healthpitch: a Davina’s Fund project

Led by Camilla Vickers

The HealthPitch project stems directly from Davina Vickers’s terminal illness and her daughter, a healthcare professional, Camilla’s time caring for her. It aims to influence thinking and practice on the quality of life for older people with health impairments, both physical and mental, and those who care for them.

An All-Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing confirms that quality arts engagement can contribute to the health, wellbeing and independence of older people, with significant social cost benefits. HealthPitch is experimenting with new ideas for raising the quality of the lives of the elderly in care homes and other settings and the quality of care that is provided to them.

Music can be a powerful tool for achieving this. HealthPitch brings professional quality opera set within relevant and interactive stories to actively engage with residents, staff, families and local communities. We also present our productions at workshops and conferences reaching providers and influencers to spark discussions on ways of enriching the lives of those often overlooked.

 “6 Characters in Search of an Opera” was possibly the first opera ever written specially to be performed in care setting. It iinvolved a cast of 5 plus the audience as the 6th character, was performed over 20 times in 2017 in hospices, community centres, dementia units, care homes, a mental health hospital and a day centre for those recovering from brain injury.

Our next production was “The Audition”, a slimmed down more affordable version with a cast of 3. Then during the Covid-19 lockdowns and with Arts Council support, we developed an even slimmer version called “The Soprano” which was delivered on-line, and which was designed so that individual signers could take this into care homes and other venues on their own initiative. Future plans include a retreat for singers and carers to share the ideas and lessons learned from “The Soprano” and to create a group of singers able to take our productions into care settings in their localities.

Our initial focus has been on the elderly but we are open to any ideas where our productions can bring joy to and enhance connection amongst those facing difficult times.

For more information or to book a performance see: