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OPERA OLE - 13 nights from $14,500 per adult twin share

¡Opera Olé!

with Mairi Nicolson
15–28 May 2019

From balmy nights in Spanish gardens to days in the pavilions of the Real Alcazar, savour the distinctive music, history and cuisine that epitomise Spain.

Experience the passion of opera and concert music with the best seats in the house for Handel’s Agrippina and Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Verdi’s Rigoletto at the spectacular Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia and Strauss’s Capriccio at the Teatro Real in Madrid.

Discover the unique music and dance traditions of Catalonia and Andalusia, and enjoy a flamenco performance and private classical guitar and opera concert in Seville.

Embrace Spain’s heady combination of European and Moorish culture, from the Gothic and Art Nouveau in Madrid and Barcelona to the sensuous pools and courtyards of Andalusia.

Nights: 14
Departs: Barcelona, Spain
Deal ends: Until Further Notice, Space is limited.
Operator: Renaissance Tours


At a Glance
> Enjoy at least five world-class opera and concert performances at the Gran Teatre del Liceu and Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia and the Teatro Real in Madrid
> Thrill to the passion of a flamenco performance and private classical guitar and opera recital in Seville
> Visit the incomparable art collections in the Picasso Museum in Barcelona and Madrid’s Royal Palace and the Prado Museum
> Explore grand cathedrals and palaces in Seville, Valencia and Barcelona
> Delight in varied regional gastronomy, from the lighter coastal fare of pintxos and paella in Valencia to the hearty mountain dishes of Andalusia

Mairi Nicolson
Mairi Nicolson’s long and varied career as a broadcaster for the ABC and BBC has taken her from the Sydney Opera House to New York’s Avery Fischer Hall, from the Royal Albert Hall London to Hamer Hall, Melbourne.
For ABC Classic FM she currently presents a range of radio programs including The Opera Show, Legends and local and international orchestral concerts, including broadcasts for the MSO, for Opera Australia and Musica Viva.
Mairi also writes for Limelight magazine and conducts professional media training sessions with singers and musicians so they can best communicate their stories to the widest possible audience.

Tour price includes
> Premium (Category 1) tickets to at least five opera and concert performances in Barcelona, Valencia, Seville and Madrid
> Accommodation in centrally located 5-star hotels with breakfast daily (B)
> Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wine
> Comprehensive sightseeing, including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
> Transportation throughout on comfortable, air-conditioned coaches
> Economy Class flight from Valencia to Seville (23kg luggage allowance)
> First class train ticket from Seville to Madrid
> Pre-performance talks by your tour leader, Mairi Nicolson
> Gratuities for local guides, drivers and waitering staff
> Hotel porterage (one piece per person)

Tour price does not include
> International airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
> Airport/hotel transfers on arrival and departure
> Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, taxis, room service etc.
> Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contract Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)


Tuesday 14 May 2019 Depart Australia/New Zealand
Depart Australia or New Zealand on suggested Qatar Airways
flights to Barcelona via Doha. Renaissance Tours or your travel
agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements.

Wed 15 May Arrive Barcelona
Arrive in Barcelona in the early afternoon (if travelling on suggested
flights) and make your way to the hotel for check-in.
At 17:30 join Mairi and fellow travellers for a welcome briefing
followed by a special welcome dinner. D

Thu 16 May Barcelona
Following a morning talk by Mairi, visit the emblematic Palau de la
Musica. Discover this resplendent UNESCO World Heritage-listed
opera hall with rich architecture and décor. From the elegant foyer
and the main staircase, discover the Lluís Millet Hall, an intermission
hall dedicated to nature, and continue to the majestic Concert Hall
with its emblematic colourful glass skylight.
After lunch at a local restaurant, return to the hotel for the remainder
of the afternoon at leisure.
Tonight, return to the Palau de la Musica for a concert featuring
the internationally-renowned violist Manfredo Kraemer and the
National Classical Orchestra of Andorra. B L

Fri 17 May Barcelona
Continue your exploration of Barcelona with a morning tour of the
heart of the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter), where much of the city’s
ancient and Mediaeval architecture is contained within a few blocks,
including the Roman wall and gateway, the Cathedral and Palau de la
Generalitat (Palace of Government). Enjoy a stroll along the famous
boulevard Las Ramblas.
After lunch, explore Gaudì’s greatest work, the massive unfinished
Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (Church of the Holy Family),
an immense Roman Catholic church begun in 1882 and still under
In the evening, attend a performance of Georges Bizet’s lyric opera
Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) at the Gran Teatre del Liceu.
Conducted by Yves Abel, the cast features the American tenor
John Osborn as Nadir and the Russian soprano Ekaterina Bakanova
as Leila. B D

Sat 18 May Barcelona
Following a talk on tonight’s performance, visit the celebrated
Museu Picasso dedicated to the towering genius of 20th century
art, Pablo Picasso. This modern museum is housed in five
Catalan-Gothic-style palaus (palaces) dating from the 13th and
14th centuries, located in the Barri Gotic district.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before spending the afternoon at
leisure to further explore Barcelona at your own pace.
Tonight, attend Handel’s opera Agrippina at the Gran Teatre del
Liceu. Conducted by Maxim Emelyanychev, this production stars
the American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as Agrippina,
Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni as Claudio and Argentinian
countertenor Franco Fagioli as Nerone. B L

