Nidotherapy at the Opera

Many years ago we performed an operetta, The Teaching of Edward, about the first musical post of Edward Elgar at the Worcester County Asylum in 1879.  The story line was that Edward, who had been appointed as Bandmaster, was only allowed to play for the staff, but the patients heard about him and clamoured to be involved.  Edward agreed, but got into trouble with the Board of Administrators and was unceremoniously dismissed at a disciplinary meeting. But one of the patients interrupted the meeting to make a plea for him to stay as they had been so enthused by his music.  

The performance was filmed by the BBC in 2006 but not shown. Although all the performers in the operetta were medical students, staff or patients having treatment with nidotherapy we did have an operatic bonus from Covent Garden.  Liora Grodnikaite, a Lithuanian mezzo-soprano then performing at the Royal Opera House,  kindly agreed to sing one of the songs – translated into Lithuanian by Mr Puras – as a postscript.  Here is the link:

.  The English version is below.     

Our future now is black indeed

We’ve lost our inspiration 

Someone who could lead us out of here

From a life of desolation

Its not the loss of liberty

Our rooms are gentle prisons  

Its that those around us never see   

And no-one ever listens   

To all of you I make this plea   

Though I understand your caution

Let us have time for music too       

We just beg a tiny portion

And if you say you’ll help this way     

I would always be your debtor

And you never know how it will go

It may even make us better 

Thanks Edward, for the inspiration, and to Liora, for the performance.