ENO Breathe Singing and Songwriting Sessions
Many of the individuals who have completed the ENO Breathe 6-week programme continue to engage with ENO Breathe’s regular weekly drop-in Twilight sessions and have expressed a desire to continue singing and connecting with each other.
To respond to this, we are offering a series of new creative sessions to the ENO Breathe community.
In these sessions, we want to hear the participants’ ideas & stories and connect with their creativity to help us craft some new lullabies together. To kick start this series of sessions, two sessions took place in December 2022 and were led by Suzi Zumpe, creative director on ENO Breathe and Hazel Gould, writer and director of new opera.
One session took place online with over 70 participants taking part in creative writing exercises and singing activities. The other session took place on the London Coliseum stage with 55 participants.
The in-person session was a fantastic opportunity to sing together in real life for the very first time and was a very moving moment for all. The session was accompanied by pianist and composer Jon Brigg and by two wonderful ENO choristers: Paul Sheehan and Susie Tudor-Thomas. Paul and Susie also performed short operatic pieces including a well-know lullaby by ENO Breathe participants: Suo Gân.
One of the pieces of writing that was developed was a lullaby for a spider who has her web blown down by the wind but starts again each time.
Relax little spider, Relax your toils,
Be still you are hidden from view.
Calmly spin the thread of soothing silk,
The promise of jewel dew.
Keep on spinning sweet spider do,
The silky strands you weave,
Though storms disturb your gossamer home,
For now, be still and bask and breathe.
The collection of texts generated from these sessions will continue feeding into future work that we aim to develop with the ENO Breathe community.
The next stage will be to set this beautiful poem and other text to music.
Watch this space for more creative work from ENO Breathe participants!
“The enthusiasm in the room was palpable. It was a very special moment to be able to sing out on the stage.”
“Just a joy from beginning till end, it was like meeting old friends and the support by all the staff was fantastic.”
“Brilliantly well run. Really enjoyable experience. Lovely to meet other long-covid survivors and chat!”
“It was a great session and I felt valued and supported.”
“It was wonderful! I would love to do more. Thank you so much.”