Skip to content


Iford Arts has a vital role to play in extending our children’s experience of the world, through music, words, language, storytelling and relationships. We strive to democratise, share and demystify opera. Since 2010, our Creative Learning Programme has engaged with disadvantaged children in our local community, bringing inspriation into primary schools through music and theatre, targeting schools with restricted access to the arts, particularly those in areas of deprivation.

Our last outreach project (prior to the pandemic) was ‘Gingerbread!’ Based on Engelbert Humperdink’s fairy tale opera for children ‘Hansel and Gretel’, Iford Arts provided a high-quality learning opportunity for 180 children to access, experience and participate in live music. The immersive launch day at the Wiltshire Music Centre was followed by a series of singing and composition/drama workshops in schools. The project culminated with four promenaded, woodland trail performances of Hansel and Gretel – where the children experienced a unique narrated fairy-tale opera in an enchanted woodland setting, accompanied by a piano accordion.

When the pandemic hit last year, our creative team of singer/animateur/musicians, wrote and performed from their homes in lockdown, recreating the GINGERBREAD project in a completely new interactive way. Integrating technology using specially recorded video content, were guided through Humperdinck’s opera Hansel & Gretel and their adventures during lockdown! Aimed at children of primary school age, up to Yr7 of secondary school, the project offered children and their families a fun-packed, informative way to discover opera through a combination of music, storytelling, and creative activities. Click here if you would like to join Hansel & Gretel on their adventure!

Research shows involvement in music is likely to raise standards, through a focus on creative thinking, collaboration, discussion, confidence, problem solving, presentation, focus and discipline. If you are interested in supporting our outreach programme, please contact Debbie Heyden.

Education partners: Celebrate Voice | Wiltshire Music Centre | CHROMA | Orpheus Sinfonia | Opera Sonic

‘I have learnt a lot about opera and I have learnt to use my emotions. I enjoyed it so much I would really like to do that again. It was one of the most fun days of my life’. Year 5 pupil, The Grove School, Trowbridge