Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Discover Oxford's History with Incantato Tours

If you are interested in learning about the more than a thousand year-old history of Oxford, the Museum of Oxford is the place to be. It is dedicated to the history of the University, the city and the central role it played in English history. Among the many renowned museums in Oxford, the Ashmolean Museum was established in 1683 and therefore the oldest public museum in the world! 

Oxford's city center is largely shaped by the University's historic buildings. The main research library, the Bodleian Library, dates back to 1427 and has been a copyright library since 1610. That means it is one of the few libraries entitles to receive a copy of every book published in the United Kingdom. It holds over 7 million volumes on a total of 118 miles of shelving! Because the collection is so extensive, much of it is actually stored underground. The oldest part of the library is the Divinity School which has a beautiful vaulted stone ceiling and was originally constructed for the teaching of theology. It has recently become famous as it was used as the Hogwarts sanatorium in the Harry Potter films. The Duke Humfrey's library can also be seen in the movies as the Hogwarts library. 

Besides the fame Oxford has gained from being the most popular filming location in the UK, people from Oxford have also made their mark in history. Familiar names include Robert Boyleto, Oscar Wilde, Rowan Atkinson and Tony Blair. Oxford was also a popular meeting place for J.R.R. Tolkien and his good friend C.S. Lewis.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mayfield Senior School First Itinerary 2013

A 10-day custom-designed performance journey presented by Incantato Concert Tours for the Mayfield Senior School Conservatory for the Arts 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19 T0 FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013 
Arts Immersion Tour in the footsteps of Cornelia Connelly 

DAY 1, Wednesday, June 19 2013 
Overnight non-stop flight to London 
DAY 2, Thursday, June 20 
Welcome to the British Isles 
Your Incantato Tour Manager and coach driver welcome you upon arrival in London and assist with the transfer to the Tunbridge Wells area for check-in and traditional English welcome dinner. 
Located just 30 miles south of London, this historic town has been attracting visitors for 400 years and will be your home away from home for the next four nights. 
DAYS 3 to 5, Friday to Sunday June 21 to 23 
In Cornelia Connelly‘s Footseps - Mayfield School Visit & Highlight Concer
Travel back in time as your group visits St. Leonards-Mayfield School, located in the beautiful countryside about an hour outside of London and founded by Cornelia Connelly in 1872. The Old Palace at Mayfield dates back to 1325 and was donated to the Society of the Holy Child to be turned into a girls‘ boarding school. Enjoy three days on campus and multiple opportunities to study, work and play with staff and students alike. On Saturday, prepare for a special performance and then on Sunday, MSS will be part of the 150th anniversary celebration Mass in the medieval chapel where Cornelia Connelly was laid to rest. 
DAY 6, Monday, June 24 
Oxford University Visit & Performance 
Discover the more than a thousand year-old history of Oxford as you explore the city center which is shaped largely by the University‘s buildings. After a guided tour with a special focus on the arts, there will be another performance opportunity, before transferring to London, your base for the remainder of the tour. 
DAY 7, Tuesday, June 25 
Cambridge Excursion & Performance 
A university town since 1209, Cambridge offers a lot to see from the Kings‘ College Chapel to the Margaret Beaufort Institute, a Roman Catholic House of Studies for women specializing in theology, spirituality, and leadership for lay ministries. The Mayfield ensembles will likely perform here as well. A special treat will be a „punt,“ a river cruise in traditional boaters. 
DAY 8, Wednesday, June 26 
London Tour & Arts Immersion Part I 
In the morning, take a sightseeing tour of this vibrant city still bustling with the excitement from the 2012 Olympics, including entrances to some of the famous sights such as the Tower of London, British Museum or National Gallery. There will be ample opportunities to explore and experience the bustling London theatre scene through your MSS contacts and to stage a final highlight performance. 
DAY 9, Thursday, June 27 
London in-depth & Arts Immersion Part II 
There is so much to see and do in London that you will appreciate having an extra day to further explore the many sights England‘s capital city has to offer. A special farewell dinner in Notting Hill will conclude the journey. We can also arrange for West End show tickets at an additional cost not yet included. 
Day 10, Friday, June 28 
Return flight home 
Head back to California with memories to last a lifetime. 
This itinerary will continue to take shape based on the participants‘ interests and their fields of study. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

