Ardhowen workshops bringing opera to schoolkids

SCHOOLCHILDREN in the county could be a future tenor or soprano hitting the high notes on stage as the Ulster Youth Opera Company rolls into Enniskillen.

The Ardhowen Theatre will be hosting a number of workshops – run by Ulster Opera – for kids between January 17 to 25 and February 7 to 16.

Children will be introduced to opera to be shown that it is not something that is only enjoyed by the upper classes. They will also be taught a number of singing techniques to help them reach that perfect pitch.


For Ulster Touring Opera director, Daffyd Hall Williams, the workshops not only bring opera to a wider audience but to help with the wellbeing of its participants.

He said: “We’re members of a partnership that includes the Fermanagh Choral Society as well as Fermanagh and Omagh District Council through the Ardhowen theatre.

“As a partnership, we secured funding from the Arts Council in Northern Ireland through their Rural Engagement Arts Programme. That is a special opportunity for us to share the wellbeing opportunities of music. We’re looking to improve opportunities for social interaction, combat feelings of isolation and loneliness and to offer activities that help to improve people’s physical, mental and social wellbeing.

“The workshops will be offered to primary school pupils across Fermanagh – particularly in rural areas. They will be an hour long and be facilitated by two professional opera singers and a pianist.

“They will encourage people to take part in drama and music activities, games, techniques and really show people the breadth of opera as an art form to try and lower the barriers that people sometimes feel towards it.”

On February 9 at 8pm, both the Ulster Touring Opera and the Fermanagh Choral Society will be teaming up to put on an event taking place under the banner of, “Opera on the Lough”.

Williams added: “It will be a wonderful opportunity to target social isolation through providing an event that will really music lovers and people who are interested in exploring opera together for a celebration. It also gives us, an opera company, to work with a large chorus – the Fermanagh Choral Society.


“Fermanagh has a really strong tradition of singing and we are building on that. What’s key to this project are the wellbeing benefits.

“Music has a wide range of medical outcomes and singing is the brain’s equivalent of a full body workout. Performing music practically engages every area of the brain at once. Evidence suggests that people who engage with music and the arts are more likely to lead healthier lives – including eating healthily and staying physically active.”

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA