With La forza del destino (Davidsen, Semenchuk), Madama Butterfly (Buratto, DeShong, Polenzani), Roméo et Juliette (Sierra), Turandot (Pankratova, Kurzak), Laffont Competition Grand Finals, Jan Lisiecki piano recital at Carnegie Hall.
Tours of The Met Cloisters, The Morgan Library, Gramercy Gilded Age and Lower Manhattan. Stellar restaurants. Whitby Hotel.
No one does New York better. From our Orchestra Premium seats at The Met to our hidden gem hotel (last year, I bumped into Glenn Close, Elisabeth Moss and Amal Clooney there) to our off-the-beaten-path touring and unforgettable meals. We love this tour, and you will too.
In 2024, as always, we chose the week of the Laffont Competetion Grand Finals. It's always enjoyable to see the future stars of opera in a showcase that has spawned so many great careers, including Jessye Norman, Frederica von Stade, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Denyce Graves, Stephanie Blythe, Sondra Radvanovsky, Lawrence Brownlee, Lisette Oropesa, Jamie Barton, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Nadine Sierra, and Ryan Speedo Green to name a few. We also include a recital by renowned Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki, in his Carnegie Hall recital debut. We will hear dozens of succinct, characterful works by Chopin, J. S. Bach, Rachmaninoff, Szymanowski, Messiaen, and Górecki.
And of course, there will be opera. Director Mariusz Treliński delivers the company’s first new La forza del destino in nearly 30 yearsVerdi’s grand tale of ill-fated love, deadly vendetta, and family strife, stars Lise Davidsen, quite possibly the best soprano on the planet right now. The distinguished cast also features tenor Brian Jagde as Leonora’s forbidden beloved Don Alvaro, baritone Igor Golovatenko as her vengeful brother Don Carlo, mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Semenchuk as the fortune teller Preziosilla, bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi as Fra Melitone, and bass Soloman Howard as both Leonora’s father and Padre Guardiano. Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct.
Xian Zhang will condcut an Anthony Minghella production of Madama Butterfly, starring extraordinary soprano Eleonora Buratto as Cio-Cio-San. Tenor Matthew Polenzani stars as the callous American naval officer Pinkerton, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong sings the role of the steadfast maid Suzuki, and baritone Davide Luciano is the American consul Sharpless.
Yannick will conduct yet another for us, the Bartlett Sher production of Roméo et Juliette. Two singers at the height of their powers—radiant soprano Nadine Sierra and tenor sensation Benjamin Bernheim—come together as the star-crossed lovers in Gounod’s sumptuous Shakespeare adaptation. The cast also features baritone Will Liverman and tenor Frederick Ballentine as the archrivals Mercutio and Tybalt, mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey as the mischievous pageboy Stéphano, and bass-baritone Alfred Walker as Frère Laurent.
Franco Zeffirelli’s dazzling production of Puccini's Turandot retakes the stage, with soprano Elena Pankratova making her Met debut as the legendary—and lethal—title princess, opposite tenor SeokJong Baek as the valiant prince who puts his life on the line to win her love. Soprano Aleksandra Kurzak stars as Liù, with bass Vitalij Kowaljow as Timur. Maestro Oksana Lyniv makes her Met debut leading Puccini’s rousing score.
In addition to this stellar slate of performances, we dine in some of New York's finest restaurants, including Le Bernardin, The Grand Tier, Lincoln Ristorante, Gramercy Tavern and the Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel.
Daily itinerary available in May.
Only 16 spaces available. Click here to register.
MONDAY, MARCH 11
Upon arrival at your NYC-area airport, you are met and transferred to the Firmdale Whitby Hotel.
19.00 Meet in the lobby and enjoy a Welcome Dinner at Il Tinello.
TUESDAY, MARCH 12
10.00 Following breakfast (included each day), we enjoy a highlights coach tour of Manhattan.
13.00 Lunch is included at The River Café.
18.15 Meet in the lobby and transfer to the Metropolitan Opera for Verdi's La forza del destino, starring Lise Davidsen (19.00 curtain).
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13
10.00 This morning we enjoy a guided tour of the Morgan Library. 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.
13.15 Lunch is included at Gramercy Tavern.
19.15 Walk to Carnegie Hall for a concert by Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki, with a superb and varied programme in his Carnegie Hall recital debut. (20.00 curtain).
THURSDAY, MARCH 14
10.00 Meet in the lobby and depart for a guided highlights tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, an unparalleled collection that represents 5000 years of art from around the globe.
13.00 An elegant lunch is included at Harry Cipriani.
18.45 Transfer to The Met for a performance of Puccini’s beloved Madama Butterfly (19.30 curtain). This Anthony Minghella production stars Eleonora Buratto, Matthew Polenzani and Elizabeth DeShong.
FRIDAY, MARCH 15
10.00 Meet in the lobby and depart for a tour of the Cloisters, a jewel of a museum north of Central Park, which specializes in European medieval art and architecture. Governed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it contains a large collection of medieval artworks shown in the architectural settings of French monasteries and abbeys.
14.00 Back to the hotel.
17.15 Meet in lobby and transfer to our pre-curtain dinner at The Grand Tier prior to Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, featuring Nadine Sierra and Benjamin Bernheim. 20.00 curtain.
SATURDAY, MARCH 16
11.15 Gather and depart for The Met for a matinee performance of the Zeffirelli production of Puccini’s Turandot (Pankratova, Baek, Kurzak).
16.00 Early dinner is included afterward at Lincoln Ristorante.
SUNDAY, MARCH 17
10.00 Enjoy the final morning at leisure.
14.15 Transfer to The Met for the finals of the National Council auditions (15.00 start).
17.45 Meet at lower level parking garage doors and transfer to our Farewell Dinner in the Palm Court of the Plaza Hotel.
MONDAY, MARCH 18
Airport transfers included; timings announced on-site.
Top Category seats for 4 operas and 2 concerts
7 nights in Deluxe rooms at the Firmdale Whitby Hotel
Full breakfast daily, 3 lunches and 4 dinners
Private tours as listed
On-site Tour Direction
Comprehensive Tour Guidebook
Flights are not included in tour pricing. Return flights should be booked to New York (or Newark) for arrival on March 11, departure on March 18.
We provide airport/rail station—hotel transfers for arrivals and departures within within 3 days of the start/end of our tour from the cities listed above. We also provide transfers for group meals and performances that are beyond a 10 minute walk.
There is minimal walking with some stairs during the guided tours. As for all of our tours, we are happy to accommodate you regardless of your mobility level. Please make clear your mobility concerns at the time of registration. We provide transfers for group meals and performances that are beyond a 10 minute walk.
We strongly recommend that all tour members purchase cancellation insurance upon registration. We can assist you with this, though you are welcome to purchase a policy at your own discretion. For more information about our travel insurance, click here.
Your Tour Director
David Merritt is the owner and founder of Aria Tours and has been leading opera groups around the globe for nearly 25 years.