Opera singing doctor releases charity single

13 May 2020

When Opera singer Alex Aldren returned to medicine to support the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic, he wasn’t expecting his musical talents to go viral at the same time.

Alex has now teamed up with Barts Choir to release a single in support of our emergency COVID-19 appeal. 

When Alex was growing up, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a doctor.  Music had always been a huge passion of Alex’s but as a Junior Doctor he did not have any time to practice, so he decided to resign from his role at the hospital to put all of his efforts into becoming an opera singer. His opera career took off immediately and he travelled across the world to perform, but when COVID-19 hit, the entertainment industry closed down.

With no upcoming performances, Alex spoke to his old manager to see if they needed an extra pair of hands on the wards.  They immediately took him up on the offer, and Alex started working shifts at The Royal London, Whipps Cross and Newham Hospitals where he works in the A&E departments.

On returning to the hospital, Alex met some of his old colleagues who knew that he had become an opera singer.  When they had a quick break, a couple of them asked him to perform one of his favourite songs, Puccini’s ‘Nessun Dorma’.  Alex really missed performing so he was happy to oblige.  A crowd quickly appeared and some colleagues videoed the performance and shared it on social media.  The video quickly went viral and was shared across the media:  

  

Alex says: “Although it’s an extremely stressful time in the NHS right now, the support and comradery between colleagues has been amazing. I’m really enjoying being back to support Barts Health during the pandemic and I’m glad I could give my colleagues a welcome distraction during our shift.”

Alex has now made a charity single with the Barts Choir, one of London’s largest professionally rehearsed choirs which was founded by nurses at Barts Hospital in 1965. Together they decided on the song Panis Angelicus by Cesar Frank, because of its timeless beauty and message of hope:

Half of the proceeds from the single will be donated to our emergency COVID-19 appeal to help us continue supporting Barts Health NHS staff throughout these unprecedented times. You can make a donation on their Virgin Money Giving page. 

Thank you to Alex, Barts Choir, and everyone else involved!

 

If you have been inspired to fundraise for our NHS, please contact us or set up a fundraising page here.

Our COVID-19 Emergency Appeal is helping us provide urgent funds for staff who are working tirelessly across Barts Health NHS Trust. Donations are being used in many ways across our hospitals - from 3D-printed visors to protect front line staff, to iPads for isolated patients to speak with their loved ones.

More news

Back garden run for Barts

Six East London friends have run 5ks in their back gardens to fundraise for their local hospitals during the coronavirus crisis