Canadian Opera Company and Niagara-on-the-Lake Shaw Festival
October 8-13, 2019
Combine the sophistication of multicultural Toronto and two outstanding productions by the Canadian Opera Company with the world-class artistry of the renowned Shaw Festival in charming Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) for an exceptional five day fall visit to the province of Ontario, a time of year when foliage is at its colorful peak.
Starting and finishing in Toronto with performances of Puccini’s Turandot and Dvořák’s Rusalka, we break our time with two nights in the picture-perfect historic town of Niagara-on-theLake, where we will attend performances of Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac and Tennessee William’s masterpiece The Glass Menagerie, both with stagings new to the Festival.
In our Toronto time we visit the exceptional Art Gallery of Ontario, with focus on the Canadian masters and this base will be built upon with an out-of-town excursion to the unique McMichael Collection in Kleinburg, where we will also enjoy lunch in its locally-themed Aura by Cashew & Clive restaurant, overlooking the lovely Humber Valley.
When in Niagara we will take full advantage of its status as Ontario’s prime viniculture region with a wine tasting at one of its many excellent vineyards, as well as taking a historical walking tour through the lovely town.
The highly regarded Hilton Toronto, perfectly located across from the COC’s performance hall, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, is the Toronto base for three nights while The Price of Wales, dating back to 1864, is the peerless symbol of comfort and hospitality in Niagara-on-the Lake.
Tuesday, October 8
Independent arrivals and check-in at the Hilton Toronto, 145 Richmond Street West.
Gather in the early evening and walk over to dine at Canoe, one of the city’s finest restaurants, with terrific views over the city and lake on top of the Toronto Dominion Centre Tower.
Wednesday, October 9
Breakfast is included each day.
Today we immerse ourselves in Canadian Art, first with a visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario, with its Gehry addition, and then out of town to Kleinburg and the McMichael Collection, perhaps the nation’s pre-eminent collection of Canadian Art. We lunch on arrival and then spend time in the galleries before returning to the city.
With ample time to refresh, we meet again in the early evening to walk the few steps to the Four Seasons Performing Arts Centre for the start of Turandot, a completely new staging for the COC by Robert Wilson, in conjunction with Madrid’s Teatro Real. The party is invited to the Jackman Lounge for refreshments throughout the evening. The performance is led by Maestro Carlo Rizzi, with Tamara Wilson in the title role.
Thursday, October 10
Check-out mid-morning. Before leaving Toronto for NOTL (about two hours’ drive) we head for the St. Lawrence Market and meet Bruce Bell, local historian and raconteur who will guide us in the immediate neighborhood of York, that is the earliest part of the city developed in the late eighteenth century by United Empire Loyalists. We lunch on our own in the Market and then leave for NOTL, arriving mid-afternoon.
Before check-in at the Prince of Wales we stop at one of the many excellent wineries dotted around the region where we will sample the wines with some suitable local food choices.
Settle in to the hotel and prepare for an evening at the theatre, starting at 8:00pm. Cyrano de Bergerac is performed at the Royal George Theatre.
Friday, October 11
In the morning we take a gentle guided walking tour through NOTL and enjoy an independent early lunch. We meet again at the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre for the 2:00pm start of The Glass Menagerie.
Return to the hotel to refresh before gathering later for a dinner together in one of NOTL’s fine restaurants.
Saturday, October 12
After breakfast we return to Toronto for an independent afternoon ahead of a pre-performance dinner together at Nota Bene, located very close to the Four Seasons Performing Arts Centre.
Rusalka begins at 7:30pm. This David McVicar production enjoys a powerful cast, led by Maestro Johannes Debus, with world-renowned soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in the lead role. Again, we will gather during the intermission for a final toast to our days together in Ontario.
Sunday, October 13
• Three nights Hilton Toronto
• Two nights Prince of Wales, Niagara-on-the-Lake
• Breakfast each day
• Three dinners and one lunch
• Niagara winery wine tasting/food
• AGO and McMichael Collection private tours
• Bruce Bell guided walk in Toronto
• Transfers by private coach as required by the itinerary
• Driver/guide gratuities
• Hosted by Act 1 Tours’ partner
- $3,950 per person with shared hotel room occupancy
- $4,900 per person with single hotel room occupancy
Hotel extra nights priced on request and availability
A deposit of $1,950 is due at registration ($1,250 non-refundable), with the balance by August 8, 2019 and at that date the total amount is non-refundable.
Trip cancellation insurance is recommended to mitigate financial loss should the need to cancel arise for insurable reasons. Act 1 Tours can arrange coverage on your behalf through AIG Travel Guard on request. Certain policies waive pre-existing medical conditions if purchased within 15 days of the initial deposit.