New York

Ultimate Opera: Two Productions at the Met

Fulfill a dream and come to New York to attend two performances at the Metropolitan Opera House. Plus, enjoy a private demonstration by a renowned professional musician!
Rating (4.93)
Program No. 12726RJ
6 days
Starts at
15 Reviews
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4.93 Average

This was a superb program in all respects: -- A most welcome reversion to an interesting and beautifully staged Traviata; and a stunning interpretation of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess in which not only voices but acting, chorus, dancing (with its eye-opening--for me--introduction to the creativity of Camille Brown), and stage setting all combined into an incredible experience. -- I recognize that "herding cats"--dealing with the needs and impulses of a varied group in New York City where use of an unfamiliar-to-many subway system is the basic form of transportation--is a complicated responsibility. I'd like to expresss special gratitude to Karl Baudendistel for his unfailing reliability, efficiency, and above all good nature in running all the practical aspects of the program so successfully and with so much consideration. -- As always, the artists speaking to and performing for our group were excellent, and I was happy at the inclusion of one of my favorites, William Berger. The special treat was of course Sportin' Life Freddie Ballentine whose delightful personality was so entertaining as he revealed some of the reality of the opera singer's world. -- The New Yorker Hotel is unmatched in its location, including subway access, an advantage which overcomes the age of its rooms and their often-inconvenient configuration. The first-night dinner in its restaurant was good, and the breakfasts were OK. The bag lunches in our meeting room were also very satisfactory. -- Food quality in restaurants: Chef Yu--good; ABA Istanbul--OK; Tir Na Nog--rather disappointing. Note: The deli down the block, Essen, is superb for take-out. To both Karl and Daniel Egan, thank you so very much for another wonderul program! Lorraine Polik




I live a train ride outside New York City, but loved having 5 nights at a modest hotel near Times Square, not having to take the train home out to the suburbs after a show in the evening. I am an opera novice and just loved being submerged in the culture of it. A fabulous program with top notch speakers! Can't wait to do another one on opera in the same or different location.


I had little to no knowledge of opera and I have come away with a much better understanding, The leaders and instructors are top notch. Guest speakers provide further insight. There is a proper balance of free time. It is well organized and careful attention to every detail. This is my second Program and will definitely not be my last.


Ultimate Opera was a wonderful program! It was my first visit to NYC and what a delight. This was also my first Road Scholar trip, and the overall experience and especially the lectures exceeded my expectations. Wonderful!


In places I'd hoped to be able to give 6 stars. Imagine your best professor or instructor. Imagine that person could inspire understanding and passion about opera to the most resistant or apparently uninterested. Double or triple the impact that imaginary instructor might have had on you. Package it in the most striking of American cities and the absolute Mecca of opera: That is the experience you'll likely have.


A mixed bag of people who know quite a bit about opera and those who want to learn more. The mix makes for a yeasty gathering of opinions, questions, and ideas. Walks to and from nearby subway are invigorating and fun and not intimidating. Great New York fun with compatible people of a variety of backgrounds and opera knowledge. The operas and the backstage tour just what you would expect from Road Scholar and the MET: Some of the best and most welcoming musical adventures on the travel scene.


Great experience. I'd recommend it to anyone.


This is an amazingly good program for anyone whole loves opera. You don't have to be particularly knowledgable going in, but will come out understanding more and more about what makes you love opera. The best testemony is that many of the participants in our group have been on this program more than once. I ntend to come back next year.


This was an excellent program in all respects. Our group of 37 was quite diverse, some with many operas under their belt and some (like me) who had never attended an opera before. Our main instructors (Karl and Dan) were terrific and made sure everyone felt comfortable participating in discussions. The "back-stage" tour added tremendously to the enjoyment of the performances, and all of our guest speakers were interesting. Navigating the subway to get to performances on time was easy with Karl leading the way. Highly recommend this program for anyone with the slightest interest in opera! It is especially good for a novice as you get tremendous insight you would never get by going on your own.


This is a superb program in every respect. The group leader and presenters were all extraordinary and the operas and tour of the Met and neighborhood around the hotel so interesting and informative. Our large group consisted of folks quite new to opera and others with years of interest and attendance at operas. I felt that all levels were so well accommodated and respected. People were engaged, and the presenters were so open in answering questions. It was inspirational! And being in NYC enhanced my energy and desire to attend more operas and return to some of the great attractions of New York.


This is a well-organized and most interesting program for folks going to their 1st opera and folks going to their 20th opera. There was lots to learn from very interesting speakers about all the sorts of people and skills that have to come together to produce the operas we enjoy. Plus a most interesting backstage tour of the Met Opera and two excellent operas.


This was a very complete program covering the various aspects of musicians having to do with opera performance.


This filled one of my bucket list items--to be at the Met and to enjoy not one but two outstanding operas was just tremendous.


This course was exactly as described. We saw two operas at the Met which we have awaited a lifetime. The educational portion was exceptional especially to hear from 3 artists and a met staffer who is very visible on the Met Live in HD. Staff led discussions were done with excellent teaching skills. Course guide was a NYC ambassador-full of knowledge. Highly recommended.

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