Aug 19 2021


All Day

Minerva Scientifica Birthday Celebration: Ellen Willmott PODCAST

19th  August 2021Ellen Willmott
BORN 19th August 1858, Heston, Middlesex

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PODCAST SERIES Episode 10: The Ghost of Warley Place
“Women of Science & Music: 30 celebrations”

willmott willmott

Ellen Willmott Horticulturalist

A wealthy horticulturalist with a passion for roses, Ellen Willmott (1858-1934) developed her family garden into a world-famous botanical centre and funded international expeditions to discover new plants.  Today her garden, which you can see below on the left, has transformed into Warley Place Nature Reserve, shown on the right, which is a magical natural landscape well worth a visit. In place of Willmott’s 100 immaculately dressed gardeners, the reserve is maintained by Essex Wildlife Trust and their committed volunteers.

Elspeth Manders – composer and artist
Helen Jacobs – ecologist from Essex & Suffolk Water
Sandra Lawrence – Writer and Author
Ailsa Wildig – volunteer at Warley Place.

“A Sweet Country Life” (1937) a folk song from Gloucestershire arranged by Imogen Holst (1907 – 1984) for SATB unaccompanied; performed by Frances M Lynch (soprano), David Sheppard (counter-tenor), Julian Stocker (tenor), Gwion Thomas (baritone)

“The Moon of Heaven” (2020) by Elspeth Manders for vocal quartet; text by Jammam Shud, from ‘The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam’; commissioned by electric voice theatre Aug 2020; performed by Soprano – Frances Lynch, Mezzo Soprano – Simone Ibbett Brown, Countertenor – David Sheppard and Tenor – Julian Stocker; first Performed as part of “Soundings from Essex online during the Covid-19 outbreak, 10th August 2020.

The music reflects upon Ellen Willmott’s life at Warley Place, Brentwood and is part of a dual art/music commission – the oil painting is shown below.

a bright colourful drawing of Warley Place garden and house 100 years ago and the present day

Warley Place by Elspeth Manders

You can find out more about Ellen Willmott on her Minerva Scientifica page

The series presenter is Frances M Lynch, Artistic Director of electric voice theatre. Part of  electric voice theatre’s Essex 2020 Minerva Scientifica project “Echoes from Essex” in collaboration with Chelmsford Civic Theatre.

 Minerva Scientifica – Connections 2020

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