Opera Singer Performs During His Own Brain Surgery


A Slovenian opera singer Ambrož Bajec-Lapajne was diagnosed with a brain tumor (a glioblastoma). During his surgery, the neurosurgeon’s advice was to keep him awake. This is significantly important to monitor if he can speak or perform high-level functions as surgeons work on him and avoid deficits after the procedure.

In the video above, Bajec-Lapajne sang the first and last couplets of Franz Schubert’s lied “Gute Nacht” in minor-major transition in order to see if he can still recognize the key change which he relies on heavily as a professional opera singer. The operation was commenced on June 2014.

Around the 2:40 mark, you’ll see something alarming happen to Bajec-Lapajne as he slurs his words and singing slows to a halt. But that’s not an indication of something going wrong, exactly: Surgeons need to know what parts of the brain will wreak this kind of havoc if they’re interfered with. Bajec-Lapajne’s scary moment was exactly the point of the exercise, showing surgeons where not to go during the tumor removal.


All is well after he bounces back to the beautiful performance. Bajec-Lapajne writes on his YouTube page that he’s doing fine a year later, and continues to amaze the world with his talent in singing classical music.

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Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.
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