Ruth Mariner

Ruth Mariner

Ruth Mariner


 I write and direct for the theatre and opera house, as well as locations including schools, museums and festivals. My approach is bold and inventive, influenced by a love of interdisciplinary work and bringing together her backgrounds in art, music and writing. My work is always expertly tailored to the needs and values of those who come to watch or take part.

“Her streamlined concept holds
plenty of interest and originality."
— Opera Magazine, Fairy Queen 
"A work of art."
— Fringe Opera, Clive and Other Stories 


As a writer and director, Ruth has directed repertoire and created new work for theatres including The Lawrence Batley Theatre, The Royal Opera Clore Studio & Linbury Theatre, Milton Court Studio Theatre. She recently directed a new folklore-inspired production of Purcell's Fairy Queen for Waterperry Opera Festival. Future productions include a people's opera to be announced in 2020 and engagements with The Guildhall School and Constella Opera Ballet.


Ruth is Artistic Director of multi-award winning production company Gestalt Arts, whose projects have included the first opera at the Eden Project, a collaboration with The Museum of London,  and an opera on young people’s responses to extremist violence created with anti-terrorist organisation The Active Change Foundation.


As an assistant director, Ruth has worked for companies including Guildhall School, Garsington Youth Opera Company, LSO Discovery/Barbican, working with directors including Martin Lloyd-Evans and Martin Constantine. 

Ruth’s works have featured in Opera Magazine, BBC Wales, Radio 3, ITV and Channel 4 news. She has spoken about her work at The Barbican Centre, Southbank Centre and Welsh National Opera.

For a full biography, please click here.

Ruth is in demand within participatory theatre-making, creating education projects for organisations including The Royal Opera House, Wigmore Hall and Opera North. Her next project is an SEND piece for English Touring Opera, which will tour the UK and Europe. She is part of Mahoganny Opera Group's Snappy Operas team, directing for events including the New Music Bienielle for the Hull City of Culture.  

Founder & Director of The Librettist Network, an organisation dedicated to the development of new works of opera and music theatre. Regular partners include Guildhall School, National Opera Studio and The Royal Opera House, where she co-produced the Open Studio series for Engender Festival 2019.

Ruth has recently joined the Opera faculty at The Royal Academy of Music, where she will be mentoring writers and composers in Opera Creation. 

Ruth has spoken and lectured for many conferences and organisations including The Barbican Centre, Southbank Centre, Welsh National opera, and Matera European Capital of Culture 2019. From 2017 - 2018 she sat on the board of Stage Directors UK.

For a full CV, please email Ruth here.


"Best Opera" Youth Audiences Music Award | 2018

International Opera Awards Foundation Bursary 2017/18

The Amati Global Investors Creative Entrepreneurship Award 2017

The Stephen Oliver Award 2017


Latest News

Ruth joins the steering comitte for RESEO — The European Network of Drama and Dance Education

Ruth is thrilled to join the Steering Committee for RESEO — a unique European network for arts education and creative learning with a specific focus on opera, music and dance. Founded in 1996, RESEO brings together organisations and artists from Europe and beyond to promote innovation and equal access to creativity, exchange ideas, and collaborate on shared initiatives. 

Creating a new SEND opera for English Touring Opera

From August - October, Ruth will be creating 'The Extraordinary Adventures of You and Me' — a new SEND Opera for English Touring Opera in collaboration with The National Star College. The production will tour the UK and Europe in Spring and Summer 2020, also taking part the Royal Opera House's Trailblazer program.

Teaching Opera Creation at The Royal Academy of Music

From September 2019, Ruth will be teaching Opera Creation at The Royal academy of Music, mentoring Masters and PhD composers and librettists as they create vocal and operatic pieces.

Directing The Fairy Queen at Waterperry Opera Fesitval

This July, Ruth will direct an exciting new production of Purcell's The Fairy Queen at Waterperry Opera Fesitval. Led from the harpsichord by William Cole, this production explores the folklore origins of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights dream. A unique glimpse into the beauty and majesty of the fairy world, this production weaves a thrilling new narrative around the enchanting music of Purcell’s masque, embracing the natural magic of outdoor theatre-making.

Co-Producing Royal Opera House's Inaugaural Engender Festival

This July sees Ruth co-producing a series of Open Studios for The Royal Opera's inaugural Engender Festival 2019 with her organisation, Librettist Network. Engender is a celebration of, and platform for, women in opera, and an investment in their future. The Open Studios will give three female composer-librettist pairs time and space to develop an idea for an opera and present it in an open session in July 2019.

National Opera Studio Aria 'Indus' to be developed at Snape Maltings

Ruth's collaboration with visually impaired singer Bethan Langford and composer Cameron Dodds Indus, which began life as part of the National Opera Studio's 12:40 program, will be developed in February through a residency at Snape Maltings. The performance will be audio described and accessible to people with visual impairments.

Working with Survivors of Human Cruelty

This April, Ruth will be working on a new project working with a team of directors and facilitators to share the stories of survivors of human cruelty. Springing from the refugee-led music group Woven Gold, which started life at the Helen Bamber Foundation, the project will create a week of workshops at City and Islington College, before being developed into a national tour to raise awareness around the experiences of refugees and victims of human cruelty.

Presenting 'A Shoe Full of Stars' at Matera European Capital of Culture

In March, Ruth heads to Matera to present 'A Shoe Full of Stars' at the RESEO training week 'Get Close to Opera,' in partnership with Opera Circus and L'Albero. 

'A Shoe Full of Stars' Wins 'Best Opera' at the Young Audiences Music Awards

'A Shoe Full of Stars', directed by Ruth Mariner and co-produced by Gestalt Arts, wins 'Best opera' at the Youth Audiences Music Awards against stiff competition from Glyndebourne and Opera Holland. The Award ceremony was held in October, at the 2018 YAM session in Santiago Del Compostella.

Interview on Music Matters, Radio 3

On Saturday 22nd September Ruth will appear on Music Matters, talking with Sarah Dacey about the objects which inspired their opera Liquid History.

Liquid History at the National Maritime Museum

With help from The Stephen Oliver Award, Liquid History will be going to The National Maritime Museum this September, to celebrate the launch of 4 new galleries as part of Totally Thames Festival 2018.

For more information look here.

Four Stories about Welcoming

In July, Ruth creates Four Stories about Welcoming, for Opera Holland Park as part of Refuge in Harmony, a collaboration with the British Red Cross. The project unites a team of professional opera singers and unaccompanied minors on the main stage with music by Laura Bowler.

'A Shoe Full of Stars' Featured on Channel 4 News

' A Shoe Full of Stars', a comic opera about 'umm... terrorism actually' has made national news, appearing on breakfast news on ITV and on a 5 minute feature on channel 4, with footage taken from rehearsals. Catch it here.

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“Effective staging” 
— Grammaphone Magazine, The Daisy Chain
“The stage was used with maximum inventiveness 
by stage directors Karen Gillingham and Ruth Mariner.”
                                 — Bachtrack, The Hogboon 
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© 2019 by Ruth Mariner