Seventy performers, including a choir of twenty stroke survivors, will perform on stage at the Victoria and Albert Museum alongside films of intimate performances from hospitals across London and Buckinghamshire. Composed by Orlando Gough,Hospital Passion Play weaves stories of rehabilitation from those who have had a brain or spinal injury into a new opera. The concert is part of health charity Rosetta Life’s three-year arts-into-health intervention Stroke Odysseys. It is part of a series of opera performances at the V&A, designed to bring opera to a wider audience and to coincide with the V&A’s exhibition Opera: Passion, Power and Politics (30 September 2017 – 25 February 2018).
The choir will be made up of Lambeth Stroke Choir, Shout at Cancer choir – a vocal group that helps throat cancer patients who have had their voice boxes removed – and Garsington Adult Community Chorus. They will be directed by Karen Gillingham, Creative Director of Garsington Opera’s Learning & Participation Programme. The performance shows that there is a life after traumatic injury, offering visibility and agency to those who have been touched by it.
Rosetta Life and Garsington Opera are collaborating to develop Hospital Passion Play throughout the summer. They will create a series of filmed movement and song scenes performed by people accessing spinal and neurological rehabilitation, who will be supported by professional singers, musicians and dancers. The films will be integrated into the performance at the V&A. They are being prepared through workshops exploring identity after traumatic injury and in hospital, which are taking place across neuro rehabilitation units of London hospitals and the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville. The final performance at the V&A will be filmed, and screened at venues across the UK.
Lucinda Jarrett, who is leading the project, said, “Hospital Passion Play is an amazing opportunity for people to recover their identity through performance after losing it after brain or spinal injury. Reconnecting to our bodies, our voices and our stories enables us to remember who we are and find ourselves again in the crowd.”
More information can be found here.