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Vivaldi in Venice

A unique and unprecedented festival of the music of Antonio Vivaldi in the city where he was born and worked for most of his career.

Seven private concerts, ranging from small-scale concerti to an opera and an oratorio, in appropriate and beautiful halls and churches in Venice.

Participating ensembles are among the world leaders in performance of Vivaldi and Italian Baroque – Il Giardino Armonico (Giovanni Antonini, director), Modo Antiquo (Federico Sardelli), La Serenissima (Adrian Chandler), Sonatori della Gioiosa Marca (Giorgio Fava).

Soloists include Lucy Crowe (soprano), Mary Bevan (soprano), Hilary Summers (alto), Adrian Chandler (violin), Dorothee Oberlinger (recorder), Peter Whelan (bassoon) and many others.

Talks on music and eighteenth-century Venice by Richard Wigmore and Professor Tim Blanning, and optional walks in the company of art historians.

Accommodation for five nights from a choice of six carefully selected hotels, flights between London Heathrow or Gatwick and Venice (optional), transfers by water taxi and a range of other services and optional extras.

06 - 11 Nov 2017 £2,870 Book this tour

  • Antonio Vivaldi, copper engraving c. 1725 by Morellon de la Cave.
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Overview

 

Listed in The Times' 50 best holidays in Italy

‘If acute and rapid tones are evil, then Vivaldi has much of the sin to answer for.’ Blurring music and morality, the English music historian Dr Charles Burney remained sceptical. But by then the damage was done. During the 1720s and 1730s the elemental excitement of the Venetian’s concertos fuelled a Vivaldi craze throughout Italy and northern Europe.

Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741) remains unrivalled for his gift of instant memorability and his knack of cutting straight through to the listener’s musical heart. Vivaldi manuscripts were must-have souvenirs for gentleman travellers visiting La Serenissima as part of the Grand Tour.

Legendary, too, were the musical delights of the Ospedale della Pietà, the charitable institution for foundling and illegitimate girls with which the ‘Red Priest’, as he was dubbed, was associated for much of his life.

Vivaldi’s flamboyant music, with its heightened sense of urgency and drama, is perfectly attuned to this most theatrical of European cities.

Vivaldi in Venice was a Martin Randall festival waiting to happen. Our celebration of this quintessential Venetian composer inevitably includes The Four Seasons, whose picturesque charm and visceral energy have survived decades of kitsch and commercialisation unscathed, and is presented here in Adrian Chandler’s award-winning and transformatory interpretation.

Yet true to form, the festival ventures far beyond the popular and predictable and includes some of the most spectacular and affecting music of the Baroque era.

Participants will be able to savour the musical riches of Vivaldi’s exotic Teuzzone, one of the earliest operas with a Chinese setting (appropriate here in Marco Polo’s home town), and his sole surviving oratorio, Juditha Triumphans, a showcase for the multifarious talents of the Pietà’s figlie di coro.

Concertos for assorted instruments should refute once and for all the familiar gibe that Vivaldi composed the same concerto six hundred times. We include a clutch of little-known Vivaldi sacred works that marry his love of virtuoso display with a gravitas that might surprise the unwary. And we set Vivaldi in context with music by other Venetian composers such as the Renaisssance master Giovanni Gabrieli, his Baroque predecessor Dario Castello, and his contemporary and rival Tomaso Albinoni.

Our performers, British and Italian, are all renowned specialists, steeped in the Italian Baroque and Vivaldi in particular.

There is a special frisson arising from hearing music in appropriate historic buildings and in the place for which it was written – especially when that place is the most beautiful city on Earth and the venues are visually glorious.

The performances are private, being exclusive to no more than 200 participants who take a package which includes accommodation (from a choice of six hotels), flights from London (you can opt out of these), airport transfers by water taxi, limitless vaporetto journeys, daily lectures, three dinners, interval drinks and much else besides.

You may also sign up to walks and visits led by art historians and outstanding guides, and join a pre- or post-festival tour.

