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The World of Opera Tour in Italy

Tour Dates: October 19–28, 2013
Price: $5965 pp, ground only
WDAV World of Opera Tour Brochure and Registration Form 

Registration extended: Balance deadline September 16, 2013. After this date, please call for availability. Limited to 25 participants. 

Tour Highlights

• Prime tickets to four opera performances at four historic opera houses of Italy: Nabucco in Bologna, I masnadieri in Parma, Falstaff in Busseto, and Don Carlo at La Scala.

• Private concerts exclusively for the group at the Casa Barezzi, home of Verdi’s first patron, and at our welcome reception in Reggio Emilia.

• Private guided tours to major artistic sites in Parma, Milan, and elsewhere including the lovely Correggio frescoes in Parma, and Leonardo’s Last Supper in Milan.

• Visits to the home of Verdi at Sant’ Agata, Arturo Toscanini in Parma, and the Casa Verdi retirement home in Milan

• Dinner with Simonetta Puccini, the composer’s only surviving heir

• Fine dining at some of the region’s finest restaurants

• Exclusive wine tastings, and tastings of parmesan cheeses, prosciuttos, olive oils and balsamic vinegar

• Deluxe accommodation at four-star hotels in Reggio Emilia, Parma and Milan

• Private air-conditioned motorcoach for all excursions 

• Plenty of free time to relax, shop and sightsee!

Meet Your Hosts

Bruce ScottBruce Scott
As Senior Producer of World of Opera since 1987, Bruce Scott has more than 22 years’ experience in national program production. Scott was producer of the 2000 Grammy-winning recording of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, the only Grammy-winning recording NPR has made. Scott has recorded live performances, including the world premieres of numerous operas, in concert halls throughout the United States.

Mike McKayMike McKay
Mike McKay has been a familiar presence in Charlotte broadcasting for more than three decades.  Before coming to WDAV, he was WBTV's popular weather anchor and Entertainment Editor.  Mike joined the WDAV announcing staff in December 1997 as our morning drive host, and he's been here ever since sharing his enthusiasm for classical music with listeners.

giuseppe-verdi-for-webTour Itinerary

October 18: Flights depart the US for arrival the following day.

October 19 - BENVENUTO: From Milan’s Malpensa Airport, we offer a private motorcoach transfer down to the town of REGGIO EMILIA, and our home for three nights, the charming Hotel Posta, housed in the ancient Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo -- a hotel for nearly 500 years. A musical welcome reception is followed by dinner at the nearby Trattoria alla Ghiara.

October 20 - BOLOGNA AND NABUCCO: We go south a short way to the city of BOLOGNA, with its famous university and great food. There we will enjoy Verdi’s first major success, Nabucco, with its stirring hymn, Va, pensiero

October 21 - VERDI COUNTRY: You will tour the Villa SANT’AGATA, VERDI's home for nearly 50 years. After lunch, we visit the town of BUSSETO, where at the Casa Barezzi, the house of Verdi’s first patron, is now a small museum devoted to the composer, and the site of a private concert of Verdi arias and duets exclusively for the group.

October 22 - THE BREADBASKET OF ITALY: At Il Cavezzano, owned by our family hosts at the Hotel Posta, we sample their own balsamico followed by a sumptuous lunch. Then we transfer to the next town north on the Via Emilia, PARMA, to check in to the Hotel Stendhal, the city’s best in the historic center. The rest of your day is free.

OCTOBER 23 - PARMA AND I MASNADIERI: We begin our exploration of the city with a visit to the Duomo (Cathedral) and its stunning fresco in the cupola by favorite son Correggio from 1530. Tonight we have a short walk to the beautiful Teatro Regio for a new production of I masnadieri, an early work premiered in 1847, at the Verdi Festival.

busetto piazza giuseppe verdiOCTOBER 24 - VIVA VERDI: We continue to explore Parma with visits to the city’s interesting Casa della Musica with a fine collection of music artifacts. We return to Busseto for a performance of Falstaff in the tiny, 300-seat Teatro Verdi, which the composer subscribed to but refused to set foot in!
October 25 - MILANO AND THE LAST SUPPER: We head for Milan, and check-in at the Grand Hotel et de Milan, a luxury hotel opened in 1836 and still the premier grand hotel of the city. After check-in, we visit one of the most famous works of art in the world, Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. [Option: Zefferelli production of Aida at La Scala; Tickets go on sale Aug. 26 online.]

October 26 - LA SCALA!: Today takes us to the great opera house down the street. In the morning we will tour La Scala’s Museum with its many momentos from its momentous history. Lunch is at one of our favorite restaurants, Trattoria Milanese. In the evening you will attend a performance of GIUSEPPE VERDI's Don Carlo at the most famous opera house in the world, the Teatro alla Scala, opened in 1778. 

October 27 - CASA VERDI: We will make a rare guided visit to the Casa Verdi - a retirement home for musicians - which Guiseppe and his wife Guiseppina endowed shortly before his death in 1901. Your afternoon is free before we convene again for a gala Farewell Dinner at Don Carlos, where our guest is Simonetta Puccini, the niece and only surviving heir of the composer, who will talk to us about her own experiences with the music of Verdi.

October 28 - ARRIVEDERCI!
The tour ends after breakfast. Flights returning to the U.S. arrive the same day.

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