The Canadian cultural capital of Toronto remains among our most popular fall destinations, when the new musical and theatrical season combines with the October weather for an ideal long weekend. This year, we are drawn to the Canadian Opera Company (COC) for a pair of not-to-be-missed productions. First will be Tchaikovsky’s Russian masterpiece Eugene Onegin in the romantic Robert Carsen staging originally created for the MET. Second will be the eagerly awaited world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian, set to Daniel MacIvor’s libretto depicting the Roman Emperor Hadrian’s devastating grief after his lover Antinous drowns in the Nile. The composer and librettist have been inspired to celebrate this classical same-sex model of eros set in 2nd century Rome and immortalized at the archaeological ruins of Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli. The cast of ‘Eugene Onegin’ will feature Joyce El-Khoury, Joseph Kaiser and Gordon Bintner as the protagonists; and ‘Hadrian’ boasts American baritone Thomas Hampson in the title role, Isaiah Bell as the young Antinous, and veterans Karita Mattila and Ben Heppner among the principals. 

In addition to the operas, a third performance will be a concert by the city’s esteemed Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall, where guest conductor Thomas Sondergard will be on the podium for works by Thomas Adès, Britten, Poulenc and Debussy. Finally, our long weekend will also take us to the acclaimed George Bernard Shaw Festival in the charming Victorian village of Niagara-on-the-Lake, with a visit to the spectacular Canadian side of Niagara Falls.  Our performance at the Shaw Festival will be Shakespeare’s towering anti-war history play, Henry V

For North American aficionados of classical music, the 2007 opening of Toronto's new state-of-the-art Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts proved a sensational success. Designed by the Toronto firm of Diamond and Schmitt Architects, this 2,000 seat jewel in the heart of the city has galvanized the city’s operatic scene. "Acoustics have been designed to showcase the full glory and range of opera. The tiered horseshoe-shaped auditorium is modeled on the best European houses, offering unparalleled intimacy and sightlines." (C0C). All opera enthusiasts should travel to Toronto to share the enriching experience of a performance in R. Fraser Elliott Hall.

Toronto is a preferred destination for Americans due to the advantageous rate of the U.S. dollar against the Canadian dollar, for independent dining and shopping.  

Accommodations for four nights at the deluxe Hilton Toronto, ideally located across the street from the new opera house for our performances of the Canadian Opera Company and only a few blocks from Roy Thomson Hall. Situated in the heart of the city’s commercial and entertainment district, the Hilton offers the Tundra Restaurant for award-winning cuisine, Ruth’s Chris Steak House for prime beef and fresh seafood. There is also an inviting Irish pub (Fionn MacCool’s) next door for convenient light fare and Timothy’s World Coffee on the same block. Twenty-four hour room service and a fitness room/swimming pool area are among the hotel’s outstanding features. The Hilton overlooks Toronto’s expansive University Avenue on the corner of Richmond Street West.

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Prices Per Person (Air Fare not Included)

Double Occupancy: $2,985
Single Occupancy: $3,635