 

Musicians

La Serenissima

Since its formation in 1994 for a performance of Vivaldi’s serenata La Senna Festeggiante, La Serenissima has gained a reputation as one of Europe’s most exciting exponents of Vivaldi and the Italian Baroque. Its interpretations have been admired in leading concert halls and festivals throughout the world. Among the group’s highly praised recordings, Vivaldi: The French Connection won the 2010 Gramophone Award for the Best Baroque Instrumental CD. 
La Serenissima celebrated its 21st birthday in 2015 by recording Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (in the so-called Manchester version) alongside works for violino in tromba marina, a pioneering reconstruction project undertaken by violinist Adrian Chandler, luthier David Rattray and the musicologist Michael Talbot.

La Serenissima also prides itself on bringing seldom-heard 
works to the concert platform, including a clutch of Vivaldi 
operas and numerous instrumental rarities, many of which 
have been recorded. The ensemble has likewise introduced audiences to such pieces as Albinoni’s Il nascimento 
dell’Aurora and sacred vocal works by Caldara.

Most of the group’s repertoire is edited by Director Adrian Chandler from manuscript or contemporary printed sources, a testament to its commitment and passion for the hidden treasures of the Italian Baroque.

Il Giardino Armonico

Founded in 1985, Il Giardino Armonico was one of the earliest Italian period-instrument ensembles to win international renown, and remains unsurpassed for the colour and earthy vigour of its performances. Under the direction of flautist Giovanni Antonini, 
its repertoire ranges from Monteverdi to Haydn and Mozart, with a special emphasis on Vivaldi and his contemporaries. The ensemble’s recordings for Teldec and Decca, including several collaborations with Cecilia Bartoli, have won many major awards, while their recording for Naïve of Vivaldi’s opera Ottone in Villa garnered a Diapason d’Or in 2011.

Il Giardino Armonico regularly performs at the most 
prestigious European festivals, with soloists including Giuliano Carmignola, Christophe Coin, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Bernarda Fink, Isabelle Faust and Viktoria Mullova. In 2014 the ensemble released to acclaim the first album in a planned complete cycle of Haydn symphonies.

Modo Antiquo

In the three decades since its formation, the period-instrument orchestra Modo Antiquo has established a worldwide reputation under the direction of flautist Federico Maria Sardelli. Vivaldi and his Roman contemporary Corelli have always been central to its activities, in the concert hall and on disc. Its vibrant recordings of Vivaldi and Corelli concertos have received US Grammy nominations, while Sardelli has directed the orchestra in modern world premieres of Vivaldi operas including Motezuma (Rotterdam, 2005) and L’Atenaide (Florence, 2006).

The versatile Sardelli is also Italy’s leading Vivaldi scholar. 
He has made his own performing editions of several operas, performed and recorded his own reconstruction of Orlando furioso, and recorded two discs of ‘Vivaldi Discoveries’, works unearthed 
in European archives during the last two decades. He has written 
a monograph on Vivaldi’s music for flute, and since 2007 has been in charge of the monumental undertaking of assembling a complete list of Vivaldi’s works for the revised Ryom (RV) catalogue – 
the Vivaldian Köchel.

Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca

This lively ensemble comes from the Veneto city of Treviso, 
dubbed in the Renaissance ‘Marca Gioiosa e Amorosa’. Its repertoire spans three centuries, from the Renaissance to the Classical period, with the music of Vivaldi and his Venetian contemporaries and predecessors, notably Gabrieli, Legrenzi and Albinoni, at its heart. The ensemble’s award-winning recordings include a disc of Vivaldi violin concertos with Giuliano Carmignola and a collaboration with Cecilia Bartoli in Vicenza’s Teatro Olimpico. Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca has appeared regularly in leading European concert halls and international festivals including Brussels, Montreux, Munich and Warsaw. Recent recordings include ‘Vivaldi in a Mirror’ and a disc of Vivaldi recorder concertos with Dorothee Oberlinger.

 

Festival speakers

Richard Wigmore. Music writer, lecturer and broadcaster for BBC Radio 3. He writes, mainly on Baroque and Classical repertoire, and on Lieder, for BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone and has taught at Guildhall College of Music & Drama, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance and Birkbeck College. He has frequently lectured and written on Vivaldi, and written many notes and articles on the composer. Richard read French and German at Cambridge and later studied Music at Guildhall.

