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.

42 Zing je Sterk

Screenshot Closing Summerconcert

Credits Cast & Crew

Concept & Performance Wishful Singing (vocal female quintet):

Anne-Christine Wemekamp (1st soprano)

Maria Goetze (2nd soprano)

Marleen van Os (mezzo-soprano)

Stella Brüggen (1st alto)

Marjolein Stots (2nd alto)

Guest singers Damani Leidsman, Madhu Lalbahadoersing

Pianist Bert van den Brink

With the cooperation of

Pulmonary physiotherapist Anneke van Veen

Singing teachers Nicole Fiselier, Carina Vinke, Janneke Boomsma, Leonore Engelbrecht


Stage direction Online programm Anne-Christine Wemekamp

Stage direction Closing concert & Stage directional advice Online programm Annechien Koerselman

Recording Nico de Voogd (camera), Jaap Schledorn (sound)

Lightdesign Annechien Koerselman

Production Erik Laarman & Kees Kaya

Business manager Anne-Christine Wemekamp

Organisation Wishful Singing Amsterdam i.c.w TivoliVredenburg Utrecht & De Vereeniging Nijmegen




Utrecht TivoliVredenburg March 11, 2023 14.00h Sing along concert & Livestream

Amersfoort September 23 or 24, 2023 September Me festival Sing along concert


Online May 31 till July 16 2021

Nijmegen De Vereeniging July 16, 2021 20.15h Closing Summer concert & Livestream


More information: Wishful Singing

Zing je Sterk totaal

Thanks to: Anneke van Veen (pulmonologist CWZ Ziekenhuis Nijmegen), Judith Herder (pulmonologist Meander MC Amersfoort), Merel Hellemons (pulmonologist Erasmus MC Rotterdam), Jasmijn van Campen (pulmonologist Haaglanden MC Den Haag), Rianne Kofman (rehabilitation doctor Treant Zorggroep Emmen), TivoliVredenburg Utrecht and the LongFonds.

Wishful singing Zing je Sterk

Photo Recording Online Programm © Allard Willemse


Photos Zing je Sterk © Jimmy Israel, Erwin van Kester & Screenshots Livestream

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