Concert to raise funds for dementia

Opera Su Presto

Pic: Eva Alegre

Opera Su Presto will be performing at Toorak Uniting Church on 18 December to raise funds for people with dementia.

Its new show Les Liaisons Misérables is a political farce set in the court of Louis XVI. Directed by James Wright, it features period costumes and songs by Handel, Mozart, Lerner and Loewe, Rossini and Bernstein.

The concert is a key fundraiser for Music for David, Uniting AgeWell’s music therapy program.

Music for David uses an iPod or MP3 player to musically soothe and gently stimulate people who are agitated or withdrawn due to the effects of dementia. It also supports carers by giving them short-term respite.

The program was established in memory of Rev David Hodges AM, minister at Toorak Uniting Church until his retirement in 1983.

Uniting AgeWell supported Mr Hodges and his partner, musician David Ross-Smith, from 2011 until his death the following year. Music played a significant role during Mr Hodges’ care.

The Friends of Music for David, headed by Mr Ross-Smith, organise a series of events each year to raise funds for the program.

Mr Ross-Smith said money raised from the show would allow more people to access music therapy, which research shows has positive effects on people with dementia.

“Music is not only beneficial for people with dementia, it also has therapeutic effects on healthy people as well,” Mr Ross-Smith said.

“My hope for this show is for people to have an enjoyable and uplifting experience and leave feeling better than they arrived.

“The show is very colourful and hilarious – great entertainment for those needing some respite from the pre-Christmas rush.”

When: Sunday, 18 December at 3:30pm.
Where: Toorak Uniting Church, 603 Toorak Road, Toorak (Tram Stop 39)
Admission: $40 or $35 concession. Refreshments provided following the concert.

Bookings and enquiries:
David Ross-Smith 0429 907 908 or

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