Professor Tim Blanning. Emeritus Professor of Modern European History at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of Sidney Sussex College and Fellow of the British Academy. Among his many books are a study of Emperor Joseph II, the award-winning The Culture of Power & the Power of Culture, the best-selling The Pursuit of Glory: Europe 1648–1815, and the much-translated The Triumph of Music in the Modern World and The Romantic Revolution. His most recent book is Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, which has been awarded the prestigious British Academy Medal 2016.

 

Optional walks and visits

Participants will be able to choose from a small selection of walks and visits, all of which are led by one of our lecturers with a deep knowledge of the city – full information about these and prices will be sent to all those booked at a later stage.

Dr Susan Steer. Art historian and lecturer specialising in Venice. Her PhD focused on Venetian Renaissance altarpieces, followed by work as researcher and editor on the National Inventory of European Painting, the UK’s online catalogue. She has taught History of Art for university programmes in the UK and Italy.

 

Why November?

November is relatively low season in Venice. Fewer visitors and fewer cruise ships make it much easier to get around and to visit places for which queues or congestion are standard for much of the year.

Temperatures can be mild and blue skies can be expected at least for part of the time, though rain is likely. Important for the festival is that at this end of winter unheated buildings may retain a trace of their summer warmth.

However, November is the peak month for aqua alta, the rise in water levels in the canals is such that some streets and squares are inundated. This flooding is related to tides and therefore lasts only for a few hours, but we strongly recommend that you bring waterproof footwear such as full-length Wellington boots. Floods of two or three feet or more above street level are very rare. We have organised nearly fifty concerts in Venice, starting in 1999: none has been cancelled as a result of high water, though one of them had an audience of one, the only person who waded through waist-high water to get to the venue.

The Concerts

Oratorio: Juditha triumphans (‘his finest opera’)
Modo Antiquo | Federico Sardelli director

Ann Hallenberg mezzo-soprano, Juditha
Romina Basso mezzo-soprano, Holofernes
Mary Bevan soprano, Vagaus
Jennifer Schittino soprano, Abra
Aurora Faggioli mezzo-soprano, Ozias
Ricercare Ensemble Choir Mantova

La Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

Premiered in the chapel of the Pietà in 1716, Vivaldi’s only surviving oratorio has been dubbed ‘his finest opera’, with good reason. It is certainly his most colourfully scored dramatic work, fashioned partly as a celebratory political allegory (the Venetians and their allies had recently triumphed over the Ottoman Turks), partly to display the vocal and instrumental talents of the Pietà’s figlie di coro. Intense melodic beauty and Vivaldi’s trademark raw energy are enhanced by an ever-changing orchestral palette that includes such novelties as viole all’inglese (violas da gamba with additional sympathetic strings), clarinets and a soprano chalumeau (predecessor of the clarinet).

La Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista was one of the greatest of the Venetian scuole – charitable, religious and social institutions which provided platforms for much of the city’s cultural life. The Renaissance transformation of their premises which began in the 1480s culminates in a glorious hall which was further embellished in the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.

 

The seasons in poetry and music
La Serenissima | Adrian Chandler director, violin

An instant hit in Vivaldi’s lifetime, I Quattro Stagioni is a candidate for the most popular classical piece of all time. But even if you think you know these irresistible concertos backwards, Adrian Chandler and his period band promise pleasurable surprises with the dramatic flair and profound understanding of Vivaldi’s rhetoric which they bring to their award-winning interpretation. The composer provides graphic, often witty, musical descriptions, from the murmuring brooks and rustic revels of ‘Spring’, via the summer tempest and the chill autumn haze, to the shivering trills and tottering skaters of ‘Winter’.

The performance will be preceded by talks, readings and musical illustrations exploring humankind’s relationship with nature as depicted by ancient and eighteenth-century writers and musicians.

The venue is to be confirmed.

 

Gloria: sacred music by Vivaldi
La Serenissima | Adrian Chandler director, violin
Lucy Crowe, Elizabeth Karani sopranos
Hilary Summers alto
Charles Daniels tenor
Robert Howarth organ

Santa Maria dei Derelitti

The choir and players of La Serenissima combine in a selection of Vivaldi’s sacred music that includes his earlier setting of the Gloria, RV 588 – far less familiar than the better known RV 589 but hardly inferior in evocative word-painting and sheer exuberance of invention. The chosen setting of the psalm Beatus vir (RV 795) was discovered relatively recently, and a sacred concerto completes the programme.

