Dr Opera - Barts Charity
Man in blue scrubs, wearing a PPE mask, stills from his viral opera singing video

Opera singing doctor releases charity single

After a video of Alex singing opera in hospital went viral, he teamed up with Barts Choir to release a single in support of our Emergency Covid-19 Appeal.

  • Date: May 13, 2020

Alex’s two passions

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.

Growing up, Alex 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 the pandemic hit, the entertainment industry closed down.

Alex Aldren, doctor cum opera singer

Performing in hospital

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. He even made it onto Good Morning Britain to chat with Lorraine Kelly.

A message of hope

Alex says: “Although it’s an extremely stressful time in the NHS right now, the support and camaraderie 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.

Thank you

Half of the proceeds from the single will be donated to our Covid-19 Emergency Appeal to help us continue supporting Barts Health NHS Trust 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.

Read about how we supported our NHS heroes through our Covid-19 Emergency Appeal

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