London's Churches with Incantato Tours

London's magnificent churches create the city's unique skyline and tell the story of the capital's history. One of the oldest of these is the cathedral church of St. Saviour and St. Mary Overy, originally founded in 606 AD. It was in this cathedral that John Harvard was baptized in in 1607, which is why there is the Harvard Chapel. On the north bank is where you will find some of the most famous churches, including Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral. However, with such monumental buildings, it is easy to overlook some of the other churches, such as St. Margaret, the church of the House of Commons. It was founded in the 12th century; the current building dates back to 1523 and is particularly noteworthy for the 15th-century stained glass in the east window. Just a footpath away from Westminster Abbey, this is where Winston Churchill was married. 
Westminster Abbey itself is, of course, no to be overlooked either. Steeped in more than a thousand years of history, Benedictine monks first came to the site in the middle of the 10th century and established a tradition of daily worship which continues to this day. Begun in 1245, it is one of the most important Gothic buildings in the country. The Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066 and is also the final resting place of 17 monarchs. 
Equally imposing is St. Paul's Cathedral. The current building is the fifth to stand on the site since 604 and it was built between 1675 and 1710 after the previous building had been destroyed in the Great Fire of London. Throughout its long history, there have been several commemorating events, such as Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee celebrated here in 1897. Catherine of Aragon and Prince Arthur were married here in 1501, as well as the famous wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana in 1981. Most recently, Queen Elizabeth II also celebrated her 80th birthday here in 2006 and her own diamond jubilee in 2012. 


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

St. Leonard's Mayfield School



St. Leonard’s Mayfield School is a Roman Catholic school for girls aged 7-13 in Mayfield, Great Britain. Mayfield is located less than 40 miles from the center of London. The school was founded 1872 by Cornelia Connelly and the Society and the Holy child Jesus. Cornelia Connelly created an educational system based on trust and reverence. The school is committed to the tradition of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. 

What is the society of the Society and the Holy child Jesus (SHCJ)?
SHCJ was founded over 160 years ago and is an international society of Catholic women religious committed to Christ based on vision life, spirituality and vision continue
 
Facts about the school:
  • The school’s mission is 'to help others to believe that God lives and acts in them and in our world, ant to rejoice in the divine presence' 
  • 425 pupils are currently enrolled
  • St. Leonard’s Mayfield School is organized into Lower School, Middle School and Sixth Form (Years 11 and 18)
  • The majority of pupils come from homes near Mayfield
  • The school has an international community: Spain, Mexico, Venezuela, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Russia, China, Hong Kong and Nigeria
  • St. Leonard offers a wide variety of activities beyond the classroom e.g. ballet, dancing, hockey, music

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Did You Know? Incantato's Fun Facts about England

 
London is the largest city in Europe. There are over twelve million people living within the greater London area. 

London is one of the cities with the highest cultural diversity in the world. About 25% of the  inhabitants of London were born outside of England.

Windsor Castle is the oldest royal residence in the world still being used by a royal family.

The famous Big Ben is not the name of the clock tower, but is actually the name of the bell inside the tower of St. Stephen's. 

The world's first public zoo first opened in 1829 in London. 

There are over 300 languages spoken in England. From 1066 to 1362, French was actually the official language in England.

The English drink more tea than any other nation (over twenty times more than Americans)

England's first Fish'n'Chips restaurant was started in 1860.

London's tube system is the first and the largest underground system in the world.

The 409 escalators in the London subway cover a distance every week which is approximately equivalent to several trips around the globe.

The river Thames, which flows through London, has over 200 bridges and 20 tunnels. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Discover London with Incantato Tours!

London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom. It is the UK's largest and most populous metropolitan area and the largest urban zone in the European Union.

  • A major settlement for two millennia, its history goes back to its founding by the Romans, who called it Londinium.
  • London is a leading global city being one of the world's largest financial centres.
  • London's influence in politics, finance, education, entertainment, media, fashion, the arts and culture in general contributes to its global position.
  • London hosted the 1908,1948 and 2012 Summer Olympics 
  • London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; the historic settlement of Greenwich; the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; and the site comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret's Church.
  • Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a rallying point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and crisis.
  • London has a diverse range of peoples, cultures and religions, and more than 300 languages are spoken within its boundaries.
  • In July 2007 it had an official population of 7,556,900 within the boundaries of Greater London, making it the most populous municipality in the European Union.
  • The London Underground network, administered by Transport for London, is the oldest and most extensive underground railway network in the world.