Sun 19 May Barcelona – Valencia
Depart Barcelona for Valencia by coach, stopping for lunch in the
coastal city of L’Ampolla.
In the afternoon, arrive in Valencia, the third largest city in Spain,
and enjoy some time at leisure before tonight’s performance.
In the evening, attend a performance of Verdi’s romantic masterpiece
Rigoletto at the spectacular Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia. Conducted
by Roberto Abbado, the cast features baritone Vladimir Stoyanov
as Rigoletto, Italian classical soprano Maria Grazia Schiavo as Gilda
and Spanish tenor Celso Albelo as the Duke of Mantua. B L

Mon 20 May Valencia
This morning, visit the historic heart of Valencia. Visit the Plaza de
la Reina, the Cathedral and adjoining Miguelete Tower, La Lonja
(Silk Exchange) and taste local delicacies in the Central Market.
Enjoy lunch in one of the city’s traditional restaurants before time at
leisure to continue your exploration of Valencia at your own pace.

Tue 21 May Valencia – Seville
This morning, visit the Fine Arts Museum of Valencia, considered
Spain’s second most important art collection after the Prado in
After lunch, transfer to Valencia airport for a flight to Seville (included
in tour price).
On arrival in Seville, transfer to the hotel for check-in. The evening
is at leisure. B L

Wed 22 May Seville
After a morning talk by Mairi, explore the historic heart of Seville
with a tour of the Santa Cruz quarter. Visit the immense 15th century
Gothic Cathedral and admire La Giralda, originally a minaret which
became the Cathedral belfry, which now houses the tomb of
Christopher Columbus. See the 13th century Torre del Oro
(Tower of Gold) which formed part of the Moorish walled
defences of the city, and the 18th century bull-ring, Plaza de Toros
de la Maestranza.
The afternoon is at leisure. Tonight, attend a flamenco performance
in one of the renowned tablaos (flamenco bars) in Seville, followed
by dinner. This unique Spanish musical genre embodies a complex
musical and cultural tradition, particularly related to the region of
Andalusia. B D

Thu 23 May Seville
This morning, visit the Real Alcazar, the royal residence dating
from 1364. The ornate Moorish-inspired rooms are decorated
with complex patterned tile and plasterwork, complemented by
extravagant gardens laid out with terraces, fountains and pavilions
in diverse styles, including French, Italian and Arab.
Lunch and the afternoon are at leisure, before attending a private
guitar and opera recital featuring the acclaimed Spanish guitarist
and composer José María Gallardo del Rey, who will perform a rich
and stimulating program of music for the guitar and voices. B

Fri 24 May Seville – Madrid
The morning is at leisure to enjoy the delights of Seville.
After lunch, transfer to Seville train station for a high-speed train
trip to Madrid. On arrival in Madrid, transfer to the hotel for checkin.

Sat 25 May Madrid
After a talk by Mairi in the morning, visit the Royal Palace, the official
residence of the Spanish royal family in Madrid. In this monumental
building, discover the Throne Room, the Royal Armoury and Royal
Pharmacy and observe paintings by Caravaggio, Diego Velázquez
and Francisco Goya.
The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to continue your
exploration of Madrid at your own pace.
Tonight, attend a performance at the Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid’s
home of zarzuela, an indigenous Spanish form of opera and dance
(to be confirmed; program to be announced early 2019). B

Sun 26 May Madrid
This morning, visit one of the world’s greatest art collections – the
Museo del Prado. Opened in 1819 to display the royal collection
of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts, the Prado houses the
world’s largest collection of Spanish paintings featuring works by
Velazquez, El Greco and Goya, as well as an extensive display of
Italian and Flemish works.
Enjoy lunch in one of the city’s traditional restaurants before an
afternoon at leisure. B L

Mon 27 May Madrid
Following a talk on tonight’s performance, celebrate the conclusion
of the tour with a special farewell lunch with Mairi and fellow
travellers. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.
Tonight, attend a performance of Richard Strauss’s ‘last operatic
venture’, Capriccio, at the Teatro Real. Conducted by Asher Fisch,
this production stars the Swedish lyric soprano Malin Byström as
Countess Madeleine and the Austrian bass-baritone Josef Wagner
as the Count. B L

Tue 28 May Depart Madrid
Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast.
Make your way to Madrid Airport for suggested Qatar Airways
flights to Australia or New Zealand via Doha. Renaissance Tours
or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel
arrangements, including any additional nights’ accommodation,
either before or after the tour. B

Dates & Departures 

24 May 2019

Tour prices

Per person, twin-share - AUD 14,500

Single supplement* - AUD 3,150

*Single travellers may request to share. Please advise at time of booking.

Terms & Conditions 

Offers subject to availability. Amounts payable to third parties not included. Please check all prices, availability and other information with your travel consultant before booking.


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