In these continuing difficult times Welsh Soprano ELLEN WILLIAMS’ new Christmas Single ‘Dancing with the Angels’ is the perfect antidote to soothe our aching hearts. It’s particularly poignant for those who have lost a loved one this year, or indeed remembers someone special at this festive time.
Ellen wrote her debut single to the tune of the traditional Welsh Lullaby ‘Suo Gân’, which featured in Steven Spielberg’s film ‘Empire of the Sun’. The fantastic news is that, on day one of release, it made its way to Number One in the iTunes Classical Chart, and rightly so, it’s a really lovely song.
The Christmas single has been a labour of love for Ellen. Written in the height of the pandemic, it gave her a focus and purpose to be able to offer a comforting musical dedication for those that have lost their lives and hope and strength to everyone in these uncertain times.
Ellen contacted composer Mark Thomas to help her with the project after falling in his love with his music after watching the film ‘Zoo’, which Mark had worked on.
Mark has many successful scores to his credit including Shaun the Sheep, ITV’s Brief Encounters, and The Magic Roundabout with Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams. His credits also list compositions for the BBC, 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers. He actually wrote music for one of our favourite series – ‘Episodes’
Ellen told us……
“This year has been heart-breaking for so many in many different ways, but for those who have lost somebody special this year, the song offers some comfort that their memory lives on whilst they are ‘Dancing with the Angels’.”
The result of this collaboration is stunning, and a soothing, calming antidote to the struggles we face as a nation.
Christmas is all about family and family have played a major influence in Ellen’s life and apt as the traditional version of the song speaks of a mother’s love and protection. Ellen’s mother is a harpist and has played all over the World. She has been a major musical inspiration! In Ellen’s family there has always been a certain passing on of Welsh traditional/folk songs, so to record her own version of ‘Suo Gân’ is very special indeed.
SOUTH WALES LIFE put in a Zoom call to Ellen recently to chat about the single. She also told us just how much she misses being up on stage, but actually finds herself constantly singing around the house, perfect practice for when we get to see her perform live again, soon we hope Ellen.
Ellen has come a long way from her first ’Saturday job’, which was singing to tourists in Welsh medieval banquets in Cardiff Castle! Any money she made she put straight into singing lessons and music books. Since then she has gone onto be praised for her “poise and promise, her voice agile with silvery charm” (The Guardian), and has been described as singing “with heart-piercing sweetness” in The Times.
Ellen has performed all over the UK in some of the most prestigious concert halls from the Royal Albert Hall to Cadogan Hall, Royal Concert Hall Glasgow, Bridgewater Hall, the Brangwyn Hall, the Wales Millennium Centre and St. David’s Hall where she was a finalist in the Welsh Singers Showcase in 2018 and performed with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
Her talent has not gone unnoticed by other leading singers in the music industry and even Royalty, having previously sung for HRH The Prince of Wales in Buckingham Palace. Last year Ellen was honoured to be asked to sing during the wedding ceremony of Classical Welsh singer Sir Bryn Terfel, accompanied by Scottish Pianist Malcolm Martineau. Ellen has also shared the stage with Welsh Classical tenor/BBC Radio Wales Wynne Evans and supported Rhydian on his UK tour. It was also a joy for her to be asked to perform in the line up for the Salvation Army Christmas Carols Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, where she even met Mary Berry!
If you’d like to download the single from iTunes, just go here DANCING WITH THE ANGELS