This concert involves twenty-one players, a choir of sixteen and five soloists. Further soloist’s names will be posted on our website in due course.

Santa Maria dei Derelitti is the church attached to the Ospedaletto, one of the four orphanages which were renowned as centres of musical excellence. The institution survives as a hospital. The church probably has the best acoustics of any in Venice, and the original screened musicians’ gallery survives.

 

Concertos for recorder and bassoon
Sonatori della Gioiosa Marca | Giorgio Fava leader
Dorothee Oberlinger recorder | Peter Whelan bassoon

Palazzo Zenobio

From the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries the recorder was a favourite instrument in Venice. Leading virtuoso Dorothee Oberlinger showcases the instrument in its various guises. In Vivaldi’s hands, writing for the bassoon provides not so much a contrast as a similar delight in virtuosity, and a range in mood from melancholy to humour. Bassoonist Peter Whelan is one of Europe’s leading exponents of the instrument.

The programme had not been finalised yet, but a composer other than Vivaldi may be included.

The Palazzo Zenobio, located off the beaten track in the Dorsoduro, was built at the end of the seventeenth century. The gorgeous ballroom is one of the most richly decorated Baroque halls in Venice. Like many Venetian palaces, this has known reversals of fortune, and exudes the affecting melancholy of faded grandeur. The concert is repeated as the hall is too small to accommodate the whole audience.

 

Psalm settings: Dixit Dominus & Laudate Pueri
Modo Antiquo | Federico Sardelli director
Mary Bevan soprano
Antonio Giovannini alto
Aurora Faggioli alto

Santa Maria della Pietà

Hailed, without hyperbole, as ‘the most important Vivaldi discovery in 75 years’, the Dixit Dominus was long attributed to fellow-Venetian Baldassare Galuppi until it was conclusively identified a decade ago as Vivaldi’s work. Exhilarating, inventive and full of graphic descriptive touches, it reveals its composer’s fingerprints on every page. Charming touches of word-painting also abound in Laudate Pueri, a setting by turns brilliant and tender of Psalm 113 for solo soprano – yet another work to make us marvel at the virtuosity of the singers at the Pietà. Santa Maria della Pietà was attached to the orphanage where Vivaldi was director of music for much of his career. The church he knew, however, was demolished shortly after his death and the present one was designed in 1745 by Giorgio Massari, the leading Neo-Palladian architect of his time. Nevertheless, the serene, soaring interior makes a perfect foil for Vivaldi’s music.

 

Vivaldi and his Venetian predecessors
Il Giardino Armonico | Giovanni Antonini director

Ca’ Sagredo

Renowned for their exhilarating, no-holds-barred performances of the Italian Baroque, Il Giardino Armonico mingles Vivaldi with music by some of his most celebrated Venetian predecessors. They begin, aptly, with a sonata for three violins by Giovanni Gabrieli, whose works represent the pinnacle of the Renaissance School, and move through the early Baroque (Castello and Merula) to a sonata by Legrenzi, an important influence on Vivaldi. Capping the programme are three contrasting concertos by Vivaldi, full of his trademark verve and melodic piquancy.

Situated on the Grand Canal, the Ca’ Sagredo was largely rebuilt and decorated during Vivaldi’s lifetime. A Baroque stairway leads to a sequence of frescoed halls – one with a ceiling by Giambattista Tiepolo – and culminates in the ballroom, glorious if endearingly past its prime in a quintessentially Venetian way. Again, due to the size of the hall, the concert will be repeated.

 

Teuzzone: Vivaldi at the imperial court of China
La Serenissima | Adrian Chandler director, violin

Lucy Crowe soprano, Teuzzone
Elizabeth Karani soprano, Cino
Hilary Summers alto, Zelinda
Rowan Hellier mezzo-soprano, Zidiana
Charles Daniels tenor, Troncone and Argonte
Ashley Riches bass-baritone, Sivenio

La Scuola Grande di San Rocco

Never backward in self-promotion, Vivaldi claimed to have composed no fewer than 94 operas, though no more than 20 survive. Written for wedding celebrations at the Mantuan court, Teuzzone combines a Chinese setting – a novelty in 1718 – with a typical Baroque plot driven by intrigue and power politics. The vividly characterised arias range from swaggering numbers with trumpet, via seductive lyricism to a poignant prison scene for the eponymous hero. This (unstaged) performance involves seven soloists and twenty-three players.

