“Do not forget me quite” is a touching quote from a poem that Ivor Gurney wrote whilst in the trenches. One hundred years on from the end for the First World War, this holiday combines visits to some of the most important battlefields and memorials of the Somme as well as giving an insight into the lives of the English composers who served on the front including Ralph Vaughan Williams, Ivor Gurney, Arthur Bliss and George Butterworth. We will also visit Opéra de Lille for a performance of Verdi’s Nabucco.
THU 17 MAY Depart by Eurostar to Lille and transfer to Gosnay near Béthune where we check in to the 4-star La Chartreuse Hotel. Welcome introduction and dinner at the hotel.
FRI 18 MAY Morning talk on Ralph Vaughan Williams and the First World War and its impact on his music, with performances on record of The Pastoral Symphony and Along the Field. Lunch at the hotel is followed by a visit to Écoivres, Mont St Eloi and Vimy Ridge. Return to hotel for dinner.
SAT 19 MAY Morning talk on Arthur Bliss and George Butterworth in the First World War. After lunch at the hotel, we transfer to Lille where we will have a 2-hour guided walking tour of the city, followed by a performance of Verdi’s Nabucco at Opéra de Lille. Return to the hotel after the performance for a late-night supper.
SUN 20 MAY Depart from the hotel in the morning and travel to Ypres to visit the Flanders Field Museum, and lunch under your own arrangements, followed by a guided visit to the Ypres Salient including the tunnels and mines at Hill 60 and the Caterpillar crater and the famous Christmas truce site. After dinner together in a local restaurant, we will experience the daily “Last Post” ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres before returning to the hotel.
MON 21 MAY Depart from the hotel in the morning for the Thiepval Memorial, followed by a visit to Albert to see the First World War Museum and have lunch under your own arrangements. In the afternoon we will continue to Arras where we will have a couple of hours to explore the town. Travel on to Lille for an independent dinner before catching the Eurostar back to London.
19 MAY 18.00 OPÉRA DE LILLE
Roberto Rizzi Brignoli, conductor
Marie-Eve Signeyrole, director
Nikoloz Lagvilava (baritone), Nabucco
Elizabeth Williams (soprano), Abigaille
Simon Lim (bass), Zaccaria
Robert Watson (tenor), Ismaele
Victoria Fenena (mezzo-soprano), Fenena
François Rougeir (tenor), Abdallo
Jennifer Courcier (soprano), Anna
Alessandro Spina (bass), Gran Sacerdote
Orchestra National de Lille
Choruses of l’Opéra de Lille and l’Opéra de Dijon
17 May London St Pancras - Lille dep: 10.58 arr: 13.26
21 May Lille - London St Pancras dep: 20.30 arr: 21.03
If more convenient, flights from your local airport can be arranged on request.
Price per person
Price per person
Tour price: £1,595
Single supplement: £190
Business Premier supplement from £200
Land-only tour price £1525
Deposit required £350
Tour price includes: rail travel, group transfers from and to station and for all included activities where applicable, accommodation, breakfast daily, two lunches, four dinners, sightseeing tours as described, best available ticket for each included performance, the services of Stephen Carpenter as tour manager.
Contact Travel for the Arts quoting tour code SOM1
Telephone +44 20 8799 8350
Email: tfa [at] stlon.com
Travel for the Arts for a booking form