"Ellen Williams sang this demanding role with much poise and promise, her voice agile with silvery charm" - The Guardian (Semele 2017)
"Ellen Williams sings and looks the part and 'Myself I shall adore / if I persist in gazing' is a delight" - Art Scene in Wales (Semele 2017)
"The Semele of Ellen Williams was convincingly self-absorbed and she sang with both grace and agility. Her interpretations of both 'Endless Pleasure' and 'Myself I shall adore' were among the highlights of the evening and revealed distinct promise" - Seen and Heard International (2017)
Following an Honours degree in Spanish and French from the University of Exeter, Ellen graduated this year with a Masters in Opera from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she studied with Suzanne Murphy and Michael Pollock, gratefully supported by the Arts Council of Wales and a Leverhulme scholarship.
Ellen has performed in theatres and concert venues both internationally and across the UK, including Cadogan Hall, Royal Concert Hall Glasgow, Bridgewater Hall, Venue Cymru, The Wales Millennium Centre, and St. David’s Hall.
In opera, Ellen’s previous roles have included Zerlina (Don Giovanni, Mozart) at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, Semele in Handel’s Semele with Mid Wales Opera, First Niece (Peter Grimes, Britten) and Sop 1 / Philidel / Venus (King Arthur, Purcell) at Dartington, Fortuna / Valletto (L'incoronazione di Poppea, Monteverdi) with Ensemble OrQuesta, and during her studies at the RWCMD Ellen performed as Nannetta (Falstaff, Verdi) under the baton of Carlo Rizzi, Barbarina and cover Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro, Mozart), Cinderella (Cendrillon, Massenet), Emmie (Albert Herring, Britten), and in scenes as Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier, Strauss) and Lakmé (Lakmé, Delibes) with the WNO orchestra in the Dora Stoutzker Hall conducted by Simon Phillippo, Pamina (Die Zauberflöte, Mozart), Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel, Humperdinck), and Ariel (The Tempest, Ades). In 2016 Ellen was delighted to perform the final fugue in Verdi’s Falstaff as Nannetta in a celebratory concert for the RWCMD to HRH the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. This Autumn Ellen will join Burry Port Opera to perform the role of Lady Harriet in Flotow's Martha.
Ellen was delighted to perform recently with Rachel Podger and Badinerie, and to perform a sequence from Handel’s Messiah at St. David’s Hall with Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral choir and orchestra. In Oratorio Ellen has sang Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana conducted by Adrian Partington in Gloucester Cathedral, Bach’s Magnificat with Fleet Choral Society, and has won the Oratorio singing competition at the National Eisteddfod of Wales many times. The National Eisteddfod of Wales has been a rewarding platform for Ellen and she has been awarded an Eirwen Griffiths Jones scholarship and a Violet Mary Lewis memorial scholarship. In 2012 Ellen sang the part of the Minstrel in the Welsh premier of Karl Jenkins’ The Bards of Wales, conducted by the composer himself and sharing the platform with Dennis O’Neil and Rebecca Evans. Ellen has appeared many times on Welsh television and radio and enjoyed performing at the Daily Post’s 20th Anniversary concert of Carols from Llandudno in 2014. The same year, Ellen released her debut EP, Skylark, on the Welsh Label Sain, which she released on tour whilst supporting Rhydian Roberts. Ellen was delighted to join a selection of Wales’ most recognised sopranos in S4C special 10 Diva, which aired at the beginning of the year.
Further concert highlights include performing in the Winning Professionals concert at Fishguard International Music Festival in 2016, a recital at Cowbridge Music Festival that same year, and a tour of the Baltic states as a soloist with the Welsh Association Male Voice Choir. In 2015 Ellen was chosen as one of the 20 members of the National Chorus of Wales to join the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular UK tour, performing at venues such as Wembley Arena, Leeds Arena and the Glasgow Hydro. Ellen was delighted to perform at the Royal British Legion Wales Festival of Remembrance at St David’s Hall in October that year, and in 2016 enjoyed taking part in Bangor Music Festival performing songs by influential Welsh female composers Morfydd Owen, Grace Williams and Dilys Elwyn-Edwards in a Ty Cerdd Discover Welsh Music seminar. Ellen is a strong advocate of Welsh music and in 2015, after a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, took a contemporary show based on the life and music of Morfydd Owen to venues across the UK.
"Soprano Ellen Williams effortlessly renders the lyrical songs" - The Guardian (2015)
"Ellen Williams sang with heart-piercing sweetness" - The Times (2015)