BRITISH BALLET BARGAIN!
Birmingham Royal Ballet is a fantastic company with a wonderful repertoire, both deserving to be better known. The two programs they are offering in February 2012 are guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart (a perfect Valentine's gift!). This could be booked as early as this May.
AND IT'S A BARGAIN!
It looks like a trip could be done for about $2,000Cdn per person double occupancy (in addition, airfare to Birmingham from Toronto is currently about $1200, but as always these trips are not just for people from Toronto; you can join in from anywhere). All prices are just estimates for now, and it could be possibly less for a larger group. For this, you would get:
6 nights (February 24-March 1) with breakfast in a comfortable 3-star hotel located 2 minutes walk from the theatre and 2 minutes walk from the train station
Frederick Ashton's Daphnis and Chloe (to Ravel's shimmering score) and his intensely romantic Two Pigeons, which, the first time I saw it (danced, in fact, by BRB), left me with what can only be described as a literal warm fuzzy feeling, as the entire audience at the Met in New York leapt to their feet and roared their approval. Watch this rehearsal video of the heart-melting final reconciliation pas de deux with BRB' s Robert Parker and Nao Sakuma and you will understand! http://www.brb.org.uk/Pigeons-
David Bintley's comic masterpiece Hobson's Choice, about a feisty young woman defying her father to marry a poor shoemaker. You can see a clip here:
2 three-course dinners
day trip by private coach through the beautiful Cotswolds, stopping to visit some picturesque villages, to Blenheim Palace, home of the Dukes of Marlborough and birthplace of Winston Churchill
day trip by train to Oxford with guided walking tour of the colleges and gardens and Inspector Morse's favourite pubs, and the otherworldly experience of evensong sung by one of the renowned college choirs
Birmingham itself has an excellent art gallery with one of the world's finest collections of pre-Raphaelite art, a town hall that looks like a Greek temple, a renowned symphony orchestra, a fascinating jewellery museum, pleasant canal district and botanical garden, and, as home to the international headquarters of Cadbury, a chocolate museum! Stratford-upon-Avon is less than an hour away. The pretty cathedral town of Worcester is a short train ride away through the picturesque Malvern Hills. You can even pop up to London in two hours.
All comments and suggestions welcome! Please let me know if it appeals (as usual, I am not asking for a commitment, just trying to gauge the amount of interest so that I can proceed to the costing).