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Verona Opera Festival

27 Jun — 2 Jul 2018 | Tour Director: Sandy Burnett




• Enjoy emotive performances inside the city's spectacular Roman amphitheatre

• Combine magicla performances with visits to nearby Vicenza and towns on Lake Garda

• Explore Verona's fascinating history from Roman times through to the present day


Established for over a hundred years, Verona’s internationally renowned Opera Festival ranks as one of the most spectacular in the world. Magnificently staged in the awe-inspiring ancient Roman amphitheatre known as the Arena di Verona, the festival has hosted some of the world’s greatest opera singers. As dusk falls and the candles are lit, we take our seats for three spectacular operas.

Verdi’s Aida, with its imposing public scenes and moments of private intimacy, is the opera that defines Verona’s annual festival, and we will experience hugely extravagant sets designed by Franco Zeffirelli and costumes by Anna Anni. Our tour also takes in a new production of Bizet’s Carmen, directed by Hugo de Ana, and Puccini’s nal opera, Turandot, completed after his death by Franco Alfano.

In ‘fair Verona’, the city of Romeo and Juliet, we will explore evocative Roman ruins and splendid medieval churches. One of a number of excursions will take us to the shores of Lake Garda, which has enchanted writers and travellers from Catullus (who had a villa in the beautiful harbour town of Sirmione) to Tennyson. We also look forward to a private boat trip to Limone.

In Vicenza we will admire the architectural genius of Palladio, whose articulated classicism graces both private and public buildings in the city, earning it UNESCO World Heritage status. We will take guided visits around his Teatro Olimpico, the first enclosed theatre in the world, and the Villa Valmarana ai Nani, famous for its frescoes by the Tiepolos.

We will stay throughout at the centrally located Hotel San Luca in Verona, just moments from the Arena.


Our Tour Director Sandy Burnett will provide in-depth lectures and a personal introduction to each opera. Sandy Burnett, MA, a musician and broadcaster who spent a decade as one of the core team of presenters on BBC Radio 3. His conducting credits include a complete cycle of Bach cantatas, as well as work with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal National Theatre.



27 Jun - 2 Jul 2018
DAYS | 6
COST | £3095


 Make an enquiry for your bespoke departure now.
Cost per-person includes:
accommodation in a twin room, breakfast, three dinners, excursions and admissions, 1st category tickets at the performances as described, gratuities and the company of your tour director Sandy Burnett throughout the tour.


Not included:

Travel insurance, lunches and remaining dinners, single room supplement £365 per person.








Sandy Burnett, MA

Sandy Burnett is a musician and broadcaster with a varied career embracing conducting, broadcasting, playing double bass, and communicating his passion for music. His conducting credits include a complete cycle of Bach cantatas as well as work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal National Theatre and in London’s West End where he spent many years as musical director.

Full biography and other tours >






Depart Gatwick 1315 on Easyjet, arriving Verona 1620. Transfer to Hotel San Luca, Verona for five nights. Lecture: Passion and Politics in 19th Century Opera, Welcome drink and dinner in hotel.



Morning visits to the Arena, Castelvecchio, Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore and its cloister. Free afternoon. Evening performance at the Arena: Aida. Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, Music by Giuseppe Verdi.



Morning visits to the Duomo, Ponte Pietra, church of Sant’ Anastasia, Casa di Giulietta and the Roman Theatre. Lecture: Breaking out of Opéra Comique. Evening performance at the Arena: Carmen. Libretto by Ludovic Halévy - Henri Meilhac, Music by Georges Bizet.



Lecture Puccini’s last masterpiece, and that unfinished final scene. Excursion by coach to Vicenza: Teatro Olimpico and Villa Valmarana ai Nani. Free afternoon. Evening performance at the Arena: Turandot. Libretto by Giuseppe Adami e Renato Simoni, Music by Giacomo Puccini.



Excursion by coach to Lake Garda and its lakeside towns: Sirmione, Garda and Riva. By private boat to Limone on the north-western side of the Lake, then crossing to Malcesine for farewell dinner at local restaurant.



Depart Verona Airport 1345, arriving Gatwick 1450.




To make a reservation please call Gillian Harvey to reserve a place. A booking form should be completed and returned along with a deposit of £450 per person to Gillian Harvey, ACE Cultural Tours, Stapleford Granary, Bury Rd, Stapleford, Cambridge CB22 5BP.
Telephone: 01223 841055