We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of our ground-breaking Outreach and Education programme, with plans for even more projects, bringing music and performance into the lives of people across the country. From digital initiatives for primary schools and a new production from our Young Company, to breathing exercises for people recovering from the effects of Covid-19, the projects build on our pioneering outreach and education work over the past five decades and ongoing engagement with communities throughout the pandemic and beyond. Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and website for how you can get involved in this year’s celebrations, with more information on projects coming soon.

Scottish Opera’s Director of Outreach and Education, Jane Davidson, who has worked with the department since 1984 and commissioned over 30 new works for Scottish Opera, said: 'Since 1971, Scottish Opera has remained committed to its mission of engaging and enriching the lives of people from all corners of Scotland through opera. In these uncertain and difficult times, never has this commitment been so crucial and the need for positive and supportive musical experiences been as vital. We are incredibly proud and excited to be at the start of the journey to bring live music back to Scottish audiences of all ages. While the opportunities for digital interaction with our work continues to evolve and develop, it’s the combination of passion and sheer joy for sharing stories through music that will continue to drive us for the next 50 years.'

The first of its kind and the oldest outreach and education unit of any opera company in Europe, our Education and Outreach department was formed in 1971 under the leadership of Scottish Opera’s founder Sir Alexander Gibson. Its ethos is to break down barriers to the artform, connect communities and inspire people from all backgrounds through opera.

A trailblazer in community arts engagement across Scotland and internationally, it has played a seminal role in the educational experiences of generations of Scottish people and has developed into a year-round programme of youth and community projects. Our renowned Primary Schools Tour has now engaged over half a million children in the arts across all 32 Scottish local authority areas, involving 9,000 pupils from over 130 schools every year. Through our innovative operas for infants and ground-breaking work with people living with dementia, we aim to create meaningful and transformative experiences for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.