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.


Joel Rubenstein

Joel Rubenstein

Head of Tour Operations

Joel has previously worked for both an off-the-beaten-track tour operator and lifestyle and concierge manager for HNW members. He has always had an interest in travel and has lived in Cape Town, New York and Australia previously.


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 is pleased to take Travel for the Arts to his hometown Buenos Aires in November 2019.


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.

Gisela Pereira

Gisela Pereira

Marketing Manager

Gisela has recently joined Specialised Travel, bringing with her more than 15 years’ experience in Marketing and Communications. Before starting a career in the travel industry, she worked in different organisations within the arts and culture sector.

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.

Rita Grudzien

Rita Grudzien

Programme Researcher

Rita is our Programme Researcher who takes exceptional care in programming the quality tours you see in our publications. For many years, she worked at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Stephen Carpenter

Stephen Carpenter

Director of Carpenter Holidays

Stephen led our Mendelssohn in Scotland tour in 2015 and has planned and led several further holidays in association with us since then.

Carol Savage

Carol Savage

Tour Manager

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

Patrick Mylon

Patrick Mylon

Tour Manager

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

Zita Stockwell

Zita Stockwell

Tour Manager

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.

Eva Gordon-Smith

Eva Gordon-Smith

Tour Manager

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

Helena Matheopoulos

Helena Matheopoulos

Lecturer

Helena, Associate Editor of Opera Now magazine and author of eight books, is one of our knowledgeable speakers to give talks on a variety of operatic subjects.

Amaryllis Logotheti

Amaryllis Logotheti

Tour Manager

Amaryllis was born in Greece and lived in Cyprus, Turkey, France and Germany and has been working as a tour manager for over ten years.

Averil Harrison-Thuemmel

Averil Harrison-Thuemmel

Tour Manager

Averil has managed tours while based in Vancouver, Beijing, New York, Mumbai and Berlin. She is an avid choral singer and former military musician.

Fiona Rose

Fiona Rose

Tour Manager

Fiona pursued a career in opera, performing throughout the UK and Europe, after studying at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio.