Meltham optician’s balloon forges international friendship in the city of music

It was on the 25th March that we opened our new optician’s practice in Meltham. Diggle B brass band entertained our many visitors and we held a balloon race to help raise funds for the Macular Society.  Each of the balloons had a ticket attached to it asking the person who discovered the balloon to get in touch.  Little did we realise the distance some of these balloons would travel.


It was nearly a month later when we received a message from Viennese historian Elmar Eggerer Elmar saying that he had found the remains of one of our balloons entangled in his new roof. Elmar is well known for his comprehensive study of Mediaeval English Guilds and Craft Companies as well as being a sought-after trumpet player. Elmar is currently building his own house in Greifenstein, a town 24km north of Vienna.

Having just put the roof on the building, it is customary to put something like a small fir tree on top for the celebrations. These celebrations are traditional in both Germany and Austria and are called the “Topping Up” ceremony. The tree caught the remnants of the balloon, Elmar climbed up and recovered it – Ticket number 19.


Elmar’s latest appointment is as Principal Trumpet of the world-unique Vienna Klezmer Orchestra ( He is married to opera singer Regina Schoerg who is currently in Shanghai appearing in a performance of Richard Strauss’ “Elektra” – the title role! Born in Austria, Regina studied at the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien before she joined the Landestheater in Linz. She has worked at the Vienna Volksoper and then moved on to the Vienna State Opera as a soloist. Internationally, Regina has performed key parts and leading roles at opera houses as far apart as Sydney and San Francisco, Berlin and Beijing, Toronto and Tokyo.

Helping Musicians’

It is so apt that this couple should find the balloon, as Allegro Optical are opticians who also specialise in helping musicians with sight issues.” Allegro Optical uses high-quality lenses by Rodenstock to help many musicians and singers to continue in their career and have extended the working life of many musicians and singers faced with vision problems in later life.


About Allegro News

Clear Vision For The Clarinets

It’s all clear for the clarinets

Simeon Yates, is a presbyopic Clarinetist who plays for the Yorkshire Regiment TA band. Simion was struggling to focus on his music on the music stand when playing both Clarinet and Bass Clarinet when in concert formation.


Simeon is a myopic established varifocal wearer but he was experiencing difficulty with the narrow corridor and peripheral distortion provided by his multifocal lenses.

Like many musicians, when playing in concert formation Simeon often has to share a music stand. This means he had to read the piece being played from one side. Although Simeon’s current lenses were a free-form design this was still very problematic. Due to the narrower field of the intermediate area provided by the lens corridor.

To provide the widest possible area for music (about 1.2 meters) it was decided to dispense an additional pair of spectacles.  On this occasion, we used a compensated occupational progressive lenses, adapted to take into account Simeon’s extended working distance and seating position.

A dual purpose solution

As occupational lenses were used Simeon was also able to use them for work. When not playing with the Yorkshire Regiment TA band Simeon runs a specialist training company. Community Education Skills 4 Life, is a registered training centre teaching people how to deal with real-life emergencies.

Having collected and used the new spectacles Simeon said “New glasses are fab-u-lous and more right notes too.”

Why Allegro?

Focusing at many different distances can pose real problems to musicians. Many struggle with the varying focal distances they have to work with. In fact, many musicians also suffer from postural problems as a result. With an understanding of the playing and seating positions of professional musicians, this can be overcome.  The musicians working and playing life can easily be extended due to the improvement that this solution provides. Many Musicians who experience focusing problems at different distances are unaware that there is a solution to the problem.  Many optometrists and opticians either prescribe and dispense single vision lenses for the music stand or varifocals which often exacerbate the problems due to the narrow corridor.

Simeon Yates can see the music at all distacnes thanks to Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham


This case study has illustrated the variety of dispensing challenges that musicians present.  But with the right approach and a working knowledge of ensemble setups, these issues can all be resolved.