Academy Travel is delighted to present a four-night program in Sydney for lovers of the performing and visual arts. The itinerary is based around four outstanding performances: The Boomkak Panto, a delightful, big-hearted comedy by Virginia Gay; Pinchgut Opera’s new production of Platée, one of Rameau’s finest works; a performance in-the-round of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar by the Sydney Theatre Company; and the smash hit musical Hamilton. We have reserved excellent seats for all events.
Around the performances we have woven a program of gallery visits and experiences designed to show off some of Sydney’s hidden treasures, including a private cruise on the spectacular Sydney Harbour. We will also experience several highlight meals in some of the city’s excellent restaurants. Accommodation is in the luxurious Fullerton Hotel, located in the former GPO of Sydney on Martin Place.
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The Boomkak Panto
Belvoir presents the premiere production of Virginia Gay’s The Boomkak Panto, which she wrote and also stars in. This delightful big-hearted comedy is set in the dusty little country town of Boomkak, which happens to be confronting some very big challenges and a fight for its very survival. Virginia describes her new show as ‘a love letter to theatre’. Includes new songs by the award-winning Eddie Perfect.
The Sydney Theatre Company presents an exciting new ‘in the round’ production, by artistic director Kip Williams, of Shakespeare’s complex study of power and moral corruption, Julius Caesar.
Rameau’s comic masterpiece Platée is brought to life in a new production by renowned director Neil Armfield for Sydney’s Pinchgut Opera. Starring Kanen Breen as the love-lorn Platée, and Peter Coleman-Wright and Cheryl Barker as Jupiter and Juno, the opera will be conducted by Pinchgut’s artistic director Erin Helyard with the brilliant Orchestra of the Antipodes.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s once-in-a-generation musical is having a sell-out run in Sydney. Hamilton tells the dramatic story of one of the founding fathers of the United States with witty, poetic dialogue and an inventive score.
Day 1: Meet your tour leader Christopher Menz at The Fullerton Hotel and enjoy drinks and canapes at the hotel followed by a performance.
Day 2: After a talk, we visit the Art Gallery of New South Wales for lunch and see the Matisse exhibition. Enjoy an evening performance at the City Recital Hall.
Day 3: A private launch on Sydney Harbour, followed by lunch at Ripples overlooking Chowder Bay. Tonight, we enjoy a performance of Julius Caesar.
Day 4: After a talk, we tour White Rabbit gallery followed by lunch. Tonight, we enjoy Hamilton at the Lyric Theatre.
The tour begins at 4.30pm on December 7 at the Fullerton Hotel.
The tour ends after breakfast on December 11 at the Fullerton Hotel
Included meals are shown with the symbols B, L and D.
Tuesday, 7 December 2021
Independent check in to the Fullerton Hotel from 2pm. At 4.30pm meet your fellow tour participants for drinks and canapes at the hotel, then transfer to the Belvoir theatre for an evening performance of the Boomkak Panto, starring Virginia Gay. (C)
Wednesday, 8 December 2021
This morning after a talk in the hotel, we enjoy lunch at Crafted by Matt Moran at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, followed by a visit to the new Matisse exhibition with special guest Dr Nick Gordon. This evening we stroll across Martin Place to the City Recital Hall, the venue for this evening’s performance of Rameau’s Platée. (B, L)
Thursday, 9 December 2021
This morning we walk down to King St Wharf for a private cruise on Sydney Harbour, focusing on artists such as Lloyd Rees, Brett Whiteley and Arthur Streeton who were inspired by the harbour landscape. We will be joined by maritime artist Jeff Rigby and art historian Dr Nick Gordon, who will give both historical insight and aesthetic interpretation of the harbour. We then head to Clifton Gardens, where we enjoy lunch at Ripples, a restaurant in a historic building overlooking the beach. In the early evening, we transfer to the Wharf Theatre at Walsh Bay for this evening’s performance of Julius Caesar. (B, L)
Friday, 10 December 2021
This morning, after a short heritage tour of our hotel, we hear a talk by US historian Dr Richard Bell on the musical Hamilton. Richard provides both an overview of the production and an expert appraisal of the way the story is told. The talk is transmitted live onto a large screen from Maryland in the USA. We then head to inner-city Chippendale for lunch at Bistro Gavroche, followed by a visit to the remarkable contemporary Chinese art collection at the White Rabbit, a private gallery run by philanthropist Judith Nielsen. This evening a coach takes us to and from the Lyric Theatre in Pyrmont for our performance of Hamilton, after which we gather in the hotel bar for farewell drinks. (B, L)
Saturday, 11 December 2021
The tour ends after breakfast. (B)
A former art museum director and curator, with expertise in the arts and music throughout Europe, the USA and Australia.
Christopher Menz is a former art museum director and curator and has been leading cultural tours in Europe, the United States and Australia since 2013. He has expertise and interest in the visual arts and music.
Christopher has a BA (Hons) from Flinders University. He is a former director of the Art Gallery of South Australia. Before that he was a curator, specialising in decorative arts, and worked at the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, and National Gallery of Victoria. He has published and lectured extensively on Australian and European decorative arts, notably on the design work of William Morris, and curated numerous exhibitions. Christopher is based in Melbourne where he is an art consultant and valuer, and Development Consultant for Australian Book Review.
Christopher has led cultural tours to Germany, England, the United States, as well as in Australia. He has also been a tour leader on European river cruises.
We asked Christopher, what do you think clients get from travelling with you?
“It is always a great thrill to be able to introduce clients to new experiences and to places they might otherwise not have visited or not have visited recently. I always hope to give tour guests something that adds to the experiences of the places, cities, museums and art galleries, and performances that they would not get if travelling alone.”