Colwell Arts Centre is now open on a strict appointment-only basis. To collect, return or exchange an instrument, please contact us at glosmusic@gloucestershire.gov.uk to make an appointment.


If you are a self employed teacher or school looking for support with regards to planning for the forthcoming academic year then please click here.

English Touring Opera - opera in schools in Cheltenham and Gloucester


Spring term 2018: Performances available for Key stage 2 and 3, and for SEND audiences.



Shackleton’s Cat 

Returning in 2018, as part of ETO’s award-winning strand of operas for young people. The opera features nine performers, including singers and players, and tells the story of the voyage and destruction of the Endurance 100 years ago, and the subsequent tale of survival against all odds. The opera features an ingenious set, with maps and images from the expedition, interactive songs, a puppet cat, and comprehensive resources for teachers, compiled in partnership with the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge. Curriculum topics include music, drama, geography, science, literacy and maths.

The story itself begins in 2015, when scientists measuring the alarming changes in the levels of the polar sea-ice make an astonishing discovery: The bones of a cat. They belong to Mrs Chippy, the carpenter’s cat on the Endurance, and best friend to the young Welsh stowaway Perce Blackborow. At the heart of the opera is Shackleton himself, perhaps the greatest expedition leader of all time. The opera follows the crew as they set sail from Buenos Aires to the incredible rescue after months of hardship.

This is my bed

An opera about bedtimes, bears and dreams. And a bed with a mind of its own!

There’s one thing about your bed. It’s your very own bed. Except somebody else seems to think it’s their bed too. And then the bed itself has a mind of its own, and can turn in a moment into a bus or a train or a rocket. And when a bear turns up one night it whisks you off to meet the very things you’re frightened of. Thank goodness there are some unexpected friends to help you along your way.

Performed by three singers and two players, and full of fabulous songs, characters, design and animation, This Is My Bed is completely immersive, and will take you to some wonderful and surprising destinations. This Is My Bed is the latest in a long line of ETO’s award-winning operas for children. It is written with the help of students from Perseid Special School in Wimbledon.

This Is My Bed is created in association with Polka Theatre.

Running time: 45 minutes

Suitable for children aged 2-5, and young people with ASD and other disabilities.


The cost of visits to schools is £ 290 + VAT.  Workshops are available from 24 April to 28th April 2018.

For more information and to book contact Daniel Coelho, Education and Community Coordinator, on 020 7833 2555

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