The most magnificent of all confraternity premises, La Scuola Grande di San Rocco was constructed in the sixteenth century and adorned with a magnificent cycle of dynamic and highly-charged canvasses by Tintoretto. In combination with the carved and gilded woodwork, this created one of the most lavish interiors in Venice, and one of the largest.

Please note that not all programme details had been finalised yet, and there may be some slight changes to the details given above. Together with names of soloists and other artists, further information will appear on our website as it is confirmed.

More about the concerts

Exclusive access. The concerts are private, being planned, promoted and administered by Martin Randall Travel exclusively for an audience consisting of those who have taken the full festival package.

Seating. Specific seats are not reserved. You sit where you want.

Comfort. Seats in the church are likely to be pews; consider bringing a cushion. In another couple of venues heating is inadequate; expect to wear coat and gloves during those concerts.

Concert times. Two of the seven venues are too small to accommodate all 200 participants and so these concerts are repeated.

Changes. Musicians fall ill, venues close for repair, airlines alter schedules: there are many possible unpredictable circumstances which could necessitate changes to the programme. We ask you to be understanding should they occur.

 

Image of Richard Wigmore

Richard Wigmore

Music writer, lecturer and broadcaster for BBC Radio 3. He writes for BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone and has taught classes in Lieder history and interpretation at the Guildhall, Trinity College of Music and Birkbeck College. He read French and German at Cambridge and later studied Music at the Guildhall. His publications include Schubert: the complete song texts and Pocket Guide to Haydn.

Image of Tim Blanning

Professor Tim Blanning

Emeritus Professor of Modern European History at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of Sidney Sussex College and Fellow of the British Academy. Among his books are The Culture of Power & the Power of Culture, The Pursuit of Glory: Europe 1648–1815, and The Triumph of Music in the Modern World. His most recent is Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, awarded the British Academy Medal 2016.

Image of Susan Steer

Dr Susan Steer

Art historian specialising in Venice. Her MA concentrated on the city’s art and architecture and her PhD on Venetian Renaissance altarpieces. As post-doctoral researcher with the University of Glasgow and Neil MacGregor scholar at the National Gallery, she worked as a researcher and editor on the National Inventory of European Painting, the UK’s online catalogue of European paintings. She has extensive experience of teaching History of Art for university programmes in the UK and Italy.

Joining and leaving the festival

Flights from London City, Gatwick or Heathrow to Venice are included in the price of the festival. You can choose to join one of these or make your own flight arrangements (in which case there is a reduction in the price).

Regional airports

We are happy to quote for connecting flights from regional airports. Please request this on the booking form.

Arrive a day early

We offer a package for those wishing to arrive on 5th November (a day early) in the hotel of your choice. 

Festival flights

Arrive 5th November, leave 11th

Option 1. 5th November: depart Gatwick 17.40, arrive Venice Marco Polo 20.50 (BA 2586). 11th November: depart Venice 12.50, arrive Gatwick 14.05 (BA 2583).

Option 2. 5th November: depart Gatwick 12.35, arrive Venice Marco Polo 15.40 (BA 2584). 11th November: depart Venice 17.00, arrive Gatwick 18.15 (BA 2585).

Option 3. 5th November: depart Heathrow 08.45, arrive Venice Marco Polo 11.55 (BA 578). 11th November: depart Venice 12.50, arrive Heathrow 14.15 (BA 579).

Arrive 6th November, leave 11th

Option 4. 6th November: depart Heathrow 08.45, arrive Venice Marco Polo 11.55 (BA 578). 11th November: depart Venice 12.50, arrive Heathrow 14.15 (BA 579).

Option 6. 6th November: depart Gatwick 12.35, arrive Venice Marco Polo 15.45 (BA 2584). 11th November: depart Venice 12.50, arrive Gatwick 14.05 (BA 2583).

