The Best of Britain
Glyndebourne Festival & The Royal Opera, Covent Garden
Summer in England is celebrated as nowhere else, with a blend of traditional cultural, sporting and social events that take full advantage of those long, languid days. Wimbledon, Ascot races, cricket and garden parties are some of the more familiar diversions, and then there are the country opera festivals that combine world-class artistic standards with a uniquely English way of drawing the most enjoyment possible from our art form.
This tour is the chance to become part of the experience, enjoy some fabulous opera, dress up a little and just soak in the atmosphere. Split between the sophistication of London and bucolic tranquility of the East Sussex countryside, there will be something to suit every taste and interest. As venues and events continue to open up to visitors, we are planning to include as many cultural activities as circumstances permit.
Our first stop is Glyndebourne for the quintessential blending of world class opera, fine dining, afternoon tea, champagne and scrumptious picnics. Refer to cast lists on separate insert.
Dating back to 1850, Horsted Place is a lovely Tudor Revival country house hotel, and will be our home for four nights, as it was for many years the residence of Lord and Lady Rupert Nevill, counting Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh among some of their frequent house guests. Set in secluded gardens and close to Glyndebourne, Horsted Place’s gracious style makes it an absolute favorite place to stay while in the Glyndebourne area.
We transfer to London and are fortunate in our timing to include three wonderful operas featuring outstanding casts at the Royal Opera House.
Brown’s Hotel, part of the Rocco Forte luxury hotel group, is our base. An alluring combination of tradition and modernity and the epitome of British hospitality, it occupies an enviable site off Piccadilly in Mayfair.
MONDAY, JULY 11
Independent air departures for London’s Heathrow airport.
Dress: Note that Glyndebourne places an emphasis on maintaining a festive look and it is customary for the gentlemen to wear tuxedos (black tie) and a corresponding level of formality for ladies with room for individual interpretation.
TUESDAY, JULY 12
Independent arrival at LHR and group transfer to Horsted Place, Little Horsted, Uckfield TN22 5TS.
Timing of a transfer and possibly two will be coordinated closer to date. Individual airport to hotel car service transfers can be arranged through the hotel concierge or Act 1 Tours at an additional charge.
Arrival at London Gatwick Airport is possible and is a forty- five minute taxi ride to Horsted Place or a train from London to Lewes station followed by a short local taxi to the hotel.
While settling in, relax over tea or lunch in the garden or drawing room.
Welcome group dinner in the private Morning Room starting with a Pimm’s or British Fizz reception.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 13
After breakfast taken independently in the dining room or in- room service, meet Blue Badge guide, Rebecca Howard, who will escort us to nearby Charleston House and Garden. This is the former home of artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant and offers an intriguing insight into the life and times of the early twentieth century Bloomsbury Group. Continue with a short stop at Anne of Cleves home in Lewes. Independent lunch back at Horsted Place.
Meet in the late afternoon to transfer by private coach to Glyndebourne where we enjoy champagne or tea on the terrace prior to this evening’s performance of Le nozze di Figaro. Dinner will be in Mildmay during the 90 minute interval.
Return to Horsted. Drinks may be ordered independently and taken in the drawing room.
THURSDAY, JULY 14
This morning Rebecca meets the group once again and we transfer (forty-five minutes) to Hever Castle with commentary en route. Dating from the year 1270 and featuring an excellent collection of Tudor art, furniture, magnificent gardens with a famous Yew maze, Hever Castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. Casual lunch in the café is independent.
On return to Horsted Place, the balance of the afternoon is open. Gather later to transfer to Glyndebourne for Handel’s Alcina allowing time on arrival to enjoy a selection of tea sandwiches and wine or tea followed by a walk in the gardens.
Dinner arrangements tonight are independent allowing your choice of a pre-ordered traditional picnic, light fare at the Long Bar or dinner in Nether Wallop.
FRIDAY, JULY 15
Today is at leisure to relax in a quiet spot with the newspaper or try a game of croquet. Consider a taxi to Lewes for local shopping and lunch in the seventeenth century Pelham Arms or a pretty café.
Our final opera evening features La bohème and the long interval dinner will be in Middle and Over Wallop rounding out our festival experience in style.
Back at Horsted, gather for nightcaps to toast the end of our time in East Sussex.
SATURDAY, JULY 16
After a leisurely breakfast we depart late morning by coach for London. Check in at Brown’s. The afternoon and evening are set aside for individual pursuits with assistance as required from the excellent concierge team and your Act 1 Tours host.
Consider the Royal Academy of Arts located close to the hotel or drop into Fortnum and Mason. Walk ten minutes to The National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery or luxuriate in Brown’s Spa.
This evening is open for theatre and independent dinner.
SUNDAY, JULY 17
Sunday mornings in London are typically quiet and relaxed allowing for a stroll or services after breakfast in Charlie’s.
We meet in the hotel at 1:00pm for an early Afternoon Tea and transfer to the Royal Opera House allowing time to explore a little before the 3:00pm Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci. On return to Brown’s, Donovan Bar is open.
