnegie Hall or a Broadway theatre. (B)

Monday April 5: Downtown – Nabucco

This morning Clive provides an analysis of Verdi’s early-career opera, for which Verdi himself remarked “this is the opera with which my artistic career really begins. And though I had many difficulties to fight against, it is certain that Nabucco was born under a lucky star”. The remainder of the day is free to explore as you wish, or to take an optional guided visit with your tour leader to New York’s Downtown, to see the World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial, Trinity Church, Woolworth Building, Wall Street and the Financial District. Elijah Moshinsky’s production of Nabucco is a sumptuous revival of this seminal Verdi work, inspired by the Jewish scriptures and taking place amidst the destruction of the first temple of Jerusalem. Oksana Dyka takes the lead in this production, a singer who has been receiving excellent reviews for her recent performances, with an impressive cast of supporting baritones and basses to deliver this stirring early masterpiece. (B)

Performance details
Venue: Metropolitan Opera
Program: Verdi, Nabucco
Performers: Oksana Dyka (Abigaille), George Gagnidze (Nabucco), Varduhi Abrahamyan (Fenena) Najmiddin Mavlyanov (Ismaele), Marco Armiliato (conductor)

Tuesday April 6: JP Morgan Library – Rusalka

This morning we visit the magnificent collection of the JP Morgan Library. In 1903, banker JP Morgan commissioned Gilded Age architect Stanford White to design a Renaissance-style pavilion to hold his precious literary collection. Spending the equivalent of $900 million in today’s terms, Morgan acquired an unrivalled collection, ranging from ancient Mesopotamian tablets to illustrated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, some of the first and rarest printed books, music manuscripts and important documents of American history. After lunch in the Morgan restaurant, you’ll have the option to visit some other landmarks of Lower Midtown, including the Chrysler Building and Grand Central Station with your tour manager. In the early evening Clive does an introductory lecture to tonight’s much-anticipated performance of Rusalka. Exquisite Sonya Yoncheva stars as the water sprite who yearns to become human in order to find love—singing the sublime Song to the Moon in the process. This production by Mary Zimmerman excellently pairs Yoncheva with Piotr Beczała, conducted by Jakub Hrůša in his Metropolitan Opera debut. (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: Metropolitan Opera
Program: Dvořák, Rusalka
Performers: Sonya Yoncheva (Rusalka), Piotr Beczała (Prince), Eric Owens (Water Gnome) Ekaterina Gubanova (Foreign Princess), Jakub Hrůša (conductor)

Wednesday April 7: Chelsea and the High Line – Carnegie Hall

This morning we explore the fashionable Chelsea district, once an industrial area, but today teeming with art galleries, exclusive apartment buildings and the High Line, a former overhead industrial rail line turned into a remarkable public park. There will be time to visit the Whitney Museum of American Art, housed in a Renzo Piano building, and stroll the High Line from 15th to 30th streets. Tonight we break from the opera and visit the world-famous Carnegie Hall for a concert with iconic German singer and actress Ute Lemper. Accompanied by an instrumental ensemble, Lemper’s Songs for Eternity provide an inspiring, defiant and life-affirming repertoire sung in Yiddish, as part of Carnegie Hall’s series Voices of Hope. (B)

Performance details
Venue: Carnegie Hall
Program: Songs for Eternity
Performers: Ute Lemper

Thursday April 8: Day at leisure – Dead Man Walking

At our tour’s midpoint we offer a day to take a breather and enjoy New York your own way, or simply relax. Your tour manager will be able to provide suggestions and coordinate additional touring options, restaurant suggestions, or places simply to enjoy the ambiance of New York. In the hotel in the evening, Clive takes us through Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking in preparation for tonight’s performance. One of the most successful contemporary operas, this modern classic is also being staged by the daring Ivo van Hove this season. The incredible Joyce DiDonato stars as Sister Helen Prejean, with the opera based on her memoir about her fight for the soul of a condemned murderer, in a performance that is sure to be provoking and inspiring in equal measure. (B)

Performance details
Venue: Metropolitan Opera
Program: Heggie, Dead Man Walking
Performers: Joyce DiDonato (Sister Helen Prejean), Latonia Moore (Sister Rose), Etienne Dupuis (Joseph de Rocher), Yannick Nézet-Séguin (conductor)

Friday April 9: MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art, located a few steps from our hotel, contains a collection of European and American art from the 1880s to the present day and has had an immense influence on our understanding of modern art. A museum lecturer takes us through the highlights of the permanent collection in the hour before MoMA opens its doors to the public. After our tour, the remainder of the day is free to enjoy the museum. We celebrate our visit with lunch at The Modern, the Michelin two-star restaurant within the museum. (B, L)

Saturday April 10: The Frick Collection – Romeo et Juliette

This morning we visit the Frick Collection in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. More than any other small museum, The Frick epitomises the wealth and refinement of America’s super-wealthy in the golden age of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Pittsburgh coal and steel baron Henry Clay Frick was a complex man – ruthless in business yet with impeccable taste in painting and decorative arts. European masterpieces from the Renaissance to the 19th century vie for our attention with superlative decorative arts and will be housed in the Met Breuer gallery space while the Frick Mansion undergoes renovation in 2021. The rest of the day is free. In the evening Clive takes us through the Gounod classic Roméo et Juliette before returning to the Met Opera to see radiant soprano Nadine Sierra make her Met role debut as the effervescent Juliette, opposite tenor Benjamin Bernheim, in his highly anticipated Met debut, as the ardent Roméo. Combined with the dramatic new staging by Bartlett Sher, this promises to be one of the star pairings of the season. (B)

