Opera performance makes it an extra special birthday for Welwyn Garden City care home resident

PUBLISHED: 17:38 17 April 2019

Connaught Opera put on a performance of Victorian Vignettes was held at Anson Court care home in Welwyn Garden City recently. It coincided with the 88th birthday of Anson Court resident Elsie Hannah, centre, who is  a former classical opera singer. Picture: supplied.

Connaught Opera put on a performance of Victorian Vignettes was held at Anson Court care home in Welwyn Garden City recently. It coincided with the 88th birthday of Anson Court resident Elsie Hannah, centre, who is a former classical opera singer. Picture: supplied.

Archant

An afternoon at the opera made for a very happy birthday for one resident of a Welwyn Garden City care home.

Residents, family, friends, members of the public and Welwyn Hatfield mayor Barbara Fitzsimon were treated to a performance of Victorian Vignettes by Connaught Opera at Anson Court care home last week.

Among the audience was Anson Court resident Elsie Hannah, who has led a life on stage and radio as a classical opera singer - and, coincidentally, was celebrating her 88th birthday on that day.

She was given the best seat in the house along with her son Martin.

At the end of the performance, Connaught Opera presented Elsie with flowers and everyone joined together to sing happy birthday. Elsie's son Martin Hannah said: “What a fantastic birthday (they) gave mum.

“It was lovely to see her lively and singing along, particularly the medley at the end when mum knew all the words”.

Connaught Opera consists of singers Maria Arakie (soprano) and Glenn Wilson (baritone) accompanied by pianist Nicholas Bosworth.

They had many guests joining in as they sang a variety of popular songs, including 'I do like to be beside the seaside' and 'Don't Dilly Dally (my old man said follow the van)'.

Not for profit care provider Quantum Care has a long standing relationship with the registered charity Connaught Opera.

As such, Quantam Care often receive tickets for residents to attend some of the performances put on in stately homes in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

Earlier in the year, Connaught Opera offered to perform in three Quantum Care homes in Hertfordshire.

Funding from Hertfordshire Community Foundation made the performances possible.

Quantum Care marketing manager Cassie Larham said: “Not all of our residents are mobile enough to go to the opera so when we were given the opportunity to bring the opera to them we were not prepared to miss out.

“As an organisation we actively encourage music and singing activities in the homes.

“There is no doubt in the quote 'music is medicine' as we have seen firsthand the therapeutic affects music and singing has on our residents and day care members.”

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