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Care Home Concert on the BBC

Elgan Thomas' Christmas performance to a residential home, as covered by the BBC

Written BY

Simone Girardeau
Simone Girardeau

Co-founder, marketing & PR, can't sing to save my life

January 2021

I recently had the privilege of joining one of our care home concerts, performed by Elgan Thomas, a wonderful Welsh tenor. I usually only get to see the booking requests and the feedback afterwards so this was a great treat! BBC North West were covering the concert and so I was joining for a short zoom interview afterwards. 

The concert had been booked for residents at Beatrix House in Dunkinfield, as a special Christmas event by owners Jigsaw Homes. Residents at the house are free to come and go as they please and in normal times they would enjoy the communal areas and activities, parties and events organised for them. Due to Covid all this has been cancelled and residents have missed out on these special interactions. Of course many of them have hardly seen their families and friends this year too. Jigsaw wanted to arrange something special to mark the Christmas season and bring a bit of joy to staff and residents alike. 

Marcia Stock, Head of Independent Living, who booked the event said

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

Elgan Thomas was the star of the show. Elgan is an English National Opera Harewood artist and would usually be playing at venues such as Opera Holland Park. 2020 would have seen his debut performance in New York alongside a busy touring schedule, but of course plans have slightly changed for everyone this year! We were all very honoured to hear him perform from our front row seats on Zoom. My favourite part of these shows is hearing the story behind the music, which we often miss at larger events. We had a great discussion about the history and original meaning of Elgan’s grand finale, Nessun Dorma. 

Resident Ronnie Norton is a big music lover in general and fan of the opera, but says he’s never had a chance to see a live opera. We discovered that he’d missed the World Cup that made Nessun Dorma so famous, due to being on holiday in Jersey at the time! He said

It was absolutely great, I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure what to expect this afternoon … I just wish my wife had been here, she’d have enjoyed it as much

This wasn’t quite the English National Opera stage with hundreds of faces in the audience – yet it was full of significance for all of us gathered. When Elgan sang ‘Oh Holy Night’ I was transported back to carol services of previous years. For a moment I think we all forgot we were in front of a screen and felt like we were huddled in the crisp air, with a cup of mulled wine, enjoying a Christmas concert. 

You can see the footage from the BBC on YouTube here.

Lockdown Presents wants 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.We bring some of the most talented musicians from today’s world of performing arts together with private audiences online for special audio visual 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 Book a performer for the ultimate live musical experience

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