Arts of the UK 2020: Constella launch urgent initiative to support isolated care home residents and struggling artists
LONDON – Constella, the world’s only dedicated opera-ballet company, have launched Connecting Stars. Their initiative aims to alleviate two urgent problems presented by the Covid-19 pandemic: loneliness amongst care home residents isolated from their support network and the immense financial difficulties faced by artists whose industry has come to a standstill. Through free one-to-one virtual concerts some of the most vulnerable people in society will have access to interactive and personalised performances from some of the UK’s most exciting creatives who will be paid for their work.
Loneliness amongst the elderly has long been an urgent and shocking crisis in the UK. However, as the virus sweeps the nation, with a quarter of all associated deaths thought to have occurred in care homes, the problem has been exacerbated as residents have been forced to isolate from each other as well as the outside world. This is a challenge that Constella founder, Leo Geyer has faced first-hand while supporting his grandmother in her care home. After performing for her over Zoom, the award-winning composer was inspired to create Connecting Stars. Following her recent death, Geyer has dedicated this project to her memory.
Connecting Stars also aims to support freelance artists currently struggling due to the pandemic’s devastating effect on the global arts scene. Constella will connect artists who have worked with industry leaders such as The Royal Opera House, The National Theatre and Glyndebourne with care homes from Penzance to Inverness. The growing list of musicians, dancers and actors involved includes Ilona Suomalainen, Henry Rankin, Antanas Makštutis and Rachel Maby. Also performing are acclaimed violinist Philippa Mo, award winning soprano Claire Wild, conductor and composer William Cole, whose upcoming engagements include performances with Opéra National du Rhin and English National Opera as well as harpist Olivia Jageurs, an alum of London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Foyle Future Firsts scheme.
Patron and world-famous bass baritone Sir Willard White CBE comments: “I’m excited to be part of Constella’s commendable work taking world class music to people who are usually unable to access it and hope that everyone will join me in pledging their support.”
Constella founder, Leo Geyer adds: “Our ambition is to support as many artists as possible and to channel their talent by giving heart-warming performances to the most vulnerable people in society. We hope that by connecting with one another we will become a beacon of positivity, happiness and unity.”
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