Tunbridge Wells - an Incantato Favorite

Royal Tunbridge Wells has been attracting visitors for 400 years and has become a landmark in Kent's history, ever since the chance discovery of the Chalybeate Spring by a young nobleman in 1606. Its reputation as the place to see and be seen amongst royalty and the aristocracy over the years makes the history of Tunbridge Wells one of the most colorful in England. Soon after Lord North's discovery, word of the purported health-giving properties of the spring water soon spread, and visitors from London and elsewhere flocked to 'the Wells' to try the waters. Coffee houses, lodgings, shops, taverns and gaming houses soon sprang up in one continuous line near the Spring joined by a covered colonnaded walkway which later became known as the Pantiles. This pretty and well-known colonnade is still to be seen today - full of interesting boutiques and antique shops, open-air cafés, bars and restaurants.
In Georgian times particularly, Tunbridge Wells became a well-known and popular spa resort, a rival to nearby Brighton. Its visitors alternated between Bath for the summer season and Tunbridge Wells for the winter season. The lively social scene in Tunbridge Wells was famously organised by the dandy Richard Beau Nash who also divided his time between Tunbridge Wells and Bath and made sure that residents and visitors alike adhered to the 'rules' of social behavior.
In the early 1800s Tunbridge Wells became a very desirable place for rich business and professional people not just for a holiday, but also in which to live. A great deal of building was undertaken to the north of the small spa as large villas and family houses were built - many of them by the architect Decimus Burton. Evidence of this grand period of new architecture in Tunbridge Wells still survives today.
2009 it was the 100th anniversary of 'Royal' Tunbridge Wells. King Edward VII officially recognized the popularity of Tunbridge Wells with its many royal and aristocratic visitors - including his mother, Queen Victoria - over the centuries by granting the town its "Royal" prefix. In 1909 the town became known, as it is to this day, as Royal Tunbridge Wells, one of only a few towns in England to be granted this title.
Today Royal Tunbridge Wells, or Tunbridge Wells as it is more commonly called, remains a popular place to live and to visit as it maintains much of its original charm and elegance. Surrounded by beautiful countryside and just a short distance from London it is an ideal destination for a short break.
As part of the celebrations in 2006 marking the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the Chalybeate Spring, a Heritage Walking Trail of the town was launched taking in some of the most interesting and important historic aspects of the town, including a series of special commemorative plaques marking buildings of significant interest or with a connection with interesting figures from the past.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mayfield Senior School at the Papal Audience in Rome: Chilly, but happy to be in the front rows

Papal audience

video

Facts about Vatican City


Vatican City, officially the State of the Vatican City, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, the capital city of Italy. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares, and a population of just over 800.

Vatican City is a city-state that came into existence in 1929. It is distinct from the Holy See, which dates back to early Christianity and is the main Episcopal see of 1.147 billion Latin and Eastern Catholic adherents around the globe.

Ordinances of Vatican City are published in Italian; official documents of the Holy See are issued mainly in Latin. The two entities even have distinct passports: the Holy See, not being a country, only issues diplomatic and service passports; the state of Vatican City issues normal passports. In both cases the passports issued are very few.

Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state, ruled by the bishop of Rome - the Pope. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergymen of various nationalities. It is the sovereign territory of the Holy See (Sancta Sedes) and the location of the Pope's residence, referred to as the Apostolic Palace. The Popes have resided in the area, that in 1929 became Vatican City, since the return from Avignon in 1377.

Mayfield Senior Girls Touring Choir will Sing Twice at the Vatican on Wednesday, April 11



What a special day this will be for the members of the Mayfield Senior Italy Tour! On Wednesday, April 11, 2012, the singers among the travelers will be performing first for his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI during the Papal Audience and then perform again in the afternoon as the featured guest choir for Mass in St. Peter's Basilica under the direction of their director Mr. Howard Cheung.

