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, 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, 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 and an active member of the Camden Dementia Action Alliance.
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!
Afternoon Tea – Black Olive Cooks
Black Olive Cooks are a partnership based at the cafe in Lumen United Reformed Church.
Comprised of the wonderful Jan, Diane, Claire and Graham, Black Olive Cooks prepare fresh, homemade and wholesome food daily, using fresh seasonal ingredients that are locally sourced wherever possible.
Jan and Diane both worked in health and social care, whilst Claire and Graham worked in Housing and Education services. A chance encounter with the empty cafe space at Lumen inspired a change of career from local government to cooking. They now collectively manage the Lumen cafe – renowned for its relaxing atmosphere in the RIBA Award winning building – an oasis of calm in central London.
We are delighted to have Lumen Cafe and Black Olive Cooks host a delicious and wholesome afternoon tea following each of our Songhaven concerts.