Recovering from COVID-19 through breathing and singing exercises

Premiere July 16, 2021, De Vereeniging Nijmegen (NL)


Wishful Singing has developed the online program Sing Strong!, based on the successful ENO Breathe of the English National Opera, which starts on May 31, 2021. This program supports COVID-19 patients with long-term sequelae in their recovery through breathing, singing and relaxation exercises performed by and together with Wishful Singing, guest singers Damani Leidsman, Madhu Singh and pianist Bert van den Brink. Sing along with songs from Ramses Shaffy, Boudewijn de Groot, George Gershwin and songs from all corners of the world and different cultures and feel strong again!

More and more is known about long-term health damage from corona. Since the start of the Corona outbreak, more than 1.4 million Dutch people have been tested positive. According to a first estimate by the RIVM, 20% of them still have complaints 4 or 5 weeks after a positive test, or Long (long-term) Covid. These patients have sometimes been dealing with complaints such as fatigue, shortness of breath, concentration problems, feelings of depression, headache and muscle weakness for months. Pleasure in singing, restoring confidence in your own body and meeting other participants are central in the programma Sing Strong! The online program lasts 6 weeks and consists of a weekly online group session as well as exercises that you perform independently using videos in an app. Wishful Singing works together with a team of, among others, pulmonologists, respiratory therapists and lung physiotherapists, to set up this project in a responsible manner. The program is offered free of charge.

To complete the program, there will be a joint conclusion in the form of a closing concert via Zoom. Wishful Singing and pianist Bert van den Brink perform the repertoire that has passed in the six weeks and participants will sing along from home. To complete the program, a joint closing event will take place on 16 July 2021 in the form of a Summer Concert from Concertgebouw De Vereeniging in Nijmegen – live with an audience from the hall and online. The five singers celebrate that they will be back on stage and are looking for new connections. Together with master pianist Bert van den Brink, singer-songwriter Damani Leidsman and singer Madhu Singh, the ensemble pays tribute to the unique quality of the voice. Singer-songwriter Damani Leidsman sings rhythmically catchy Afro-Surinamese songs such as Mi kanto ma mi de'te ('I've turned around, but I'm still here') and singer Madhu Singh, popular in the Hindu community, will perform the Bollywood classic Lag Ja Gaale ('Embrace me'). Wishful Singing shines with summery close harmony by Gershwin and has everyone (at home) sing along with Zing, vecht, huil, bid, lach werk en bewonder by Ramses Shaffy. Personal musical stories in which each song embodies the motto of the evening in its own way: Sing yourself strong! Pianist Bert van den Brink makes sparkling transitions with his talent for improvisation, connecting the different musical styles.

Zing je Sterk totaal

Credits Cast & Crew

At the end of May, the online program Sing Strong will start. In this program, Long Covid patients work with Wishful Singing on their recovery through breathing, singing and relaxation exercises. The online program lasts 6 weeks and consists of a weekly online group session as well as exercises that the participant performs independently using videos in an app. More information:

Video © Wishful Singing Amsterdam

Stage direction - Anne-Christine Wemekamp, Sound - Jaap Schledorn, Lightdesign & stage directional advice - Annechien Koerselman, Camera - Nico de Voogd, Mix - Fleur Beemster

Recording location: TivoliVredenburg Utrecht

Organisiation: Wishful Singing Amsterdam i.c.w. TivoliVredenburg Utrecht


  On June 17, 2021, the album of Sing Strong! was released online.

Listen to the 12 breath & week songs via Spotify

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