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A healthy world premiere…

26 April, 2019 — By The Xtra Diary

The Singing Hospital premiere is next week


Heading to the lovely Modernist pile that is the Royal College of Physicians in Regent’s Park, Diary is intrigued to hear of an event that helps people suffering from forms of breathlessness to sing.

Now, we all know that filling your lungs up and blasting out melodies is a wonderful way to spend your days, and research shows it’s great for both our mental and physical health too.

A group’s 10th anniversary is set to be celebrated with a performance that is a world premiere: The Singing Hospital, a vocal composition by Victoria Hume, will be performed for the first time by Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust patient group at the 500-year-old medical college next Tuesday, April 30. The performance forms part of both the 10th anniversary celebrations of “Singing for Breathing” workshops at the hospitals, and the public programme accompanying the RCP Museum exhibition Catch Your Breath, an examination of the importance of breath and breathing in human life and culture.

Singing for Breathing groups are workshops for people with various respiratory conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.

And Diary is told that The Singing Hospital is more than simply a musical work. The project also explores how vocal coaching provides real support and tangible benefits to people living with respiratory diseases.

Victoria Hume created the piece by listening to interviews and recordings of people experiencing breathless- ness, and also worked with patients to help them develop their singing skills. They are set to be accompanied on the night by other professional musicians.

The exhibition Catch Your Breath includes interactive displays on how Composer Victoria Hume doctors have diagnosed and treated the diseases which cause distress, how artists and writers have sought to capture this most fundamental of human actions, and the varied ways – from yoga to song and dance – in which people throughout time have sought to gain some level of individual control over their condition.

See: for details.

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