Hospital patients lead in opera project

Garsington community chorus

Garsington Opera is developing a project enabling hospital patients to perform alongside its community chorus. It will culminate in a performance which will be linked to three participating hospitals.

Following on from the successful project at the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital last year, Garsington Opera’s lively adult community chorus, together with its directors Karen Gillingham, Lea Cornthwaite and composer Melanie Pappenheim, will be working on a project involving patients and staff from hospitals in three regions – John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London and Stoke Mandeville. Lucinda Jarrett, health practitioner in performance arts will partner with the Garsington Opera Learning and Participation team.

Inspired by Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin, the community chorus and each hospital ‘company’ involving patients with severe spinal injuries and life-limiting illnesses, their carers and their families, will work with the creative team. They will devise original songs focusing on movement and breathing techniques and will demonstrate how opera and the joy of singing can promote and improve both physical and mental well-being.

All are welcome to join the community chorus which will meet every Tuesday at Wycombe High School from now through to the end of April and on two Saturdays in April with patients and staff from Stoke Mandeville Hospital. A performance will take place at Stoke Mandeville Hospital with Bucks Health Choir on 30 April with links between participating hospitals.

Anyone wanting to join the adult community chorus please contact Kate Laughton on speenstrings@gmail.com or telephone 07765 288210.