Hi, I am Vivien Ellis!

Using the power of singing to connect us, support our wellbeing and feed our imagination.

Welcome to my website…

Here you can find out about:

  • My work as a singer of early music with Giles Lewin in the group Alva, the concerts we offer, and the early music recordings we’ve made.
  • The early music workshops, courses & singing walks I lead.
  • My work as a music researcher for radio, film and tv.
  • My research in Arts & Health, & the Arts and Health training for GPs I’ve developed.
  • Singing for wellbeing groups I lead at The Dragon Café, and NPLS Hillingdon.
  • My blog
Link to: About

You should also know…

I combine my passion for performing early music and folk song with a desire to share this with everyone, and a belief that singing is our birthright, bringing many benefits. Since 2014 I have led a weekly drop-in singing group for wellbeing at The Dragon Café (pictured). Since April 2020 the Dragon Café meets online, and all are welcome. This video from the National Centre For Early Music shows a group of GP trainees learning about the benefits of singing and the arts for wellbeing, in a course I designed.

I’m singing in this beautiful Mayday madrigal written during the COVID-19 lockdown by my friend and Alva duo colleague Giles Lewin. Twenty years ago we welcomed the new Millennium’s Mayday at Snape Maltings with The Dufay Collective, singing the medieval English song Sumer Is Icumen In.

In the video here we’re performing Amors m’art, a troubadour song in medieval Occitan, a language forbidden at the turn of the C20th. Here is a translation:

‘Love is burning in me like a fire and a flame, night and day I learn more, so do I know for sure that from a great distance he who loves me recognises me. I am far away from you, my sweet friend, or so do our warriors believe. But they do not know how the arrow that love sent me can hurt. From day to day I feel more and more bound by the thought of seeing you before my eyes, and never do I sleep but I dream that I am in your company under the branches.’

Photography – Main photos at top: by Peter Le May | About me: by Liz Gorman | Vivien at Dragon Café: by Jeff Crownson

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