Wednesday, June 18
Departures from North America.
Thursday, June 19
Upon arrival at Heathrow, you will be met and transferred to the luxurious Grand Hotel Eastbourne (90 minutes). Once settled in your ocean-view room, we meet in the lounge for a Welcoming Reception and then dinner at the hotel.
Friday, June 20
Following breakfast, included each day, we meet for a brief orientation tour of Eastbourne and Brighton. Following lunch at leisure we depart for Glyndebourne for a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Andrei Bondarenko, winner of the 2011 Cardiff Singer of the World, sings the title role. We enjoy a refined Picnic dinner at the long interval.
Saturday, June 21
This morning we include a relaxed tour to Hastings where we survey the site of the Norman Conquest of the English army on October 14, 1066. Tonight we attend our second performance of the festival: A Jonathan Kent production of Don Giovanni, with Elliot Madore in the title role. Conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada makes his Glyndebourne debut. Buffet dinner at Nether Wallop during the interval.
Sunday, June 22
Late morning we gather and depart for a guided tour to Sissinghurst Castle, with its garden created in the 1930s by poet/writer Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson, author and diplomat. In the evening, we make our final trek to the Christie Estate at Glyndebourne for a new Richard Jones production of Der Rosenkavalier. Glyndebourne’s new Music Director Robin Ticciati conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a cast that includes Kate Royal and Teodora Gheorghiu. During the interval, we enjoy an elegant dinner at Middle & Over Wallop.
Monday, June 23
In the morning, we check out and depart for London, stopping at Nymans, a National Trust site with an outstanding 20th-century garden, set around a romantic house and ruins in beautiful woodland. Upon arrival in London, we check-in to the elegant Covent Garden Hotel, ideally located near the opera house. Once settled, we make the short stroll for dinner at The Ivy, a renowned supper club just around the corner.
Tuesday, June 24
In the morning we meet for a private highlights tour of London, with special focus on its literary past as well as the architecture of Christopher Wren. Early evening we walk to the Royal Opera for dinner at the stunning Balconies Restaurant before Manon Lescaut, directed by Jonathan Kent, with Antonio Pappano conducting a cast featuring the incomparable Jonas Kaufmann.
Wednesday, June 25
Today we concentrate touring on the Banqueting House, a jewel of neo-classical architecture by Inigo Jones, with a ceiling painted by Rubens. We then survey the major works at the National Gallery. Tonight we return to the ROH for Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, directed by Christof Loy, with Antonio Pappano conducting a cast featuring Karita Mattila, Roberto Sacca and Jane Archibald.
Thursday, June 26
Enjoy the entire day at leisure before returning to the ROH for dinner in the Amphitheatre Restaurant prior to Puccini’s Tosca directed by Jonathan Kent. Plácido Domingo conducts a cast that includes Sondra Radvanovsky and Bryn Terfel.
Friday, June 27
After breakfast we depart by private, luxury coach for Oxford where we spend the final nights of our trip at the sublime Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, where the restaurant has been voted best in England. Tonight we attend a performance of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen at the Garsington Festival. Directed by Daniel Slater and conducted by Garry Walker, the cast features Claire Booth and Grant Doyle. Dinner by Jamie Oliver is included during the long interval.
Saturday, June 28
In the morning, we depart for a private walking tour of Oxford and some of its most famous colleges. We return to the hotel for an unforgettable lunch before our final performance at Garsington, Beethoven’s Fidelio. Directed by John Cox and conducted by Douglas Boyd, the cast features Rebecca von Lipinski and Peter Wedd. A Farewell Reception is included during the long interval.
Sunday, June 29
Airport transfers included today.