If you've had a great travel experience, seen a fabulous opera production [or a not-so-great one] please share your opinions with us and your fellow opera fans.
We'll bring you reviews and previews from time to time. And we'd love to hear from you with your tales and experiences from around the world. Every month there will be a prize for the best contribution! Just click on 'Submit your review' and send us your feedback.
Dear Andrew and Jeanette,
We had a great time in Zurich. The Hotel Opera was again welcoming, friendly and well organised-an excellent choice.
The Charpentier Medee was simply superb. A simple but effective set, and a subtle production with some great visual gags- the Corinthian cricket team, Busby Berkeley and Marlene Dietrich all appeared at some point. Musically it was fabulous. William Christie is one of the great musicians of the age and he brought all his intelligence, empathy and charisma to the score. Every nuance was there and the players responded brilliantly to his hugely cheerful enthusiasm. Stephanie D'Oustrac as Medee was mesmerising. By turns charming, amusing, loving, commanding and deeply terrifying. A performance for the ages. It was in truth one of the best evenings we have ever had. Christie, D'Oustrac and and the cast and the players created something truly magical.
Lucia di Lammermoor was a great treat of a different kind. Nello Santi at 86, probably the last survivor of the golden age of Italian opera, produced a masterclass. A great young cast with a superb Lucia clearly enjoyed the space Santi created for them to develop their roles- not that this was a sluggish performance. It moved with pace and elan but nothing felt rushed. The 20 minute ovation which ended with almost everyone standing was richly deserved.
Zurich has a great programme and I'm sure all your clients would enjoy it.
Roberta and I just wanted to thank you for arranging our visit to the Rossini Festival. We had a marvellous time. La Donna del Largo was exceptional and Il Turco was very good. The tickets for both could not have been better and the Excelsior Hotel was one of the nicest we have stayed at in a holiday resort (much better than the Vittoria).
So, once again, many thanks.
A note to thank you for the faultless arrangements you made for my trip to Pesaro and Opera Rossini.
The hotel you recommended was great - comfortable, opposite the beach and within easy walking distance of Teatro Rossini.
All the travel plans you made - plane, train etc - worked seamlessly.
For all FOUR operas, you chose excellent seats.
Your help, efficiency and suggestions, at all times, enhanced a wonderfully enjoyable holiday.
I shall book with you again, next year.
We had an excellent trip - the arrangements worked perfectly. The hotel was all that you would expect of the top hotel in Helsinki. As you warned us before we left the hotels in Savonlinna are not of the same standard but whilst the Best Western could do with some 'TLC' its location was good. The restaurant was perfectly fine although there were other places just near the castle which we used. It has to be said we looked at the other hotels in the town and none stood out as being any better.
The Opera setting and arrangements were very good - excellent seats and a wonderful performance.
All in all a great success!!
D & H
We arrived back from the Bregenz trip you organised for us and I just wanted to thank you for organising everything so perfectly. Everything went like clockwork and you had managed to get us great very central seats for the opera.
The opera and staging was spectacular even though as luck would have it the weather changed to rain for the first half of the opera. We thought that would spoil it, but actually it was a light shower so the cast carried on and we experienced it all with everyone else in our waterproof ponchos. Definitely very memorable and enjoyable.
We appreciated the thoughtfulness of our welcome letter at the hotel and for when we returned home. Thank you again, we will definitely be in touch if we organise something else.
Dear Andrew and JC,
Thank you so much for making all the arrangements for the Zurich trip. Our hotel is highly recommended with super staff, a great restaurant/cafe, smart and comfortable room and only 100 yards from the opera house.
It was the triennial Zuri Faescht while we were there- a massive street party; fun fairs, fast food, fireworks and flying displays. Complete hoot - next happening in 2019.
The opera house is wonderful. Small and well raked so a real sense of engagement with the singers. La Clemenza de Tito isn’t easy to stage, even for Jonathan Miller, as there are so many soliloquies but the production was uncluttered by unnecessary business. This though puts the spotlight on the singers and players to make the piece work. Ottavio Dantone worked his customary magic, the singers acted and sang their hearts out and the playing was simply brilliantly empathetic. There are two terrifying basset horn obbligati in Tito and if there is a better basset horn player in the world than Rita Karin Meier I have yet to hear them-she was sublime.
I Puritani had a lot to live up to but thanks to some stellar singing from Pretty Yende as Elvira [someone to follow], Laurence Brownlee as Arturo and Michele Pertusi as Sir Giorgio, it was an equally great evening. Fabio Luisi is a great Bellini hand and the whole evening had style and panache. The only downside was the serious distraction of the endlessly revolving stage set. But the singing and the ensemble was so strong that you forgot it after a while.
So if you like seriously strong performances in a small but beautiful opera house, Zurich should be added to your list- we will certainly go back.
With so many thanks