Festival of Britten - Wigmore Hall

Benjamin Britten’s genius in chamber music, together with his lasting legacy as composer and educator, are celebrated at Wigmore Hall on the eve of his centenary year. The series takes wing on 22 November 2012, St Cecilia’s Day and what would have been the composer’s 99th birthday. The Britten Sinfonia and Alice Coote explore the wider context of Britten’s creative world. Their programme includes Nico Muhly’s arrangement of Purcell’s ‘Job’s Curse’, Britten’s arrangement of Purcell’s Chacony in G minor, works by Handel and Tippett, and Britten’s late dramatic cantata, Phaedra.

L'elisir d'amore - The Royal Opera

L'elisir d'amore Donizetti

Laurent Pelly brings tenderness, humour and southern sunshine to his production of Donizetti's opera. A 1950s Italian village provides the backdrop to a spirited tale of love's twists and turns.

The Pilgrim's Progress - English National Opera

Continuing its commitment to celebrating the best of English opera, ENO follows its acclaimed productions of Vaughan Williams’s jovial Sir John in Love and poignant Riders to the Sea with its first-ever staging of the composer’s rapturous response to one of the best-loved adventure stories in the English language. Premiered during the 1951 Festival of Britain, Vaughan Williams’s sublime ‘morality’ charts the trials, tribulations, temptations and revelations that Bunyan’s questing Pilgrim encounters on his physical and spiritual progress ‘from this world to that which is to come’.

The Pilgrim's Progress - Vaughan Williams


Give Thanks (for opera) in London!

Royal Opera House LondonSpend Thanksgiving week with us for a wonderful week of vocal and opera performances in one of the world’s great music cities. We will experience world-renowned venues for opera and concert with
performances that will delight the mind and ear. Our first musical event will be a very special concert at Wigmore Hall - Benjamin Britten’s centenary celebration. There will be works by Purcell, Tippet, Handel and and of course Britten himself, featuring mezzo Alice Coote singing the composer’s moving and powerful “Phaedra”. The following night at the Royal Opera House, we will hear Donizetti’s lovely L’Elisir d’amore, with the inimitable Roberto Alagna in the title role of Nemorino. Our final opera will be a much anticipated revival of Pilgrim’s Progress by Ralph Vaughan Williams at the English National Opera. Also included is a day-long tour of London with an emphasis on music and music history.

About the Instructor

Larry Axelrod has travelled to five continents for fun and culture. He has taught at the Music Center of the North Shore (now Music Institute of Chicago), different Elderhostel venues and Renasan. He taught many different classes over the course of fifteen years at Ghost Ranch Santa Fe, including an opera class. He currently teaches at Columbia College in Chicago. Larry is a composer, pianist and conductor, whose musical activities have taken him around the United States and Europe. As a composer, Mr. Axelrod has had works done by CUBE Contemorary Chamber Ensemble, Pinotage, The Lincoln Trio, The Duo Ahlert/Schwab, the Ensemble JungeMusik Berlin and The Verdi String Quartet in recent seasons. In the dual capacities of pianist and composer, he presented many all-Mazurka programs around the United States and also in Europe and South Africa. His compositions have been performed on composers’ festival concerts around the United States.

For more information please call Larry at (773)680-8811 or email larry223@aol.com.

Opera Adventure Dates

Arrival: Tuesday, November 20
Departure: Sunday, November 25

Performances Included in this Adventure

Britten Centenary Celebration - Wigmore Hall
L’Elisir d’amore (Donizetti) - Royal Opera House Covent Garden
Pilgrim’s Progress (Vaughan Williams) - English National Opera

On the mornings we will attend performances, from 9 AM to noon we will have a class to watch DVD performances, listen to CDs and learn about that evening’s music. There will be time for discussion and questions. Vigorous class participation is encouraged! The class will be held in a meeting room in our hotel.

Hotels and Amenities

Our hotel will be the Strand Palace Hotel, noted in many reviews for its cleanliness and excellent staff and service. It is conveniently located in Covent Garden, quick walking distance to both opera performances and a short distance from Wigmore Hall. It is two blocks from the Covent Garden Market and a short walk to Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and the British Museum. It is equidistant from the Temple, Charing Cross, Leicester Square and Covent Garden tube stops. The hotel has been completely refurbished as of Spring 2012. There are two restaurants and two bars in the hotel itself, in addition to dozens of restaurants of all varieties in the surrounding neighborhood.

About your arrival

Check in will be on Tuesday, November 20. The guaranteed time for the room is 4 PM. Although an effort will be made to accommodate those arriving early in the morning, availability cannot be guaranteed. The hotel will be happy to hold your luggage until your room is cleaned and ready. Check out will be Sunday, November 25.

If you wish to book extra nights at the hotel before or after the group stay, please contact me and I will pass the information on to the group reservations person at the hotel. This way you will be assured that you will not have to switch rooms. The rate will be the same as what is being offered the group.

Fee and fee schedule

Double occupancy will be $1850 per person. Single occupancy will be $2250. This includes: two opera tickets, one concert ticket, five nights hotel stay, daily English breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one private musically-oriented city tour.

A 50% deposit ($925 per person double, $1125 single) will hold your place. The balance will be due on or before September 25, 2012.

Cancellation policy:
Before September 20, a full refund minus a $25 administrative fee will be issued. Before October 20, a 50% refund will be issued. Before November 6, a 25% refund will be issued. Any cancellation later than November 6, no refund will be issued.
Not included:
Four dinners, four lunches, all air travel to London, airport transfers, transport to/from performances.


To register for London Opera Adventure 2012, click on the link here and download the registration form. Completed forms can be mailed to:
Lawrence Axelrod
5111 N. Monticello Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625



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