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Smithsonian Journeys, the Smithsonian Institution’s travel program, announces two new Mediterranean luxury cruises with specialized itineraries and concerts by world-renowned musicians, including flautist Sir James Galway and pianist Leon Fleisher. Opera tours featuring the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and music festival tours, including the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C., also provide fascinating, behind-the-scenes music tours closer to home. Travelers can find complete details at www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Music, along with prices, engaging photo slide shows and profiles of the musicians and top experts who accompany the Smithsonian group.
Mediterranean Music Cruise (May 3-16, 2011) will feature the incomparable music of Galway and other artists who perform private recitals. As the ship plies the sea from Seville to Venice, Smithsonian travelers will explore important World Heritage sites in Seville, Barcelona, Carthage and Dubrovnik with a top historian and stop at palaces and historic theaters to enjoy exclusive recitals by James Galway, Lowell Liebermann and other top musicians who accompany participants throughout the entire trip.
Smithsonian travelers can also cruise from Istanbul to Seville on Opus Mediterraneo (Aug. 15-30, 2011), which brings the allure of music and history together. Legendary pianist Leon Fleisher performs private recitals in historic settings with a stellar group of musicians, while Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse) offers insight into the itinerary. This Mediterranean cruise features Istanbul, Ephesus, Crete and Paestum, as well as exciting ports in Spain, including Barcelona, Valencia and Seville.
Both music cruises of the Mediterranean take place aboard the all-suite private yacht Corinthian II and provide the ultimate in a luxury cruise but with an informal ambiance. These small ship cruises carry no more than 114 passengers and provide top amenities, gracious service and fine dining. Custom-designed itineraries provide a fascinating perspective into the destinations and behind-the-scenes access to many sites, as well as exclusive activities, top experts and a pleasant, leisurely pace with time at sea for relaxation.
Smithsonian Journeys also announces two special music tours closer to home. The opera tour Springtime at the Metropolitan Opera (March 28-April 1, 2011), features premier seating at four opera performances, along with a behind-the-scenes tour of the theater and exclusive lectures by Smithsonian opera expert Arthur Kaplan. Opera performances include Richard Strauss’ Capriccio, Rossini’s comedy Le Comte Ory, Puccini’s Tosca and Wagner’s Das Rheingold and feature opera stars Renée Fleming, Juan Diego Flórez, Sondra Radvanovsky and Bryn Terfel among others.
During Spoleto Festival in Charleston (June 7-12, 2011), Smithsonian travelers can enjoy prime seating for eight of Spoleto’s top events, including music, opera, dance and theater. This tour also features exclusive lectures by expert Stan Engebretson and meetings with Spoleto Festival staff. Participants stay at the historic Mills House Hotel and dine at some of the city’s famed restaurants. Smithsonian guests will enjoy two operas The Magic Flute and Émilie, the musical The Gospel at Colonus, the award-winning play The Cripple of Inishmaan, modern dance, acrobatics, a concert by the Westminster Choir and a Spoleto Chamber Music performance.
Full details on music cruises, opera tours and music festival programs can be found at www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Music.
About Smithsonian Journeys
Smithsonian Journeys is the Smithsonian Institution’s travel program, with more than 40 years dedicated to life-enriching experiences worldwide. The Smithsonian is known for “Inspiring Generations through Knowledge and Discovery,” which is central to Smithsonian Journeys and its more than 150 expert-led international and domestic tours featuring exclusive access and unforgettable experiences. For more information, call toll-free 1 (877) 338-8687 or visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org.
About Smithsonian Institution
Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. There are 6,000 Smithsonian employees, including approximately 500 scientists, and more than 6,500 volunteers. There were approximately 30 million visits from around the world at the Smithsonian in 2009 with more than 188 million visits to the Smithsonian websites. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at 137 million.
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