How opera singers are helping people with ‘long Covid’
People suffering from persistent Covid symptoms are referred to an unlikely place: England’s National Opera
English National Opera (ENO) has launched an online program to help people suffering from persistent and debilitating Covid symptoms, specifically shortness of breath.
Designed by ENO and medical experts, participants in the six weeks ENO Breathe Exercises to improve posture and breath control are taught in the program. People also learn to sing lullabies, which can help relieve anxiety that arises from shortness of breath.
“Lullabies create a musically relaxing environment: they are ideal for non-specialized singers. They span continents and cultures and are universal in their appeal, ”said Jenny Mollica, who leads ENO’s learning and engagement program.
The launch follows a pilot program, after which most participants reported an improvement in their shortness of breath and feeling much less anxious. They also reported that they enjoy being part of a supportive community.
“I know my breathing control is better now,” said participant Colette-Elizabeth. “My posture is better. I can go to meetings and convey my point of view without suffocating on every breath. “
Medical experts helped create the ENO Breathe program for people suffering from ‘Long-term Covid’. Image: ENO
People who wish to participate can be referred by specialized clinics in the so-called ‘Long Covid’. “You don’t need to have experience or interest in singing to participate,” Mollica noted.
Main image: filming a lullaby for ENO Breathe. Credit: ENO