Three choirs will come together in a collaboration between artists, medical professionals and patients at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum on Saturday 14 October 2017.
The London Stroke Choir (a choir of twenty stroke survivors), the Shout at Cancer Laryngectomy Choir (a vocal group that helps throat cancer patients who have had their voice boxes removed) and Garsington Adult Community Chorus have been directed by Karen Gillingham, Creative Director of Garsington Opera‘s Learning & Participation Programme, in a performance of Orlando Gough’s, Hospital Passion Play, a new opera which weaves stories of rehabilitation from those who have had a brain or spinal injury into a multimedia performance.
Supported by professional musicians and dancers, 70 singers will take part in the V&A performance, alongside a series of filmed movement and song scenes performed by people accessing spinal and neurological rehabilitation in hospitals across London and at the National Spinal Injuries Centre in Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire. The final performance will be filmed and screened at venues across the UK.
As well as being part of health charity, Rosetta Life‘s three-year arts-into-health intervention, Stroke Odysseys, Hospital Passion Play is one of a series of performances at the V&A designed to bring opera to a wider audience and to coincide with the exhibition, Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, which runs from 30 September 2017 to 25 February 2018.
Lucinda Jarrett, who is leading the project, said:
‘Hospital Passion Play is an amazing opportunity for people to recover their identity through performance after losing it after brain or spinal injury. Reconnecting to our bodies, our voices and our stories enables us to remember who we are and find ourselves again in the crowd.’
Kate Bailey, Curator of Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, said:
‘This year, we are exploring the power of opera at the V&A so we are delighted that this innovative new performance will take place at the museum. It has been totally inspirational to see how the exhibition can be a catalyst for such an important medical and performance project and to understand how opera can be used to improve patients’ recovery.’
Header photo: Stroke Odysseys, a performance project devised with people living with the effects of a stroke. Lambeth Mission, April 2017 © Chris Rawlence