Glyndebourne takes music into Sussex care homes

Glyndebourne has been taking music into Sussex care homes to boost residents' wellbeing.
Soprano Jacquelyn Parker at the Holy Cross Care Home. Photographer: Sam StephensonSoprano Jacquelyn Parker at the Holy Cross Care Home. Photographer: Sam Stephenson
Soprano Jacquelyn Parker at the Holy Cross Care Home. Photographer: Sam Stephenson

Musicians from the internationally-renowned opera house visited six care homes to make music with the people living there.

Lucy Perry, head of learning and engagement at Glyndebourne, said: “It’s well known that singing and music offer incredible benefits for people of all ages as a way of connecting with others and boosting wellbeing. The engagement we see in the sessions is truly inspiring and we’d like to thank all the care homes who welcomed us for a fantastic few days of music-making.”

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Sue Bowers, activities coordinator at Lydfords Care Home, said: “The joy and enthusiasm Glyndebourne’s talented artists brought to our home created a memorable experience for everyone present and their performance was not only captivating, but also deeply moving for our residents. I look forward to future collaborations.”

More than 130 residents of the St Clare's and St Rita’s care homes in Ditchling, Lime Tree House and Parris Lawn care homes in Ringmer, Lydfords Care Home in East Hoathly and Holy Cross Care Home in Heathfield enjoyed opera extracts and well-known classical music performed by six professional musicians from the Glyndebourne Sinfonia and the Glyndebourne Chorus. The ensemble also offered residents an opportunity to take part by working with them to create improvised music.

Further sessions took place at Glyndebourne for people living with dementia and their carers. The sessions were run in partnership with the community music project Raise Your Voice, which started life at Glyndebourne before becoming an independent charity offering singing workshops and other creative activities for local people living with dementia.

Lucy explained: “The activity was part of Glyndebourne’s season which includes six weeks of opera and concerts alongside opportunities for close encounters with Glyndebourne artists and ensembles, both inside and outside the opera house that, along with music recitals in care homes, saw singing workshops in schools, culminating in a chance for the school children to sing with the Glyndebourne Chorus and an invitation for audiences to enjoy their own chance to sing with the chorus.”

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