The Atlanta Opera is Treating Health Care Workers, Hospital Patients, and Seniors to "Singing Telegrams"

"There's something about the human voice and music that connects in a way that is so direct with people's hearts."

Female opera singer
Photo: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Even in the face of a global pandemic, for The Atlanta Opera, the show must go on.

Members of the prestigious opera company are putting their talents to good use amid the COVID-19 crisis by providing special "Singing Telegrams" for those in need.

Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun told CNN that once the opera stopped production on shows, they started focusing on how they could help the community.

Members of The Atlanta Opera Chorus and The Atlanta Opera Studio are recording these "Singing Telegrams" for those in senior living facilities, health care workers, hospital patients, and anyone in need of emotional support.

"A lot of people right now are lonely or isolated, and not able to connect with the ones they love. We were trying to figure out a way to take our unique skills and transpose them, translate them into something that would be meaningful," he explained.

According to Zvulun, performers are currently singing their favorite songs, but are hoping to be able to take requests soon. Before long, they might even be joined by the opera's orchestra musicians.

"There's something about the human voice and music that connects in a way that is so direct with people's hearts," he said. "And in this day and age, that's exactly what we need."

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And it's not just the performers who are pivoting during this unprecedented period. The opera's costume shop is now working full time to produce masks and hospital gowns for the health care staff at Grady Hospital. So far, they've produced about 3,000 to 4,000 masks and are currently producing about 190 gowns per week.

Though the team has had to make some adjustments in the way they work, for Costume Director Joanna Schmink, it's a transition that makes sense.

"Everybody has talents and skills that can be used in these times of crisis," she told CNN.

Bravo, y'all. Bravo!

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