The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter is located within the Vatican City. St. Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world, holding 60,000 people. It is the symbolic "Mother Church" of the Catholic Church and is regarded as one of the holiest Christian sites in the world. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom".

In Catholic tradition, it is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to tradition, first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession. Tradition and some historical evidence hold that Saint Peter's tomb is directly below the altar of the basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St Peter's since the Early Christian period. There has been a church on this site since the 4th century. Construction of the present basilica, over the old Constantinian basilica, began on April 18, 1506 and was completed on November 18, 1626.

St. Peter's is a famous place of pilgrimage, for its liturgical functions and for its historical associations. It is associated with the papacy, with the Counter-reformation and numerous artists, most significantly Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475-1564), an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer. Michelangelo took over a building site at which four piers, enormous beyond any constructed since the days of Ancient Rome, were rising behind the remaining nave of the old basilica. He also inherited the numerous schemes designed and redesigned by some of the greatest architectural and engineering brains of the 16th century.

Incidentally, there are over 100 tombs within St. Peter's Basilica, many located in the Vatican grotto, beneath the Basilica. These include 91 popes, St. Ignatius of Antioch, Holy Roman Emperor Otto II, and the composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Exiled Catholic British royalty James Francis Edward Stuart and his two sons, Charles Edward Stuart and Henry Benedict Stuart, are buried here, having been granted asylum by Pope Clement XI. The most recent interment was Pope John Paul II, on April 8, 2005.

Impressions from the special atelier visit with Franco Bellardi for the MSS Visusal Arts students on the 2012 Incantato Italy Tour

Incantato Tours Impressions from "Arts in Motion" by the Mayfield Senior School artists from Rieti, Italy

Mayfield Senior Girls Incantato Tour Performance made the news




Romeo and Juliet, oggi la Flavio Vespasiano

 
Studenti della Mayfield Senior School
Studenti della Mayfield Senior School
   
virgolette

Una rivisitazione dei giovani studenti californiani della Mayfield Senior School di Pasadena

   
dalla Redazione
martedì 10 aprile 2012

Oggi, martedì 10 aprile alle ore 18.30 , presso il Teatro Flavio Vespasiano, Romeo e Giulietta in una rivisitazione multidisciplinare della Mayfield Senior School di Pasadena (USA) . Giovani scrittori creativi, ballerini, coro e strumentisti (tutti trai 14 e i 18 anni d’età) propongono uno spettacolo del conservatorio artistico della prestigiosa scuola californiana. 

Una rilettura dell’opera di Shakespeare con interventi che spaziano dalla recitazione classica alle arti visive, dall’hip hop alla musica per coro, dal balletto alla musica strumentale. Da non perdere. Arts in Motion è il programma che l’Assessorato alla Cultura del Comune di Rieti, Incantato Tours e Wealbiz presentano quest’anno a Rieti, dopo i successi dei concerti per coro dello scorso anno. Incantato Tours ha definitivamente inserito Rieti tra le città europee nelle quali fanno tappa i propri gruppi. 

Quest’anno infatti il gruppo soggiorna nel capoluogo sabino per una settimana, aggiungendo alla performance teatrale di questa sera un intervento alla messa in Cattedrale del lunedì di Pasqua alle ore 18, una visita alla processione del venerdì santo a Contigliano e un laboratorio artistico con gli artisti di Art Monastery al Colle di Costa di Labro. Numerose e variate le visite le degustazioni gastronomiche presso noti ristoranti della Città. Sandra Weinacht , titolare di Incantato Tours e Diego Di Paolo, amministratore di Wealbiz, hanno voluto inserire tra le attività dei giovani studenti californiani, anche un laboratorio di pittura con l’artista Franco Bellardi presso la sua Schola. 

Come recita la mission di Incantato Tours “sperimentare la ricca storia e la bellezza delle più rinomate destinazioni europee e scoprire le gemme nascoste con acustiche meravigliose e pubblico raffinato”….e proprio grazie all’acustica del Teatro Flavio Vespasiano e al suo esperto pubblico , Rieti è inserita tra le gemme d’Europa per l’ambìto mercato dei viaggi studio dei college americani. Sarà il Liceo Classico M. T. Varrone il partner reatino della Mayfield Senior School.

