Songhaven Founder – Vivien Conacher
Mezzo soprano Vivien Conacher hails from Sydney, Australia and has been based in London since 2010. Described as a “rising star” by Limelight Magazine, her professional operatic engagements include performances with Opera Australia, Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland, Iford Arts Festival, Charles Court Opera, Pop-Up Opera, Grange Park Opera, and the BBC Proms. She has also appeared in concert for the National Portrait Gallery, Bloomsbury Festival, St-Martin-in-the-Fields, St James’s Church Piccadilly, St Paul’s Knightsbridge, and the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation in Sydney.
Vivien graduated with Distinction from the Masters programme at the Royal College of Music, before completing ENO’s Opera Works training scheme. She is a Concordia Foundation Artist, a Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme alumnus, a Tait Memorial Trust Awardee, and was a finalist in London Song Festival’s 2016 British Song Prize.
Vivien has extensive experience in community work as a singer – she has been engaged by Festival in a Box to deliver music to people with dementia in their homes, has led a number of singing workshops for Arts4Dementia on the Angel Community Canal Boat, as well as performing at numerous community centres and care facilities.
Vivien founded Songhaven in 2016, and with the support of a St Andrew Holborn Charity grant, launched the first Songhaven Concert in February 2017. She was featured as one of the Activists & Pioneers behind Dementia in a International Women’s Day feature by the Wellcome Collection’s Created Out of Mind project. Vivien has also contributed an article about working with people living with dementia for the School of Advanced Studies which can be read HERE.
Vivien is a Dementia Friend, an active member of the Camden Dementia Action Alliance, and has been selected for a prestigious one year learning and mentoring programme at the School for Social Entrepreneurs in London starting in October 2018.
Recording Engineer / Film-maker – Bobby Williams
Bobby Williams is a freelance recording engineer, film-maker, and musician. Originally from the Isle of Man, he relocated to “the mainland” to complete a Bachelor degree in Fine Art at the University of Plymouth. Bobby’s innovative video installations and narrative films gained him a first-class honours degree and also led to his first industry job bringing life to the robots on Sky One’s Space Island One television series.
Since this time, Bobby has worked in a busy Soho Post-Production house, co-founded an Indie Production Company, exhibited photography and art-films in galleries and festivals, and toured internationally as a guitarist and recording artist. Bobby also has a passion for documenting all forms of acoustic music, recently recording and filming an orchestral performance in notable classical venue St John’s Smith Square, as well as a large-scale opera gala at St Paul’s Knightsbridge.
Bobby has over 20 years of experience making documentaries, promos, art films, and music recordings. He is in demand in both corporate and creative circles for his versatility and keen attention to detail, and we are thrilled to have him as a member of the Songhaven team. Bobby will be filming all our Songhaven concerts, to create an archive of films for people to enjoy in the comfort of their homes. These recordings will feature Bobby’s trademark high-quality, faithful sound, and will be the next-best thing to attending a concert in person!
Lumen Church & Cafe
Lumen United Reformed Church in Bloomsbury (formerly known as Regent Square United Reformed Church) was originally a Regency Gothic Church, designed as a miniature version of York Minster.
The building was severely damaged in World War II bombings, and was completely rebuilt in 1965. In the early 2000s the building was extensively remodelled and modernised by architects Theis and Khan, with the finished building winning a 2009 RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Award.
Songhaven is proud call this beautiful church home, and we are very grateful to the ongoing support of the Lumen Church & Cafe team.
St Paul’s Knightsbridge
We are delighted to bring the Songhaven series to the historic St Paul’s Knightsbridge, one of London’s most beautiful Victorian Churches. We look forward to working with the St Paul’s Knightsbridge team on this collaborative venture, bringing inclusive music-making to new audiences in Westminster, at this stunning historical space.
Other Partners & Supporters