Meet WNO

Elen ap Robert

Elen studied music at Sheffield University and having attained a first class honours degree, pursued postgraduate vocal studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London. She then joined Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Opera Chorus undertaking principal roles. Her career as a professional singer included the role of Juliet in Thames television / Channel 4 film adaptation of Benjamin Britten’s opera The Little Sweep directed by Basil Coleman and performing new commissions by Welsh composers eg Dilys Elwyn Edwards. She was awarded the Grace Williams Memorial Prize by Arts Council Wales in 1990 and in the same year became a member of the Yehudi Menuhin scheme for young performers, LIVE MUSIC NOW! This experience led her to develop an interest in the transformative effect of music on those who are disadvantaged and she embarked on a postgraduate course in Music Therapy in 1997 at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. On qualifying she spent 5 years working as a Music Therapist with children on the autistic spectrum during which period she lectured in Music Therapy at Bangor University Music School. She also worked as a BBC radio presenter and television presenter of music programmes for S4C.

Elen became Artistic Director of Galeri Creative Enterprise Centre, Caernarfon in 2005. During this time she developed the artistic vision and direction of the Centre, programming across the arts spectrum, forging national creative partnerships with Wales Millennium Centre and Theatr Genedlaethol and focussing on reaching audiences less likely to engage with the arts. In April 2012 Elen was appointed the first Artistic Director of Bangor University’s brand new Arts and Innovation Centre, Pontio, that opened its doors in 2015.