The award recognises our Inspire programme, which since 2010 has been working to bring opera to all via accessible ticket schemes and projects for social inclusion, health and wellbeing, and education.

Inspire aims to embrace, engage and enrich the lives of the whole community, working with schools, refugees, the elderly and individuals with learning disabilities. Last year, Inspire engaged with over 5,700 people, through 15 projects and 60 Inspire sessions, all of which were free for participants.

Inspire’s specially designed programmes supported almost 200 people living with dementia in 2017, using music to ease its symptoms, bring loved ones together through shared memories and enable participants to enjoy a better quality of life. This year OHP is delighted to be opening its doors as London’s first dementia-friendly opera theatre; having been adapted for those living with memory loss. Our hugely popular accessible ticket schemes enabled almost 3,000 people to watch a main-stage opera last year, via free and low-cost schemes, and a two-for-one offer for Emergency Services staff. Accessible performances are a fixture every season, and OHP is the first London-based opera company to give audio-described performances for blind and visually impaired people. Relaxed performances for children with special needs and their families have given young people who would usually find theatre environments challenging the chance to discover opera.

It is in the DNA of the company. We do it because we can and should make a difference, and because we all want to.
Lucy Curtis, Inspire Coordinator