The Geller Institute of Ageing and Memory's first dementia-friendly opera

Louise Fuller (soprano) and Arlene Belli (mezzo-soprano) of The Music Troupe performing The Last Siren.


The Geller Institute of Ageing and Memory (GIAM) at the University of West London showcased their first dementia-friendly opera as part of their latest initiative to make the arts more accessible to people living with dementia. The preview performance of 'The Last Siren' was held at Lawrence Hall at the University of West London (UWL) in Ealing. The new opera takes a fresh look at the Greek myth from Homer's Odyssey and is a collaboration between GIAM, The Music Troupe and the London College of Music (LCM).

GIAM are passionate about making the arts accessible to older people - particularly those living with dementia. Members of the team were also involved in pioneering dementia-friendly cinema in 2017. Now, they are developing a blueprint to make all opera accessible and dementia-friendly.

PR campaign:

We carried out a national campaign across TV, radio and podcasts, as well as national and trade publications. Coverage highlights included an upbeat interview on Sky News with Jayne Secker which was then shared on Sky News' X page (formerly Twitter) with 8.4M followers, as well as interviews with BBC Radio London and Times Radio for their culture panel, discussing the positive impact the arts has on mental wellbeing. Dr Andy Northcott also featured on the NIHR Dementia Researcher podcast to discuss research about making the arts and performances dementia-friendly. Additionally, Dr Andy Northcott wrote an authored piece for The Big Issue and Arts Professional (a leading independent journal). Gramophone's Opera Now Magazine, the UK's leading title devoted to opera, also covered a news story on the opera.

Audience members enamoured by a performance of The Last Siren.