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The Best of New York

April 27 - May 4, 2022

Lucia di Lammermoor (Sierra, Camarena), Madama Butterfly (Buratto, DeShong), Turandot (Netrebko), National Council Audition Finals, Emanuel Ax (all-Chopin) at Carnegie Hall. Tours of the Morgan Library, the Cloisters, The Guggenheim and the Whitney.

Our 2020 New York tour was our last before the pandemic, and the best we’ve ever done, in no small part because of the inclusion of a Carnegie Hall concert in addition to our usual slate of operas. We repeat this formula in 2022, with a concert by revered pianist Emanuel Ax in an all-Chopin programme at Carnegie Hall, plus the finals of the National Council Auditions at The Met and three operas, featuring some of the greatest singers on the planet, including genuine superstar Anna Netrebko.

In recent seasons, soprano Nadine Sierra has brought down the house at the Met with virtuosic vocalism and captivating stage presence as Gilda in Rigoletto, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Ilia in Idomeneo. Now, she takes on one of the repertory’s most formidable and storied roles, the haunted heroine of Lucia di Lammermoor, in an electrifying new staging by in-demand Australian theater and film director Simon Stone, conducted by Riccardo Frizza. Show-stopping tenor Javier Camarena adds to the bel canto fireworks as Lucia’s beloved, Edgardo, with baritone Artur Ruciński as her overbearing brother, Enrico, and bass Matthew Rose as her tutor, Raimondo.

Soprano Eleonora Buratto takes on the touchstone title role of the tragic geisha in Madama Butterfly, following earlier Met successes as Norina in Don Pasquale and Liù in Turandot. Tenor Brian Jagde is the callous American naval officer who betrays her, alongside mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong as her devoted maid Suzuki and baritones Davide Luciano and David Bizic sharing the role of the consul Sharpless. Alexander Soddy conducts Anthony Minghella’s evocative, ever-popular staging.

Anna Netrebko makes her long-awaited Met role debut as the titular legendary cold-hearted princess in Turandot. Tenors Yusif Eyvazov and Yonghoon Lee trade off as the bold prince determined to win Turandot’s love, alongside sopranos Nicole Car and Michelle Bradley as the devoted servant Liù and bass-baritone James Morris and basses Alexander Tsymbalyuk and Ferruccio Furlanetto as the blind king Timur. Marco Armiliato conducts Puccini’s stirring score.

We will also attend the finals of the National Council Auditions at The Met. Some of today’s greatest singers got their start in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, including Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Eric Owens, Stephanie Blythe, Hei-Kyung Hong, Lawrence Brownlee, Michael Fabiano, Lisette Oropesa, Christian Van Horn, Jamie Barton, Anthony Roth Costanzo, and Nadine Sierra. Features the Met Orchestra, conducted by Marco Armiliato.

Our hotel will be the luxurious, stylish, spacious and perfectly-located Firmdale Whitby Hotel, at 56th and 5th, where each guest will have a Deluxe room. Feedback about this hotel surpasses every hotel we’ve used in New York, including the Four Seasons and St. Regis. Our guided touring will make our “downtime” truly special, with tours of the Cloisters, the Morgan Library, the Guggenheim and more.

As always, we will include full breakfast plus one other superb meal each day. Featured restaurants are Le Bernardin, Bluebird London NYC, Grand Tier at The Met and the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park.

This is a Deluxe itinerary limited to 18 guests. The tour will be team-led by Tana Ross and Aria Tours President David Merritt.

Upon arrival at your NYC-area airport, you are met and transferred to the ideally-located Firmdale Whitby Hotel.
19.00 Meet in the lobby for cocktails and then enjoy a Welcome Dinner next door at Il Tinello.

10.00 Following breakfast (included each day), we enjoy a tour of your Director Tana Ross’s favourite spots in the city.
13.15 Lunch is included at Keen’s Steakhouse.
19.15 Walk to nearby Carnegie Hall for a concert by world-renowned pianist Emanuel Ax, in an all-Chopin programme. (20.00 curtain).

10.00 This morning we transfer to the Morgan Library for a self-guided tour. A complex of buildings in the heart of New York City, The Morgan Library & Museum began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913), one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States. Built between 1902 and 1906 at Madison Avenue and 36th Street by Charles McKim, the library is an Italian Renaissance-style palazzo with three magnificent rooms epitomizing America’s Age of Elegance.
13.15 Following the tour, lunch is included at the Michelin-starred Le Bernardin.
18.45 Transfer to The Met for Lucia di Lammermoor featuring Nadine Sierra (19.30 curtain).

Enjoy the morning at leisure.
12.15 Transfer to The Met for a performance of Puccini’s beloved Madama Butterfly (13.00 curtain).
17.00 Following the performance, we enjoy dinner at the Grand Tier.

09.00 Late morning we depart for a  highlights tour of The Frick Collection in its temporary home in the former Whitney Museum building on Madison Avenue. The collection features masterpieces of European painting, sculpture, porcelains, Old Master and 19th-century works on paper, Limoges enamels, and other remarkable works.
14.15 Transfer to The Met for the finals of the National Council auditions. 15.00 start.
19.00 Afterward, dinner is included at Bluebird London.

10.00 Today we enjoy a guided tour of The Whitney Museum of American Art and a short walk on the wonderful High Line.
19.00 This evening we enjoy a very special dinner at Barbetta.

10.00 Depart for a guided tour of a special exhibit (TBA) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
17.00 We transfer to our pre-curtain Farewell Dinner at Lincoln Ristorante prior to another Puccini favourite–Turandot, featuring the incomparable Anna Netrebko (20.00 curtain).

Airport transfers included. Timings announced on-site.