Called E.N.O. Breathe and developed by the English National Opera in collaboration with a London hospital, the six-week program offers patients customized vocal lessons: clinically proven recovery exercises, but reworked by professional singing tutors and delivered online.
While few cultural organizations have escaped the fallout of the pandemic, opera companies been hit especially hard. In Britain, many have been unable to perform in front of live audiences for almost a year. While some theaters and concert venues managed to reopen last fall for socially distanced shows between lockdowns, many opera producers have simply gone dark.
But the English National Opera, one of Britain’s two leading companies, has been trying to redirect its energies. Early on, its education team ramped up its activities, and the wardrobe department made protective equipment for hospitals during an initial nationwide shortage. Last September, the company offered a “drive-in opera experience,” featuring an abridged performance of Puccini’s “La Bohème” broadcast over large screens in a London park. That same month, it started trialing the medical program.
Author(s): Andrew Dickson
Publication Date: 16 February 2021
Publication Site: NY Times