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Healing Through Music: A Nurse Who Sings Opera04:06
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The Longwood Symphony Orchestra performing at the Hatch Shell. (bunkosquad/Flickr)
The Longwood Symphony Orchestra performing at the Hatch Shell. (bunkosquad/Flickr)

A career in medicine usually doesn't leave much time for hobbies, but don't tell that to the doctors and nurses who make up the Longwood Symphony Orchestra.

Since 1982, the orchestra has recruited members of Boston's medical community to perform year-round for the benefit of local charities. On Saturday, the orchestra will stage a program of Wagner music starring soprano Joanna Porackova.

The Lexington, Mass., native is a world-class soprano who has sung with orchestras from Washington to Berlin. When not performing, she works as a registered nurse with the company Home Instead Senior Care, which provides home care services to senior citizens.

A typical day for Porackova can often involve an audition or rehearsal in the morning, followed by an in-home visit to one of her elderly clients in the afternoon. She spoke about balancing music and medicine with Radio Boston's Jason Breslow.

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This segment aired on December 2, 2010.

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