3rd Dec, 2016

Opera classes to help vulnerable feel better

Leamington Editorial 26th Sep, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

OPERA could help improve life for vulnerable people in Leamington.

Free weekly classes are being launched for those over the age of 18 suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s and other mental health issues.

Warwick University student and Leamington resident Nic Miller hopes the two hour workshops will help improve well-being and encourage some of the most vulnerable members of society to socialise.

The 19-year-old Opera Warwick Society member told the Observer: “Opera Warwick really strives to open up opera as an art form and when we looked at the great work performance societies at the university were doing, we noticed outreach and community work was something there was a lack of.

“I felt we had a really unique opportunity to expand from our usual pastures and broaden the appeal of opera in a way, which helps people in the local community.”

The workshop which will be held at the Sydni Centre in Sydenham, has been funded on a six week trial basis by Warwick District Council.

Nic and musical partner Jessi Parrott – who will both run the sessions – say people with mental health issues should feel like they are in a ‘safe space’ where they can relax and enjoy learning a new art.

Nic added: “Singing has been scientifically proven to increase well-being and the ability to express oneself through acting is also an opportunity which many members of the community may not have.

“It also provides an opportunity for those who normally live alone to socialise and it encourages closer community connections in Leamington not only between residents, but also between residents and students.”

Sessions start on Friday October 21 and will take place from 7pm to 9pm.

Visit www.operawarwick.co.uk/open-access-opera for further details.