MONDAY, JULY 18
This morning we meet Richard Roques, actor, playwright, historian, music and opera enthusiast and exceptional London guide. Richard will lead a two-hour walking tour of the City of London, known as the Square Mile, exploring laneways and corners rarely seen by visitors.
Lunch will follow in the dining hall of The Honorable Society of Middle Temple, one of the four Inns of Court.
Transfer back to the hotel in time to relax before this evening’s 7:30pm performance of Otello. We will gather in the Paul Hamlyn Bar for drinks and a selection of sandwiches pre performance.
TUESDAY, JULY 19
The program today is to be confirmed to include an art museum. We arrive early evening at the house for a celebratory closing dinner pre performance.
7:30pm Attila in Concert.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 20
Independent check out after breakfast or extend. Airport transfer information will be provided in advance. Private car service may be reserved through the hotel concierge.
- Four nights Horsted Place
- Four nights Brown’s Hotel
- Full breakfast in the dining rooms or in-room service
- Six operas with prime seating
- Four dinners, one lunch, afternoon tea, four receptions
- Guided tour of Charleston House and visit the home of Anne of Cleves
- A guided visit to Hever Castle
- Guided tour of The Square Mile
- Art focused morning in London
- Private coach transfers to/from performances
- Group transfer from Heathrow airport to Horsted Place
- Gratuities for guides, drivers and group arrival and departure bell staff
- Escorted by an Act 1 Tours’ partner throughout
- Independent airport transfers to/from hotels (arranged on request)
- Meals and personal expenses not part of the itinerary
- $8,950 per person double occupancy
- $10,800 per person single occupancy
A deposit of $2,950 per person is due at registration as soon as possible in order to confirm the tour so that you may make travel plans. $2250 of the deposit is non-refundable to cover advance ticket purchases and hotel contractual commitments. The tour balance is due by May 6, 2022.
Act 1 Tours strongly advises the purchase of trip insurance to avoid financial loss if the need to cancel arises for insurable reasons. We recommend you contact insurance specialists AIG Travel Guard at 800-826-5248, or your preferred provider, and an adviser will present the range of coverage options to suit your specific needs and budget. It is important to note that certain policies will waive pre-existing medical conditions if purchased within 15 days of the date of completing your trip registration.
Safety is our highest priority. During your trip you will find a number of measures in place in the hotel, at the opera and other venues to protect audiences, guests and staff. Thank you for your support in these extraordinary circumstances. Note that full vaccination against Covid 19 is required to participate in this program.
Le nozze di Figaro
Director Michael Grandage updates the action to the dying days of Spain’s Franco regime in his 2012 production. Nicholas Carter conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Figaro: Brandon Cedel, Susanna: Hera Hyesang Park, Count: Germán Olvera, Countess: Nardus Williams,
Bartolo: Péter Kálmán, Marcellina: Rosie Aldridge, Cherubino: Ida Ränzlöv, Don Basilio: François Piolino,
Don Curzio: Colin Judson. The Glyndebourne Chorus
Director Francesco Micheli brings style and sumptuous excess to Glyndebourne’s first ever staging. Jonathan Cohen conducts The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Alcina: Jane Archibald, Morgana: Ying Fang, Oberto: Rowan Pierce, Ruggiero: Samantha Hankey, Bradamante: Avery Amereau, Oronte: Stuart Jackson, Melisso: Alastair Miles.
Floris Visser directs an exciting young cast in Glyndebourne’s first new La bohème for over 20 years. Jordan de Souza conducts The London Philharmonic Orchestra. A new production for Festival 2022.
Rodolfo: Long Long, Mimì: Yaritza Véliz, Marcello: Daniel Scofield,
Musetta: Vuvu Mpofu, Schaunard: Luthando Qave, Colline: Ivo Stanchev. The Glyndebourne Chorus.
Damiano Michieletto’s Olivier Award-winning double production draws these opera classics together in a thrillingly observed re-creation of life in a southern Italian village. Conductor: Antonio Pappano.
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Royal Opera Chorus.
Turiddu: Jonas Kaufmann, Santuzza: Anita Rachvelishvili, Alfio: Dmitri Platanias, Lola: Aigul Akhmetshina, Mamma Lucia: Elena Zilio
Canio: Jonas Kaufmann, Tonio: Dmitri Platanias, Nedda: Ermonela Jaho, Silvio: Mattia Olivieri, Beppe: Egor Zhuravskii
Daniele Rustioni conducts this revival of Keith Warner’s brooding and insightful production.
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Royal Opera Chorus.
Otello: Russell Thomas, Desdemona: Hrachuhi Bassénz, Iago: Christopher Maltman, Cassio: Piotr Buszewski, Roderigo: Andrés Presno, Emilia: Kseniia Nikolaieva, Montano: Blaise Malaba, Lodovico: Alexander Köpeczi.
Attila in concert
Speranza Scappucci makes her Royal Opera debut conducting special concert performances of one of Verdi’s most stirring operas.
Attila: Ildar Abdrazakov, Odabella: Sondra Radvanovsky, Ezio: Simon Keenlyside, Foresto: Joseph Calleja, Uldino: Egor Zhuravskii.
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and Royal Opera Chorus