Performance details
Venue: Metropolitan Opera
Program: Gounod, Roméo et Juliette
Performers: Nadine Sierra (Juliette), Benjamin Bernheim (Roméo), Yannick Nézet-Séguin (conductor)

Sunday April 11: Sunday in Brooklyn

Although it lies just across the East River, Brooklyn was for centuries an independent city and it still maintains a distinctive identity. We escape Manhattan today, spending the morning exploring the historic precincts of Brooklyn Heights and Park Slopes and, weather permitting, taking a stroll in Prospect Park. We then head to DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) for lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon we’ll visit the excellent but sometimes overlooked Brooklyn Museum, one of the more innovative art collections in the city, before heading home, with the option to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. (B, L)

Monday April 12: The Metropolitan Museum

This morning has been set aside to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, whose 54 departments contain paintings, decorative arts and artefacts from all corners of the globe, covering more than 3,000 years of human history. Rather than trying to cover the whole collection, our visit will focus on one or two departments and a selection of the special exhibitions that are showing. We begin at The Cloisters, the Met’s extraordinary medieval collection, housed in a monastery-like building on the northern tip of Manhattan, overlooking the Hudson River. After driving back through Harlem, we spend the rest of the day at the main campus on Fifth Avenue. The evening is free. (B)

Tuesday April 13: Day at leisure – La Bohème

This morning Clive gives his final lecture, while the remainder of the day is free to relax or undertake individual sightseeing, as well as to fit in any last-minute shopping. This evening we enjoy a farewell dinner at the Metropolitan Opera’s famous Grand Tier restaurant. The tour closes with Puccini’s La Bohème, in Franco Zeffirelli’s iconic and much-loved staging of the world’s most popular opera. A staple of the Metropolitan Opera’s season, this grand and sumptuous production should provide a fitting reminder of just why the Metropolitan Opera is regarded by many as the world’s greatest house. (B, D)

Performance details
Venue: Metropolitan Opera
Program: Puccini, La Bohème
Performers: Angel Blue (Mimi), Matthew Polenzani (Rodolfo), Gabrielle Reyes (Musetta), Russell Braun (Marcello), Marco Armiliato (conductor)

Tuesday April 14: Departure

Our tour ends this morning, and departures will be organized throughout the day for those going onto to other destinations or returning to Australia. (B)

Clive Paget

A New York-based arts writer and critic and is currently Editor at Large for Australia’s Limelight magazine.

He began his 25-year arts career as an opera and musical theatre singer in London before moving into directing and dramaturgy. Relocating to Sydney, he transitioned into classical music retail before moving into arts journalism. His knowledge of music and music history is encyclopaedic, with a special passion for the ways in which music has always been linked to parallel socio-political and artistic movements.

Clive’s academic career started with a BSc from Imperial College in London where he first began to develop his passion for classical music. As a co-founder of influential new music powerhouse, The Bridewell Theatre, his directing credits included the 1997 world premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s first professional musical, Saturday Night, as well, as important premieres by composers like Adam Guettel, Jason Robert Brown and Michael John LaChiusa. In 2002, he moved to London’s National Theatre as Sir Nicholas Hytner’s music theatre consultant, a role he fulfilled for five years initiating new projects and bringing together contemporary arts practitioners from Jonathan Dove to Damon Albarn and Akram Khan.

Moving to Australia, Clive worked as Development Manager for Fish Fine Music before joining Limelight and becoming Editor in 2015. His memorable interviews include singers like Jessye Norman and Brigitte Fassbaender, and conductors such as Christoph von Dohnányi, Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta (who he interviewed in the back of a limo in New Delhi) and Riccardo Muti. As a respected musical authority, he was recruited to join the board of City Recital Hall and was in demand as an industry advisor, mentor and speaker.

In the U.S. he currently writes and reviews for Musical America, Opera News, Steinway Magazine and others, covering a wide range of topics.

When not listening to music, Clive enjoys everything about New York, from its art galleries and restaurants to walking his dog every day in Central Park.

View Bio & Upcoming Tours

The Warwick Hotel

Our four-star hotel is very conveniently located in midtown Manhattan, on 54th Street. We have booked premier-plus grade rooms. These are large and comfortable, each with modern amenities. The hotel is in walking distance of many of New York’s most popular attractions. The hotel has just completed a major renovation. The Warwick has an interesting history. It was built in 1926 for newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, primarily as a residence for his Hollywood friends, among whom was his mistress Marion Davies. Over the years guests have included James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley and The Beatles. Actor Cary Grant lived in the Warwick for 12 years.

www.warwickhotelny.com

Tour Inclusions

What is included in the tour price? 

Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:

  • Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
  • Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate, taxis or public transport are also used for short distance travel on some tours
  • All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
  • Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
  • Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
  • Services of tour leader throughout tour
  • All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Local guides at some sites
  • Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
  • Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required and when stated as included

Airport Transfers

Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.

What is not included in the tour price?

Our tours do not include the following:

  • Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
  • Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
  • Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
  • Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity

Tour Details

Fitness Requirement

Grade One
i

A Grade 1 tour is appropriate for travellers in good health with good mobility, who can comfortably participate in up to 3 hours of physical activity per day on most days.
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Bookings

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Speak to a consultant

For further information or to secure a place on this tour please contact:
Jamal Fairbrother 02 9235 0023 or 1800 639 699
(outside Sydney)
jamal@academytravel.com.au

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