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Opera scholar's special Ryman recording

Written by Margot Taylor
on June 09, 2020

Ryman Healthcare’s 2020 Melba Opera Trust scholar Chloe Harris has turned to technology to deliver a stunning special performance for residents.

The Mezzo soprano said she decided to record a performance of Ivor Novello’s ‘We’ll Gather Lilacs’ after being unable to visit Ryman's retirement villages in person due to COVID-19.

“The reason the piece was written was it was just after World War 2 and it was about people going off to war and their family or friends saying, ‘we miss you so much and we will gather lilacs together once again’. It’s a love piece,” Chloe said.

“I am wanting to share that message that we will be together again, and we will be able to enjoy life together again with the residents and all healthcare staff.”

Chloe said her Ryman Healthcare scholarship had been particularly helpful during the uncertainty created by COVID-19.

“I am able to wake up with a really positive outlook because I am able to continue working hard and I’m able to excel in my craft, which would not be possible without Ryman, so thank you,” she said.

Chloe hopes to return to the stage soon, but until then all her study with the Melba Opera Trust, including vocal coaching and language lessons, will be offered online, she said.

“Performing live makes me feel so good, and it makes others feel good and that is important to me,” she said.

“As soon as I can perform live it’s going to be the most exciting thing.

“But until then I hope my recording makes residents smile.”


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