TOURS WITH A NICHE DIF­FER­ENCE

World-wide travel itin­er­ar­ies fo­cus on a mu­si­cal ex­pe­ri­ence

Noosa Life and Style - - TRAVEL - Con­tact 1300 308 385 or email [email protected]

DOES a four-night get­away to Syd­ney to see West Side Story on Syd­ney Har­bour tickle your fancy? How about a 10-night ‘mini-fes­ti­val’ in Tonga, or a stun­ning Ital­ian tour to the Verdi Fes­ti­val and La Scala with spe­cial mu­sic-re­lated vis­its, and of course, plenty of good food and wine? A niche travel com­pany on the Sun­shine Coast is or­gan­is­ing tour itin­er­ar­ies with a va­ri­ety of mu­si­cal per­for­mances and ex­pe­ri­ences which sell out quickly. The own­ers be­hind the com­pany are bari­tone Ste­wart Cameron and so­prano Jen­nifer Parish, who many will know as OPERATIF!. Since 1994, the cou­ple have been the pro­ducers of renowned of­fer­ings of opera and song in Aus­tralia and be­yond and see the ex­pan­sion to pro­duc­ing tours with mu­sic as quite a nat­u­ral one. At­ten­tion to de­tail and an un­der­stand­ing of what peo­ple en­joy, is re­quired in both ac­tiv­i­ties they say. Their first tour was in re­sponse to con­cert clients re­quest­ing ex­actly what Jen­nifer and Ste­wart now of­fer! Seven years on from the over­whelm­ing suc­cess of their first tour, the pair now tai­lor-make each one, rang­ing from a few days in Syd­ney for Opera on the Har­bour, to mu­si­cal es­capes in the South Pa­cific and show­case ours to Europe and the UK. The com­mon thread is the in­clu­sion of care­fully cho­sen mu­sic in each itin­er­ary, from tra­di­tional folk to opera and or­ches­tral, usu­ally all three! What is most unique about Mu­sic Lovers Tours, is that Ste­wart and Jen­nifer, not only de­cide what they wish to of­fer and where, they then lov­ingly con­struct each tour from the ground up, ne­go­ti­at­ing and book­ing di­rect with ho­tels, the­atres, opera houses, tour guides, mu­se­ums, coach com­pa­nies and air­lines. “Of course, if would be far eas­ier to book an ‘off the shelf’ tour from an agency, tweak it a bit, add on a mar­gin and then sell it,” said Ste­wart, “but that would mean giv­ing over con­trol and flex­i­bil­ity. “Worst of all, it would deprive us of the sat­is­fac­tion of sourc­ing such spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ences for our clients. “We en­joy choos­ing just the right ho­tels, res­tau­rants and so on and be­cause we host each tour and meet our sup­pli­ers in per­son, the level of ser­vice we re­ceive, is far, far higher. “Our clients keep telling us this too, es­pe­cially when they’re en­joy­ing ‘best seats in the house’ at a venue such as La Scala!” Tours on the hori­zon in 2019 (which still have places!) are a de­light­ful four nights in Syd­ney for West Side Story on Syd­ney Har­bour in April and a fab­u­lous 10-night ‘mini-fes­ti­val’ in Tonga, with con­certs by Aus­tralia and NZ per­form­ers, is­land tours, lo­cal mu­si­cians and con­vivial meals en­sur­ing a mem­o­rable Au­gust hol­i­day. In May 2020, there is South­ern Pas­sion, a fas­ci­nat­ing im­mer­sion in the is­lands of Si­cily and Malta and in Oc­to­ber, Viva Verdi, a stun­ning Ital­ian tour to the Verdi Fes­ti­val.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Pre­vi­ous Operatif! tours have in­cluded a trip to the UK to see La Scala.

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