* These flight times have changed since the publication of the brochure

The no-flights option

There is a reduction of £220 for the package without flights.

Should you decide to join the festival at Venice Airport at a time which coincides with one of our flight arrivals, you are welcome to join a water-taxi transfer to your hotel. Otherwise you would have to make your own way to your hotel.

 

Hotels and prices

We have selected six hotels for this festival. All are 4- or 5-star. The hotel is the sole determinant of the different prices for the festival package.

Quiet? Though blessedly free of the sound of vehicular traffic, motor boats and street life mean that few hotels can be guaranteed to be absolutely quiet.

Luggage. Suitcases with wheels are strongly advised. All the hotels have their own mooring points however there is a short walk between the Venice airport terminal and the motoscafi landing stage.

Rooms vary. As is inevitable in historic buildings, rooms vary in size and outlook.

Suites and rooms with views. Some hotels have suites and rooms with views of the Grand Canal. All are subject to availability at the time of booking.

The prices given are all per person. A list of what is included is given below.

Arriving a day early. Prices are also given for arriving in your chosen hotel the day before the festival starts – separate flight options are available. There is a reduction of £220 if you choose not to take one of the festival flights.

 

Hotel Bonvecchiati, 4-star

A well-located and comfortable 4-star hotel close to Piazza San Marco. Rooms vary in size although the room category we offer avoids the smaller rooms in the hotel. Rooms are decorated in a mix of classic Venetian and contemporary styles. All have baths with shower attachments. Public areas are comfortable even if the décor is a little dated. There is a restaurant and hotel staff are friendly and helpful. Proximity to San Marco is an advantage however the concomitant of the central location is the possibility of noise in the morning from goods delivery boats on the side canals.

Arriving 5th November, per person:
Superior double/twin £2,990
Superior double for single use £3,450

Arriving 6th November, per person:
Superior double/twin £2,870
Superior double for single use £3,260

 

Splendid Venice, 4-star

A delightful 4-star hotel situated between Piazza San Marco and the Rialto bridge. Despite the central location the hotel is quiet, rooms overlook side canals or a central courtyard. Rooms are attractively decorated in a light, contemporary style, public areas are appealing and comfortable. All guests have access to a roof terrace with remarkable 360 degree views over Venetian rooftops, although this is admittedly less of a boon in winter. The majority of rooms have a bath with a shower fitment, a small number have a shower cubicle. There is a good restaurant and 24 hour room service.

Arriving 5th November, per person:
Superior double/twin £3,820
Superior double for single use £4,390

Arriving 6th November, per person:
Superior double/twin £3,660
Superior double for single use £4,140

 

Palazzo Sant’Angelo, 4-star

The smallest hotel on the festival. It has a warm and personal atmosphere and will exclusively accommodate our group (if all rooms fill). Located on the Grand Canal near the Campo Sant’Angelo, there is a vaporetto stop almost directly outside. Rooms are richly decorated in a classic Venetian style. Public areas include a small bar and lounge but no restaurant. Suites are available with glorious views of the Grand Canal.

Arriving 5th November, per person:
Deluxe double/twin £3,960
Junior Suite £4,080
Junior Suite with Grand Canal view £4,750
Deluxe Suite Grand Canal view £4,950

Classic double for single use £4,440
Deluxe double for single use £4,710

Arriving 6th November, per person:
Deluxe double/twin £3,750
Junior Suite £3,840
Junior Suite with Grand Canal view £4,440
Deluxe Suite Grand Canal view £4,590

Classic double for single use £4,160
Deluxe double for single use £4,400

 

Hotel Europa & Regina, 5-star

A historic and elegant 5-star hotel positioned at the mouth of the Grand Canal. It is maintained to a very high standard and has a good restaurant with magnificent views of Santa Maria
della Salute directly opposite. Rooms are elegantly furnished and decorated in a classic style. The hotel occupies two palaces so rooms are accessed via two separate lifts. The majority of rooms have a bath with a shower fitment, a small number have a shower cubicle. Rooms are available with views of the Grand Canal and Venetian Lagoon.

