About Music Lovers Tours – Our Story

Music Lovers Tours, is a quite unique Australian enterprise born from the passion of two individuals for Opera, Music and Travel. Soprano Jennifer Parish and baritone Stewart Cameron met on stage! Virtually since that time, the pair have worked tirelessly on many projects, building businesses and client-bases around enjoyment of life’s pleasures.

Music Lovers Tours provides the opportunity for our clients to join us and indulge their passions, doing so with like-minded travel companions. Each tour is designed and implemented from the ground up by Stewart and Jennifer who also personally host each one. Performances of opera, classical music and in some cases, local traditional music is included in each tour as part of a sparkling itinerary of many visits and activities.

The focus of Music Lovers Tours are not intended to be ‘academic’ pilgrimages but rather a sharing of the ‘good things in life,’ which of course, includes music. A country we have loved for a long time, (including its opera tradition), Italy is our speciality. Stewart has a Degree in Italian Literature and enjoys his regular communications with Italian suppliers. Of course, we also offer tours to other parts of Europe as well as the United Kingdom, but Italy has the lion’s share!

Among our many travel successes have been sold-out tours to Turkey, Southern Italy & Sicily, Northern Italy, several Handa – ‘Opera on the Harbour’ and Sydney Opera House mini-tours, a Bohemian Rhapsody tour from Salzburg to Budapest, the Verdi Opera Festival in Parma, plus La Scala in Italy, England and Wales (with many performances, including private ones such as a Welsh Choir.
A highlight was a memorable musical cruise charter in Burma/Myanmar, entitled ‘On the Road to Mandalay’.  A mix of onboard concerts and fascinating land tours combined to make this a rare experience for the lucky clients who joined us. This tour had been a long-held dream of Stewart’s.
There has been a delightful musical cruise charter in the Bay of Islands and more than a dozen ‘Opera in Paradise’ Festivals in the Pacific, with Australian and New Zealand artists presented as part of a holiday week on Norfolk Island, Samoa and Tonga.

There are plenty more tours in the planning and these days it’s often necessary to ‘reserve a place’ before tours go on sale. There is no obligation to proceed until tours are finally priced and on sale. Clients who receive our email news keep up with tours in the planning and can ensure they don’t miss out. Music Lovers Tours  always proceed and invariably we set off with a full compliment of clients.

Our travel company grew from the activities of OPERATIF, our highly-acclaimed opera, song and production company, founded in 1994. After some years of producing festivals and performances both inside and beyond Australia, it was a natural progression to offer clients the opportunity to travel with us. Accolades for OPERATIF! musical performances from audiences and critics alike pepper our performance history. Now, we are enjoying similar praise and loyalty from clients who applaud our creativity, our very appealing itineraries, our attention to detail and our impeccable organisational skills. Just like a good performance, a tour must have plenty to hold attention. It must be engaging, interesting, pleasurable and leave the audience with a sense of having been thrilled, excited and enthralled. We aim for every Music Lovers Tour to demonstrate these qualities and to result in priceless memories.

A standing ovation for the first OPERATIF! concert of opera highlights was testament to the need for performances of popular opera and song in intimate mode. this first performance quickly grew to an annual subscription series and a second mid-week series for Seniors who appreciated quality music performances.

Each themed-performance was keenly anticipated with many needing to be repeated to cater for demand.
OPERATIF!’s commitment to presenting talented local performers and to ensuring our rich vocal heritage received the audiences it deserved, meant the company enjoyed over 20 years of full-time performances. Jennifer, Stewart and colleagues still perform of course and always enjoy the Opera in Paradise musical holiday weeks.

Aside from these concert series, OPERATIF! was sought after for many  corporate and special event performances for high profile clients including Rotary, QPAC, Brisbane Festival, Council on the Aging, Arts Queensland, Tourism Queensland and the Premier’s Department.
Opera in the Amphitheatre at Lake Macdonald, Noosa was a much-anticipated public event presented twice yearly.Perhaps the pinnacle of OPERATIF!’s production successes were their highly acclaimed fully-staged opera productions. An original offering ‘Opera, A Passionate Affair’ featured a large cast of local performers and many excerpts from opera wound into an original story….a theatre/opera collaboration! Madam Butterfly followed and finally, Menotti’s The Consul which was the only opera offering in the inaugural Brisbane Festival. All of these productions met with audience enthusiasm, critical acclaim and calls for this enterprising organisation to become Qld’s second-string Opera company. CLICK TO SEE THE CONSUL CAST
OPERATIF! had vision and many projects we hoped to bring to fruition. Opposition from the State company and elusive Government support very sadly put an end to a very popular and very promising enterprise. In so doing however, this made way for a new adventure, one initially shared with many of their loyal performance clients but now reaching all over Australia and beyond in attracting travellers. This new chapter was Music Lovers Tours and Stewart and Jennifer hope you will join them soon.