Using song to satisfy, move and inspire

Where it all began – our very first garden setting!

Song Surgery is a recital project founded in 2019 ‘prescribing’ and performing classical songs to satisfy, move and inspire, in response to the listeners’ requests.

“A wonderful tonic for mind, body and soul. Highly recommended!” Frank Finlay, Chair of Skipton Music

Our June 2021 garden venue, very popular for picnics!

As a deft response to the Rule of 6 restrictions, we devised a format where singer and pianist perform from inside, through doors flung open to the audience seated just outside. It is an acoustically controlled, musically excellent, covid-compliant and safe solution for those craving the thrill of live music.
For venues with no piano, we use guitar or accordion as stunning alternatives.

Enjoy 30 minutes of captivating, bespoke performance and see where your mind may take you!
Some venues offer a complementary glass of fizz, and invite you to bring a picnic to enjoy in the beautiful surroundings afterwards.

For the month of October 2020 we were in residence at the Craven Arts Hub on Skipton High Street. We had a steady stream of 15 minute appointments and drop-ins coming by for their one-to-one song prescriptions.
We absolutely loved it!

Private garden: 6 x 30min gigs per day, one each hour, audience bubbles of 6-10, with 2 performers.
Format devised so that any private individuals may host, and covers its costs with 50 seats sold.
Pop-up pharmacy: our installation is easily constructed in foyer / cafe / library settings, with 1 or 2 performers.
Format devised to serve our outreach and community partners as part of our social prescribing commitment.
Salon and stage: 2 x 60min gigs per day, audiences bubbles of up to 50, with 2 or 3 performers.
This format extends to our full-length, semi-staged / illustrated recital in traditional venues, with unlimited numbers of performers or audience.
Cost for private garden format is £750 and can be promoted as flexibly as you like, for example:
as £15 per head to break even on 50 attending (or £10 per head for 60 etc)
as a free event for friends, patrons and loyal supporters
as a fundraiser for your choral society or charity of choice

Supported by:
Great Place Lakes and Dales

Help Musicians UK Fusion Fund
Residency at Sage Gateshead (now to be deferred)
Shortlisted for residency at Snape Maltings
Associate performers of Opera North

Evening slots bring their own magical atmosphere and are extremely popular.

Featured guests on BBC World Service (Newsday), BBC Radio 4 (PM with Eddie Mair, on election day), BBC Radio Cumbria (The Arty Show), Heart Radio and Smooth Radio.

The Guardian

Help Musicians UK Fusion Fund

The Yorkshire Post

Bibi Heal (soprano) with Stephen Barlow (piano), Amanda Cook (guitar) or Miloš Milivojevic (accordion).
Composers have included Purcell, Poulenc, Fauré, Mozart, Schumann, Nielsen, Strauss, Barber, Bridge, Rodrigo.
When booking, choose a multivitamin boost or select an area for us to address through music, such as:
nature, gratitude, celebration, childhood, family, insomnia, impatience, children, loss, nostalgia, ambition, solitude, travel, frustration, contentment, escapism

Bibi Heal – soprano
(Opera North, Garsington Opera, Aldeburgh Festival, ROH2, Bregenz Festival, Gstaad Festival)
Stephen Barlow – pianist
(conductor Royal Opera House and internationally, director of Buxton Festival for 7 years)
Annette Saunders – pianist
(Assistant Head of Music at Opera North, coach, accompanist Royal Opera House and internationally)
Struan Leslie – director
(Head of Movement Royal Shakespeare Company 2009-2014, director for Katie Mitchell for 15 years)
Bridget Foreman – wordsmith
(published playwright, lecturer York University, frequent BBC Radio commentator)
Jane Rice-Bowen – creative producer
(arts management consultant, joint CEO of National Centre for Circus Arts for 10 years)