Voted #1 In Senior Living By Those Who Matter Most.  Learn More >

StoryPoint Saline Memory Care Resident Returns To The Detroit Opera House Stage

StoryPoint Saline Memory Care Resident Returns To The Detroit Opera House Stage

StoryPoint Group
StoryPoint Group | Senior Care Experts
Leaders in Senior Living Services
StoryPoint Saline Memory Care Resident Returns To The Detroit Opera House Stage

Lauren Wagner was a celebrated soprano who traveled the world during a decorated career. She took the stage in leading roles at the Detroit Opera House, Seattle Opera, Carnegie Hall, New York Field Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera and many more of the most famous entertainment venues around the globe.

In May 2019, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and now, she continues to thrive in the memory care neighborhood at StoryPoint Saline. Her love for music and wonderful vocal talents remain with her to this day.

She can always be found singing,” Life Enrichment Director Syndey Stites said. “She’ll just stop the staff and ask, even if you’re talking, ‘You have a beautiful voice. Are you an opera singer?’” Lauren gives a weekly performance at StoryPoint Saline, and she won the community’s Ageless Talent Show in 2023. Despite dealing with a memory impairment, her light shines brightly.



While thinking about Lauren’s spirit and her talent, Sydney had an idea. She knew Lauren’s family hoped to see her singing on the stage again, so she contacted the team at Detroit Opera to arrange an amazing day. “I reached out to Mike, the marketing director at the Detroit Opera House and asked if we could do a private tour, give her some stage time, and just let her connect to those memories,” she said. 


StoryPoint Resident at Detroit Opera House collage


Fortunately, for everyone involved, her request was granted, and on Saturday, March 9, 2024, Lauren was back where she belonged, stepping onto center stage once again at the Detroit Opera House. The former world-renowned opera singer was out there under the lights for a truly special performance.


A Soprano Sings Her Heart Out

Lauren had performed on this stage several times before, but her latest act may be the most meaningful. Lauren’s beautiful soprano voice soared through songs including “The Sound of Music,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Con Te Partirò.”

“My heart wants to sing every song it hears,” Lauren sang during her rendition of “The Sound of Music.” Her audience included her husband Geoffrey Jacquez, her daughter Katie Jacquez, other family members and StoryPoint Saline employees who were present for the private show.

The family wanted to see Lauren perform again so she could have a positive experience in a familiar setting. Her daughter said she saw glimmers of Lauren’s old self with each song. For her husband, it brought peace.

“It’s good for everybody,” Geoffrey Jacquez said. “It certainly makes me feel better. That’s a strange word, ‘better.’ But more connected. It makes me feel more connected and overall happier. Driving here, we were going over the music and this morning I just came dressed up and she was having breakfast and I said, “Well, we’re going to the opera.”

“We got lucky today that she was ready to sing. It just brought back a lot of nice memories,” Katie Jacquez said. Still, for Katie, the performance was bittersweet. “I think we tried to put all the conditions in place so that mom could step into her voice and to see her in her kind of full expression of herself and I think we saw some glimmers of that, but that light is fading,” Katie Jacquez said.

For Life Enrichment Director Sydney Stites, that’s a challenge she’s ready to help with in any way she can. “There’s still life to live, and that’s something I’m passionate about in making sure that our older adults and residents still live their life. So just being able to be here, and give her that experience, it gives me goosebumps. I’m going to get emotional.” Stites said.

Between songs Saturday, Lauren bowed gracefully and thanked those in attendance.
“I hope we spend many times together,” she said, right before she left the stage. Lauren’s family visits her at least once a week, and we know that Saturday in Detroit will stay with them forever.


StoryPoint Saline Resident at the Detroit Opera House

Shine Every Day At StoryPoint Group Communities

Residents like Lauren Wagner are what make StoryPoint Group communities such a special place to live. Whether you or your family member like to sing, dance, write or crochet, our Life Enrichment Directors will be there to help make the most of each day. For more information about how you can be a part of the StoryPoint Group family, visit the community nearest you today or call 1-844-275-9990.

StoryPoint Group

StoryPoint Group | Senior Care Experts

Leaders in Senior Living Services

For more than 40 years, we have been committed to providing our senior living residents with a sense of community and the absolute best experiences they deserve.

Looking For More Information?

Connect with us by phone at 1-844-275-9990 to get answers to your questions, or just to say hello.