Beatrix House hits the high notes with virtual concert featuring international opera singer

JIGSAW Homes Group teamed up with Lockdown Presents, an organisation that works with musicians to bring live performances to people online, to put on a special virtual concert.

Beatrix House, one of Jigsaw’s extra care schemes in Dukinfield, arranged for international opera singer Elgan Thomas to sing a few famous arias to some of its residents and the concert was filmed for BBC North West Tonight.

Resident Ronnie Norton

It came about when Marcia Stock, Jigsaw Homes’ head of independent living, was contacted by a staff member at Beatrix House who had heard about Lockdown Presents on a BBC radio show and thought this would be something nice for the residents to enjoy.

“When I heard about Lockdown Presents, I just thought this is the ideal thing to cheer our residents up, and I think they’ve just had the best time,” she said.

Residents Margaret Holt and Ronnie Norton were joined by staff from Beatrix House to hear Welsh tenor Elgan’s stunning performances of Nessun Dormer, La Donna e Mobile, as well as Christmas songs such as Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, via Zoom.

They both said how wonderful it was to listen to and how much it cheered them up. As a former choirboy, Ronnie was familiar with the music.

Ronnie, who had never seen a live opera, added: “It was absolutely great, I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure what to expect this afternoon.

“I just wish my late wife had been here, she’d have enjoyed it as much.”

Residents across all Jigsaw Homes independent living and extra care schemes have not been able to attend events, parties, or social gatherings as all communal areas have had to be closed due to the pandemic, so providing this in a Covid-safe way was a real treat.

The performance by Elgan, an English National Opera Harewood artist, was recorded by the BBC and an interview with Ronnie and Marcia was aired on BBC North West Tonight on Tuesday, December 15.

Lockdown Presents was founded to help the arts flourish during and beyond the pandemic to provide unique, feel-good experiences of music and live performance that uplift people’s spirits.

It brings some of the most talented musicians from today’s world of performing arts together with private audiences online for special events. Now more than ever, Lockdown Presents believes in the power of music.

You can book a concert for an individual or group to enjoy together in a care home, or at home. Choose from a range of artists, from opera and classical to jazz and pop. To find out more, go to www.lodckdownpresents.com

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