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Thread: Opera-themed sea or river cruises?

          
   
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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Opera-themed sea or river cruises?

    I'm coming back from a cruise vacation to Alaska, my first cruise trip ever. I loved it. The nature is stunning (glaciers, mountains, lakes, wildlife), and the ship is nice (the brand new Norwegian Bliss). But the most negative aspect for me was the live music aboard the ship. With a few exceptions, it was very mediocre, with bad musicians and genres that don't appeal to me at all (country, pop). No classical or jazz to be heard; much less, opera.

    But since I liked the cruise experience itself, I was thinking, are there good opera-themed cruises? I know that there are jazz-themed ones, and I do like jazz as my second preferred genre, but I don't think I'd take a cruise just for jazz. For opera, though, I would.

    Any recommendations, or past experiences / reviews?
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    I've occasionally read about such cruises, though they all seem to be based in Europe. There's this interesting story from The Telegraph:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/c...-opera-singer/

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    I've occasionally read about such cruises, though they all seem to be based in Europe. There's this interesting story from The Telegraph:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/c...-opera-singer/
    Hm, I do like Charlotte Hewett's cough cough assets cough cough.
    Interesting article. One can tell, though, that the author is not an opera lover even without his confession, by the telling "Madam Butterfly."

    Hey, no problem with these cruises being based in Europe. I love Europe!
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Beware. It's not lucrative to make attractions especially for genuine opera aficionados and any cruise that advertises itself as opera cruise will most likely be a overpriced trap for tourists with too much money on their hands and desire to feel "classy". Europe is full of these things. You'll just end up throwing yourself into the river to escape further ear-bombardment with Habanera, La donna e mobile and La ci darem la mano.

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FriendlySpermwhale View Post
    Beware. It's not lucrative to make attractions especially for genuine opera aficionados and any cruise that advertises itself as opera cruise will most likely be a overpriced trap for tourists with too much money on their hands and desire to feel "classy". Europe is full of these things. You'll just end up throwing yourself into the river to escape further ear-bombardment with Habanera, La donna e mobile and La ci darem la mano.
    Good point!

    But I'm actually eyeing a river cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow with the Viking line which includes tickets to the Mariinsky and the Bolshoi, so these should be a whole lot better than having some 5th category failed opera singers who can't get hired anywhere else, performing for a bunch of clueless tourists.

    I just saw that the Silversea line has partnered with the Accademia Teatro alla Scala (founded by Riccardo Muti) for concerts at sea with 4 singers and a pianist. Also, Holland America Line has partnered with the Lincoln Center to have their jazz musicians (including prestigious ones like Wynton Marsalis) and chamber music ensembles in their cruises.

    These should yield musicians of better quality.

    And the luxury lines with smaller boats and river boats are more likely to cater to guests who might not be clueless after all.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FriendlySpermwhale View Post
    Beware. It's not lucrative to make attractions especially for genuine opera aficionados and any cruise that advertises itself as opera cruise will most likely be a overpriced trap for tourists with too much money on their hands and desire to feel "classy". Europe is full of these things. You'll just end up throwing yourself into the river to escape further ear-bombardment with Habanera, La donna e mobile and La ci darem la mano.
    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    Good point!

    But I'm actually eyeing a river cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow with the Viking line which includes tickets to the Mariinsky and the Bolshoi, so these should be a whole lot better than having some 5th category failed opera singers who can't get hired anywhere else, performing for a bunch of clueless tourists.

    I just saw that the Silversea line has partnered with the Accademia Teatro alla Scala (founded by Riccardo Muti) for concerts at sea with 4 singers and a pianist. Also, Holland America Line has partnered with the Lincoln Center to have their jazz musicians (including prestigious ones like Wynton Marsalis) and chamber music ensembles in their cruises.

    These should yield musicians of better quality.

    And the luxury lines with smaller boats and river boats are more likely to cater to guests who might not be clueless after all.
    Those sound fantastic, especially the Russian one.
    "Every theatre is an insane asylum, but an opera theatre is the ward for the incurables."

    FRANZ SCHALK, attributed, Losing the Plot in Opera: Myths and Secrets of the World's Great Operas

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