The company

Travel for the Arts was established in 1988, to arrange tours for the Friends of Covent Garden, and now arranges over 100 tours a year, as a division of Specialised Travel Ltd.

We arrange small group tours featuring selected performances of opera, ballet and classical music, and à la Carte itineraries for the independent traveller. Our portfolio of destinations expands annually, introducing lesser-known theatres and performances whilst continuing to visit the traditional favourites.

The team

Travel for the Arts is staffed by a team of specialists with a wealth of experience in travel, music and the arts, who are involved in the planning of every tour from conception to operation. Our team regularly travel as tour managers on a selection of our tours to ensure that we maintain our knowledge of each destination.

Richard Savage

Richard Savage

C.E.O

Richard is C.E.O at Specialised Travel and Travel for the Arts and has happily combined a career as a professional singer with running a specialist music travel company for over 40 years.


Emma Benson

Emma Benson

General Manager

Emma joined Specialised Travel in 2011 as Operations Manager. She previously operated tours with an archaeological and historical focus, travelling extensively throughout the Middle East and Asia.


Juliet Manners

Juliet Manners

Programme and Marketing Manager

Juliet joined the company in 2007, having worked in Marketing and Communications at the Royal Opera House. She previously spent 3 years in orchestral travel, and is a trained dancer.


Pablo Basombrio

Pablo Basombrio

Sales and Reservations Manager

Pablo has been working with specialist tours since 1998, originally in his native Argentina. His favourite composers are Verdi and Beethoven, and he hopes to one day take Travel for the Arts to Buenos Aires.


Vanessa Kyriacou

Vanessa Kyriacou

Product Manager

Vanessa joined the company in 2013 and has 20 years’ experience in the travel industry. She counts China and India as some of her top destinations and is enjoying expanding her knowledge of opera and ballet.


Mark Saunsbury

Mark Saunsbury

Manager, À la Carte

Mark has been with Travel for the Arts since 2001 and in travel since 1984. He was initially in retail travel, including four years with Thomas Cook, before moving into tour operating. He spent the 1990s working for a pilgrimage tour operator.

our experts

The success of our tours depends very much on our experts. All our tours are led by travel experts, and many of our tour managers are also professional musicians and music specialists. Below is just a selection of the many people who work with us to ensure that you have the best experience possible.

Simon Rees

Simon Rees

Simon is a freelance writer, lecturer and translator. For 23 years he was dramaturg at Welsh National Opera.


Stephen Carpenter

Stephen Carpenter

Stephen led our Mendelssohn in Scotland tour in 2015 and will be planning and leading further holidays in association with us in 2016 and beyond.


Richard Savage

Richard Savage

Richard is C.E.O at Specialised Travel and Travel for the Arts and has happily combined a career as a professional singer with running a specialist music travel company for over 40 years.


Carol Savage

Carol Savage

Carol is a professional concert and opera singer, with a degree in History of Art from London University.


Patrick Mylon

Patrick Mylon

Patrick will be familiar to many of our guests, having tour managed for 7 years. He is a true opera fan, particularly of Wagner, and has attended 10 Ring Cycles.


Zita Stockwell

Zita Stockwell

Zita has been leading our tours for 26 years and is an expert on many destinations, particularly her native Budapest. She is a keen opera and concert attendee.


David Waite

David Waite

David is a professional Blue Badge Tourist Guide and also the Founder & Director of Guiding You Ltd, a tour guiding and training company.


Raffaella Golinucci

Raffaella Golinucci

is a freelance professional Tour Manager and has worked in the music business for many years. She also often looks after well-known musicians.

Eva Gordon-Smith

Eva Gordon-Smith

Eva is a consultant, lecturer and Blue Badge Guide. She has been managing concert tours in a number of European countries for 25 years.