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About Us - Education Outreach

Iford Arts Education Programme: GINGERBREAD – Hansel and Gretel

Read our 2018 Gingerbread Education Feedback Report

2018: The Iford Arts Education Outreach Project presents:  Gingerbread. 

BeFunky Collage Launch Day 1

This year Iford Arts Education and Outreach has targeted schools where we can really make a difference, engaging children who would not normally be offered such experiences.  Six local primary schools – Newtown, Studley Green, Staverton, The Grove, Walwayne Court and Winsley – have come together, this summer, to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch, write and take part in an opera in the woods. This year, our project, ‘Gingerbread’, was bigger and even more ambitious, involving over 200 children in a specially designed production of Humperdinck’s HANSEL AND GRETEL. They went on a mystery tour through the hidden woods, to find Hansel and Gretel’s cottage, saw Mother cooking over a fire, followed the children as they got lost and discovered the witch’s hovel in the darkest shade of the willows.  But did they escape without being eaten?!

This magical, fairy-tale operatic adventure was a culmination of a two week project, where the children participated in a grand launch day, meeting and questioning the opera singers, singing together and unravelling the story and the music. They took part in two and a half days of school workshops, devising and creating their own drama and music, learning about their own voices and preparing to take part in the opera!

Led by the Education and Outreach Officer, composing and drama animateurs, singers from the cast and the New Generation Programme Director, this delicious spectacle offered the children an experience they will never forget!

Gingerbread Collage

Cast and Crew
HANSEL – Angharad Lyddon
GRETEL – Lauren Lodge Campbell
MOTHER/WITCH – Rhonda Browne
FATHER – Samuel Lom
SANDMAN / DEW FAIRY – Bryony Soothill
ACCORDIAN PLAYER – Miloš Milivojević
DIRECTOR – Max Hoehn
MUSIC DIRECTOR – Michael Waldron
DESIGNER – Jemima Robinson

Gingerbread! has only been possible because of the enthusiasm and involvement of 200 children from six local primary schools .  The project was conceived and developed by Judy Eglington, Creative Director, Ollie Gooch, Artist Music Director and Kate Courage, Education and Outreach Officer, in collaboration with Operasonic, and our expert (and amazing) animateurs Lynsey Docherty, Rhian Hutchings and Richard Barnard. Project management and production by the Iford Arts Team: Andrea Asbury, New Generation Artist Programme Manager, Margaret Firth, Research and Fundraising Manager and Debbie Heyden, General Manager. This year’s project is extra special thanks to our amazing venues, Hidden Woods and the Wiltshire Music Centre.

Iford Arts is an independent charity. Iford Arts Education is only possible with the generous support of our Angels, Patrons and Friends and our 2018 Education Supporters: Mr. & Mrs. David Embleton, Joyce Fletcher Trust, Mary Henderson, The Jack Lane Charitable Trust, Local Giving Foundation / Marcelle Speller, Mr. & Mrs. Rod Marlow, Sue Rossiter, Lady Strasburger, Wessex Water and Wiltshire Music Connect.


2017: The Iford Arts Education Outreach Project presents:  Go Figaro!

A collaborative project, based on Rossini’s Barber of Seville, between Iford Arts, Bristol Plays Music and Opera Sonic to introduce primary school children to opera.  Here are some lovely memories.

Education Opera
Education Opera


2016: The Iford Arts Education Project successfully delivered: MacQuest – A murder mystery

MacQuest celebrated the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and encourages school children to participate in singing, acting and other stage skills to create their own new version of an old story. With witches, magic and murder the Macbeth story-line offered a wide number of opportunities for children to use their own imaginative interpretation of ‘what happened next’.

Opening with a visit to Iford Manor Gardens for ‘Murder Mystery Day… who killed the King?’ the children investigated the story of Macbeth and were introduced to the sounds and instruments of the orchestra and singers from the Iford Arts production of Verdi’s Macbeth.

In the subsequent in-school workshops, the children devised their own original version of scenes performed in their own schools, and coming together again for a collective performance in the Lantern, at the Colston Hall as part of Bristol Plays Music’s ‘Sounds Inspiring’ Festival in July 2016.

2015: Iford Arts Education Project successfully delivered A Garden Fantasy.

As part of the Bath Festival’s Party in the City children from St Andrew’s Primary School, Bath and Bellefield Primary School, Trowbridge performed A Garden Fantasy II, an opera in two acts devised entirely by the children and inspired by the beautiful Grade 1 listed Harold Peto gardens of Iford Manor.

A Garden Fantasy II was the culmination of an Iford Arts Education project lead by a team of professional animateurs. The project started with a visit to the Peto Gardens where children collected images, sounds and ideas to take away and use as inspiration for their opera. The animateurs spent the next two weeks at each school helping the children to write their scripts and lyrics. The children were also responsible for casting the opera, stage direction, making the costumes and designing the set.

This was the first time the children were  involved in a creative project of this kind which helped to develop a wide range of new skills and experiences as well as support other curriculum subjects.

The premier of the opera took place at St Swithins Church, Bath on Friday 15 May at 5pm.


View the 2015 Education Report >GARDEN FANTASY 2 FINAL EVALUATION

2013: 70 school children, from Trowbridge and Bath, including 15 young carers composed and performed a Scrap Rap Opera (think Stomp!) using junk percussion at the Bath Music Fest Party in the City on Friday 24th May.

Iford Arts, in its education and community role is also the driving force behind Bradford Barnstorm.

2012: The children of St Michael’s school in Twerton in Bath composed, directed and performed a piece based on the Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship as part of the Bath Music Festival’s Party in the City at the Holburne Museum. While Chroma gave a two-day workshop in two local schools.

2011: Our schools Matinee of Hansel & Gretel in Bath Pavilion was attended by 200 children and teachers who loved every moment and sat spellbound throughout.

2010: Iford Arts first annual outreach project. In collaboration with local headteachers Chroma Chamber Ensemble designed a project based around their 2010 Iford Arts Festival production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola.

© 2020 ifordarts.org.uk all rights reserved
© 2020 ifordarts.org.uk all rights reserved
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