Arriving 5th November, per person:
Deluxe double/twin £4,170;
with Grand Canal view £4,820

Deluxe double for single use £4,690;
with Grand Canal view £6,010

Arriving 6th November, per person:
Deluxe double/twin £3,980;
with Grand Canal view £4,510

Deluxe double for single use £4,410;
with Grand Canal view £5,500

 

Hotel Luna Baglioni, 5-star

A luxurious 5-star hotel that manages to combine Venetian splendour with warm and friendly service. The location is excellent, minutes away from Piazza San Marco but at a remove from the main thoroughfare. Rooms are richly furnished in a classic Venetian style, public areas are attractive and comfortable, the restaurant is excellent. Rooms overlooking charming side canals and the Venetian Lagoon are available. Suites are available on request.

Arriving 5th November, per person:
Deluxe double/twin £4,440
Superior double for single use £4,840

Arriving 6th November, per person:
Deluxe double/twin £4,240
Superior double for single use £4,580

 

Hotel Gritti Palace, 5-star

The most venerable hotel in Venice. Occupying the elegant Gothic palace of a 15th-century doge, the style of the Gritti Palace is one of restrained luxury, and with excellent, discreet service the hotel well merits its 5 stars. It reopened in 2013 after an extensive 15-month refurbishment and plaudits are deserved. Sensitive restoration has retained its Venetian character; rooms and public areas are sumptuously decorated with Rubelli fabrics, Murano chandeliers and antique furniture. A small number of rooms with views of the Grand Canal are available. Suites are available on request.

Arriving 5th November, per person:
Deluxe double/twin £5,230;
with Grand Canal view £6,520

Deluxe double for single use £6,410

Arriving 6th November, per person:
Deluxe double/twin £4,910;
with Grand Canal view £5,940

Deluxe double for single use £5,890

 

The festival package

Access to the concerts is exclusive to those who take the festival package, the price for which includes:

• Seven private concerts in outstanding historic buildings.

• Talks by experts on the music and 18th-century Venice.

• Accommodation for five nights from a choice of six carefully selected hotels.

• Three dinners with wine, water and coffee; all breakfasts; interval drinks.

• Flights between Heathrow, Gatwick or London City and Venice (though you have the choice to opt out and make your own arrangements).

• Water taxis between Venice Airport and the hotels, and unlimited free use of the vaporetti (water buses).

• All tips, taxes and obligatory charges.

• A team of Italian-speaking festival staff during the festival to facilitate the smooth running of this complex event.

• A comprehensive programme booklet with information about the event and tips on Venice.

Additional services can be booked:

• The option of arriving a day early.

• A package of an extra two dinners, which means each evening is spent in the company of other festival participants. Price £160 per person including wine and gratuity.

• A range of visits and short walks led by art historians and appropriate experts. 

 

Fitness for the festival

We must stress that it is essential to cope with the walking and stair-climbing required to get to the concerts and other events.

The hotels we have chosen are situated in the San Marco district whereas the some of the concert venues are on the other side of the Grand Canal in the San Polo and Dorsoduro districts.

You should be able to walk unaided for at least thirty minutes and to be able to get on and off (sometimes pitching) water buses and motoscafi.

Venice covers a large area, and there are the steps of numerous bridges to negotiate.

Water taxis are not always an option, and festival staff will not have the resources to assist individuals with walking difficulties.

This festival is not really suitable for wheelchair users but please speak to us if you would like to discuss this.

There is no age limit but we do ask that participants assess their fitness by trying these simple exercises:

– Chair stands. Sit in a dining chair, with arms folded and hands on opposite shoulders. Stand up and sit down at least eight times in 30 seconds.



– Step test. Mark a wall at a height that is halfway between your knee and your hip bone. Raise each knee in turn to the mark at least 60 times in two minutes.



– Agility test. Place an object three yards from the edge of a chair, sit, and record the time it takes to stand up, walk to the object and sit back down.
 You should be able to do this in under seven seconds.

 

Travel advice

Before booking, please refer to the FCO website to ensure you are happy with the travel advice for the destination(s) you are visiting: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

‘Unbelievable – a very special, unique opportunity to hear wonderful artists in simply perfect venues. Thank you.’

‘Top-quality music in incomparable surroundings, with excellent support: worth every penny.’

‘A week of sheer bliss.’