Staatsoper Hamburg and UKE helping long-term COVID-19 patients

Opera singers coaching people with breathing difficulties in digital voice sessions
06 May 2021

Opera singers at the Staatsoper Hamburg are now coaching people suffering the long-term effects of a COVID-19 infection in digital voice sessions, a press release said Wednesday (April 28, 2021). The lessons are part of a new project launched by the opera house and the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) to help survivors of the infection breathe easier.

Gradual help for long-term patients

"We know that singing improves lung function and quality of life for people with chronic respiratory diseases. And who better to support our post COVID-19 patients than professional singers at the Staatsoper," said Dr. Hans Klose, Head of Pneumology at UKE.

Around 15 long-term COVID-19 patients are expected to benefit from the twice-weekly, individual coaching sessions with the singers for six weeks. This should boost both their health and mental well-being. The targeted breathing and posture exercises could help gradually rebuild the patients' weakened respiratory muscles. An individual patient's lung function and respiratory muscle strength will be measured at the start and end of the sessions. Their quality of life will be gauged using questionnaires.

Interdisciplinary signal project

The singers are taking part on a voluntary basis. Prof. Dr. Dr. Hermann Reichenspurner, Deputy Medical Director of the University Heart and Vascular Center at UKE, commented: "We are extremely grateful to the singers for providing those affected with the tools they need for their recovery." Georges Delnon, Director of Staatsoper Hamburg said the collaboration with UKE sends a "strong signal to the outside world that our society helps each other and beyond individual disciplines."