On Tuesday 20th of September, three members of the Opera Holland Park visited the residents and performed beautifully a number of songs. Accompanied by a piano, two women were singing solos and duets whilst interacting with them.
During the concert, the singers encouraged the residents to sing along with them if they wished to, and some of them did. There were really touching moments, for example, when everybody sang along “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” and “Edelweiss”.
They contextualised every song, giving details of the composer, the musical or film they were from, and the story, so that the residents would become more involved.
The performance was a success, 14 residents and some members of the staff joined and they all seemed to be enjoying the music in their own way. They applauded after every song. They were really happy and felt very thankful. “You are lovely, you are too good” they exclaimed. The singers had amazing voices and the woman playing the piano was also fabulous.
When the concert finished, the three members of the Opera Holland Park expressed their will to come back to the house soon. They said that performing for the elderly is “pure joy”, but also that “it is challenging not to get too emotional when singing for them, especially with the ones who suffer from dementia or who are hospitalised.
However, they confessed that this kind of performances “is what we enjoy the most, that’s better than singing on stage because here there are no barriers between us and the audience, and you can see how they feel and engage with them”.
After the concert, Anita, the activity coordinator, gave them a thank you card made by the residents with pictures of the recital.