Inspiring and opening relationships and dialogue on how to bring high-quality music engagement to those facing difficult times.

Teaming up healthcare, opera and creative professionals, HealthPitch creates original operatic productions dedicated to promoting health, wellbeing and independence, restoring human connection and enhancing the lives of those who are vulnerable, isolated or in need of care, and those who care for them.

Our performances are professional yet accessible, relevant and intimate. Our opera singers are fantastic, the story-lines simple and captivating, truly engaging our audiences.

“HealthPitch stems directly from my mother’s terminal illness and my time as daughter and healthcare professional caring for in her in a rural village near Stonehenge.

I had relocated from abroad and we were enormously lucky to have soprano Francesca Lanza visiting from Italy. Francesca brought music and light into the home at a time when we were acutely aware of the limitations of conventional medicine. I began exploring the links between health and music, in particular the operatic voice.” Founder, Camilla

Unbeknown to us, unfolding in parallel was an Inquiry into practice and research in the arts in health and social care by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing and we herald their Inquiry Report produced in November 2017.

Some consider opera singers to be the olympic performers of singing and our talented opera singers can help raise awareness and inspire creative thinking through our productions:

The arts “offer a potential resource that should be embraced in health and social care systems which are under great pressure and in need of fresh thinking and cost-effective methods.”

“We offer a challenge to habitual thinking and ask for new collaborations to be formed across conventional boundaries. We are calling for an informed and open-minded willingness to accept that the arts can make a significant contribution to addressing a number of the pressing issues faced by our health and social care systems.”

“We hope to inspire and energise individuals and encourage better communication between different disciplines and institutions. Among the virtues of the arts is that they challenge habitual thinking. We aim to provoke dissonant conversations and create pressure for change. We challenge people to emerge from their silos, discover shared territory and join forces.”

The Inquiry report, Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing

Why opera?

This is where our story began and is our primary premium. We welcome opportunities to collaborate with other music and art forms.

We enjoy challenging habitual thinking including that about opera! We regularly hear how our productions are a refreshing take on/ideal introduction to opera.

‘All arts have a beneficial effect but opera is particularly interactive as it engages participants and embraces all the emotions of life. It encompasses joy and tragedy, love, laughter, warmth and passion and it connects with the human spirit. As a medium which is all about heightened emotion, it can’t fail to lift the senses and transport people out of their everyday world.’ Camilla

HealthPitch is also a bid to raise awareness of what innovative partnerships can achieve: finding the holy grail in care together, which is human connection.

VIDEO: 6 Characters final rehearsal at the Claremont Project, 10th March 2017

 

Our Team

The HealthPitch team is full of people who inspire, collaborate and help to make links.

Camilla Vickers

Founder

Healthcare professional with cross-field experience: as a dietitian, Camilla worked for Unilever in product development and marketing, as a physiotherapist she worked in Intensive Care and various high care units (neonatal through to geriatric) at renowned state and private hospitals in Cape Town. Camilla completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management, conceptualised and produced a medical handbook for travellers, and helped to pioneer healthcare initiatives involving collaborative, multi-layered networking, always seeking innovative solutions primarily through the ‘people factor’ to the many challenges in the state health sector in South Africa.

Francesca Lanza

Soprano

Often described as having the voice of an angel, Francesca also has an extraordinary gift of connecting with others in a way that makes them feel special. A wonderful combination that brought much happiness to Camilla’s mother.

Francesca Lanza is an award winning flautist and world-renowned and in-demand soprano. Trained at the Vivaldi Conservatory, and the Academia Musicale Chigiana, and masterclasses with Shirley Verrett, Elly Ameling, and Renata Scotto. Performance highlights include; the title-role in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at the Festival International de Tamaulipas (Mexico), Donna Anna in the first modern revival of Il convitato di pietra by V.Righini (recorded by Bongiovanni), Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at the Semperoper in Dresden, and Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Elvira in Bellini’s I Puritani at the Korean Opera Festival in Seoul.

Besides her performances, she participates in extraordinary collaborations, including with the Museum Fondazione Cosso at Castello di Miradolo near Turin, and with Duda Paiva on “the weeds project” in Turin and Saarbrucken. Francesca also recorded a documentary for BBC Radio 4 that was aired in Spring 2017.

Annie Stevenson

Director of Integration in Care (consultancy)

Annie has been closely involved having per chance heard Francesca and her friends sing when Davina’s Fund was just starting out, and instrumental in connections with the care sector.

Annie, Registered HCPC Social Worker, has an extensive background in all aspects of care from commissioning and care management to policy and front line provision with all user groups. She has an excellent appreciation of the care market and its financial and social constraints as well as a focus on the wellbeing of users and carers, so uses innovative and creative approaches across sectors to increase effectiveness. Her career includes co-founding the My Home Life Programme: quality of life in care homes with Help the Aged (now Age UK); CQC; Social Care Institute for Excellence; DH; Carers UK and Westminster Council. She is a trustee of NAPA (the National Activity Providers Association).

Dr Lindi van Niekerk

Medical Doctor

When Lindi is not half way round the world or busy with her PhD, she is always willing to help, whether it be insightful perspectives, interviewing and editing or chopping veggies late night for a next day function!

Dr Lindi van Niekerk holds a MSc in Public Health and is currently a PhD candidate at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has been worked across different levels of the health system in South Africa implementing and researching innovative service delivery programmes. Most recently, she completed a multi-country project of across Africa, producing short films of local innovations developed at community-level.

Sylvie Silver

Executive Director of NAPA (National Activity Providers Association)

Sylvie and her team at NAPA have provided HealthPitch with tremendous support from the outset, facilitating many of our visits to care settings. Sylvie’s advice to our singers on performing in care settings was a key point to the success of 6 Characters in Search of An Opera, and something we all took very much to heart.

Sylvie is the Executive Director of NAPA responsible for all aspects of the charities work. NAPA is recognised as the ‘thought leader’ around Activity Provision and Sylvie is the key influencer in achieving this.
Sylvie‘s hands on experience was gained working in a nursing home for older people and prior to that with Adults with Learning Disabilities. Since then she has worked with, and trained, hundreds of care staff from senior management to grassroots workers to raise the profile of the importance of meaningful engagement and a life full of love and laughter.

S-J Cooper-White

Filmmaker and Brand Manager

An experienced filmmaker and digital marketer, S-J brings over 20 years worth of business development experience to the team. Heading up all things corporate, marketing and storytelling, S-J continues to manage the HealthPitch brand.