 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Magnificent Venue for the Mayfield Senior Highlight Performance Event on April 10 at 6:30 pm: The Rieti Theatre


The Teatro di Rieti is a magical place where the MSS students will be presenting a highlight performance event as part of their 2012 Italy Tour.

The current structure of the theatre dates back to December of 1883 but was not officially inaugurated until September 20, 1893, featuring productions of Goethe’s Faust and Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana.

The theater, named for the Roman Emperor Vespasian, required ten years of construction under the direction of Milanese architect Achille Sfondrini. The theater underwent complete restoration from 2005 through 2009. A grand re-opening celebration commenced on January 10, 2009 featuring conductor Marcello Rota, and soloists Karina Grigoryan, Jessica Pratt, Anna Gorayacheva, and Roman Burdenko. The Secretary to the Prime Minister as well as Senator Franco Marini were in attendance. The restoration efforts totaled more than 3.3 million Euros. The reopening of the theater also fostered the formation of the Flavius Vespasian Foundation, aiming to promote international artistry and music. 

The Rieti Theatre also annually hosts the Rieti Dance Festival, the International Competition for the New Opera Voices of Mattia Battistini and the National Competition for Young Actors. The theatre is well known for its excellent acoustics, a characteristic that earned the structure the very first National Award for the Acoustics. In referring to the acoustics, Professor Bruno Cagli, president of the National Academy of Saint Cecilia, once called the theatre “the world’s best in that respect”. 


For more information, please click here.

Mrs. Darnell reports from Rieti: "Unbelievable experiences"

Our last two days in Rieti were unbelievable. The Artist took an incredible class with a master teacher. the performers were in the Teatro preparing of their evening performance. The writers blogged and of course there was the free time for lunch. A group of students from Rieti spent the day with us' but nothing could prepare me for the evening. All the prep, dedication and focus came into play on the stage, it warms my heart with pride and joy.

More news coverage for the Mayfield Senior Girls highlight performance


ROMEO AND JULIET DOMANI AL TEATRO FLAVIO

ROMEO AND JULIET DOMANI AL TEATRO FLAVIO
Martedi 10 aprile alle ore 18.30 , presso il Teatro Flavio Vespasiano,  Romeo e Giulietta in una rivisitazione multidisciplinare della Mayfield Senior School di Pasadena (USA) . Giovani scrittori creativi, ballerini, coro e strumentisti  (tutti trai 14 e i 18 anni d’età) propongono uno spettacolo del conservatorio artistico della prestigiosa scuola californiana. Una rilettura dell’opera di Shakespeare con interventi che spaziano dalla recitazione classica  alle arti visive, dall’hip hop alla musica per coro, dal balletto alla musica strumentale. Da  non perdere. Arts in Motion è il programma che l’Assessorato alla Cultura del Comune di Rieti, Incantato Tours e Wealbiz presentano quest’anno a Rieti, dopo i successi dei concerti per coro dello scorso anno. Incantato Tours ha definitivamente inserito Rieti tra le città europee nelle quali fanno tappa i propri gruppi. Quest’anno infatti il gruppo soggiorna nel capoluogo sabino per una settimana , aggiungendo alla performance teatrale di martedi un intervento alla messa in Cattedrale del  lunedi di Pasqua alle ore 18.00, una visita alla processione del venerdi santo a Contigliano e un laboratorio artistico con gli artisti di Art Monastery  al Colle di Costa di Labro. Numerose e variate le visite le degustazioni gastronomiche presso noti ristoranti della Città. Sandra Weinacht , titolare di Incantato Tours e Diego Di Paolo , amministratore di Wealbiz, hanno voluto inserire tra le attività dei giovani studenti californiani, anche un laboratorio di pittura con l’artista Franco Bellardi presso la sua Schola. Come recita la mission di Incantato Tours  “ sperimentare la ricca storia e la bellezza delle più rinomate destinazioni europee e scoprire le gemme nascoste con acustiche meravigliose e pubblico raffinato”….e proprio grazie all’acustica del Teatro Flavio Vespasiano e al suo esperto pubblico , Rieti è inserita tra le gemme d’Europa per l’ambìto mercato dei viaggi studio dei college americani. Sarà il Liceo Classico M.T.Varrone il partner reatino della Mayfield Senior School. Foto: RietiLife © 9 Aprile 2012