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  • Verona Arena

    © FotoEnnevi / Fondazione Arena di Verona

  • Performance of Turandot at the Verona Opera Festival

    © FotoEnnevi / Fondazione Arena di Verona

  • Lake Garda

    Photo by Sebastian via Unsplash

  • Verona Arena

Fitness / Practicalities
Tour Director

  • Take your seat in Verona’s spectacular Arena for Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Puccini’s Turandot and a new production of Verdi’s Aida, the work that launched the festival

  • Enjoy illuminating lectures on each opera from our Tour Director, musician, conductor and writer Paul Jackson

  • Explore the ‘fair Verona’ of Romeo and Juliet and journey by boat across Lake Garda

“This was a fascinating tour with a good balance between the operas and other cultural experiences”

- ACE customer on a previous Verona Opera Festival tour with Paul Jackson

“In the late evening warmth as opera goers gather around Verona’s arena, there is anticipation in the air. Inside is the magic of two thousand years of history, the glamour of the audience, the beauty of the opera”


Established for over one hundred years, Verona’s internationally renowned opera festival ranks as one of the most outstanding in the world. Staged in the monumental Roman amphitheatre known as the Arena di Verona – “the true home of open-air performances” – the festival has hosted many of the world’s greatest opera singers and some of the most awe-inspiring sets in the classical music world.


The 2024 festival promises to be a typically memorial occasion as the Arena welcomes some of its most popular works from across the century, complemented by its new production of Aida. As dusk falls and the candles are lit, we will take our seats for three operatic masterpieces.


Our tour begins with Rossini’s much-loved comic masterpiece, The Barber of Seville. Hugo de Ana’s lively production transforms the Arena into a fantastic 18th century garden, with labyrinths of hedges, stairs, chairs and enormous red roses. The clever barber Figaro and his adventurous companions await you in this production where anything is possible. A prime example of a musical comedy, the opera sparkles with wit, relatable human drama and some of the composer’s most recognisable music – including, of course, Figaro’s highly entertaining entrance aria ‘Largo al factotum’.


At the heart of our tour will be a chance to experience the 100th anniversary production of Verdi's Aida, created by Stefano Poda, which premiered in 2023. With its dramatic public scenes and moments of private intimacy, brought to life by stunning direction, set design and costumes, a performance of this beloved work becomes an experience of a lifetime in the superb surroundings of the Arena.


Finally, we will take our seats for a magnificent production of Puccini's Turandot, by director and set designer Franco Zeffirelli with costumes from the Oscar-winning Emi Wada. The opera - which features one of Puccini's most enduring arias in 'Nessun Dorma' - will capture us with its powerful and orchestral moments, as the splendour of the Forbidden City unfolds before our eyes in a tale of love and redemption.


In ‘fair Verona’, the city of Romeo and Juliet, we will explore captivating streets and splendid medieval churches. An excursion will take us to the shores of Lake Garda, which has enchanted writers and travellers from Catullus to Tennyson. We will enjoy a boat trip to Sirmione, where the celebrated and influential 20th century soprano Maria Callas lived in the 1950s, having made her debut in Verona in 1947.


Meanwhile, in Valpolicella Classica, we will explore the area’s long heritage as a producer of some of Italy’s finest wines, with a visit to the beautiful 14th century manor house, Palazzo Montanari.


Our accommodation is at the comfortable Hotel San Luca, located a five-minute stroll away from Verona’s Arena.


This tour will be led by Paul Jackson, MA, PhD, pianist, musicologist and former Director of Music at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Paul has enjoyed an extensive career as a conductor of opera and also as a chamber musician, performing widely in the UK, Europe and America.

Tour Code

Places are on request - please contact the office on 01223 841055 to enquire.

Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, performances as described (1st sector gold category), five breakfasts, one light lunch, four dinners with wine, water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.

Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £575.

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