Gestalt Arts, Asylum © Andreas Grieger


Newbury Corn Exchange © Andreas Grieger

Fairy Queen
Fairy Queen

Waterperry Opera Festival © Greg Viet


Gestalt Arts, Asylum © Andreas Grieger


Ruth Mariner


Ruth Mariner is a writer, director and dramaturg, creating narrative-based work within interdisciplinary performance and reimagined opera. Since 2020 she has been expanding her practice digitally. 

Ruth is the recipient of the Amati Global Investors Creative Entrepreneurship Award, the Stephen Oliver Award, “Best Opera” at the YAM Awards and an International Opera Awards Foundation Bursary. 


As a director, Ruth was drawn to opera through a love of heightened symbolism and stylisation, creating work with an inventive, collaborative, and often highly physical approach that has expanded into interdisciplinary performance. Recent projects include a ritualistic folklore-inspired production of Purcell's Fairy Queen for Waterperry Opera Festival, and 'The Extraordinary Adventures of You and Me' for English Touring Opera. Future engagements include work for The Royal Academy of Music and a project for Snape Maltings using foley, voice and physical theatre. 


As a writer, Ruth explores social transformation through magic realism and the female gaze. Ruth has written for the Youth Opera Chorus, Royal Opera House, English Touring Opera and The Museum of London Docklands. Upcoming projects include a people's opera celebrating for the Royal Opera House Muscat, and a new opera for a major London institution in 2022, to be announced soon.


Ruth is Artistic Director of Gestalt Arts, through which she creates unique interdisciplinary collaborations. Gestalt means “The whole is more than the sum of the parts,” and create total-artworks as a catalyst for social cohesion, education, cultural identity and wellbeing. Gestalt have worked with collaborators including young people, curators, scientists, for organisations including The Eden Project, The Museum of London, and anti-terrorist organisation The Active Change Foundation. 

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"A work of art."
— Fringe Opera, 
Clive and Other Stories 

Motivated by social and political interest Ruth also works within education, learning and inclusion. Ruth has worked with a variety of groups including babies, young people, and those who have experienced suffering through the organisation Freedom from Torture. Ruth devised and directed ‘Four Stories about Welcoming’ on the main stage of Opera Holland Park with 40 unaccompanied minors and the British Red Cross in 2018.

In 2019, Ruth became the first person to teach Opera Making at the Royal Academy of Music, nurturing collaborations between librettists and postgraduate composers. She has spoken about her work at The Barbican Centre, Southbank Centre, Welsh National Opera & Matera, European Capital of Culture 2019.


In 2016 Ruth founded The Librettist Network, to support new works of opera and music theatre from a musical-dramatic approach. Funded by The Guildhall School, regular partners include The National Opera Studio and The Royal Opera House, where she co-produced the Open Studio Series for Engender Festival 2019.


From 2017 - 2018 Ruth sat on the board of Stage Directors UK, and is now part of the steering committee for RESEO — The European Network of Drama and Dance Education, advocating for artists within the organisational structure.


Ruth trained at Goldsmiths and Cambridge University, before receiving a Leverhulme Scholarship to Guildhall School of Music and Drama to complete MA in Opera Making in association with The Royal Opera. Ruth began her career as an assistant director, and has assisted and observed directors including Tom Gurthrie, Martin Constantine, John Fulljames and Graham Vick. 

"Somewhere between a coordinator and a magician." 

— David Sulkin OBE

Head of Artist Development,

National Opera Studio

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“Maximum inventiveness.”
                   — Bachtrack, The Hogboon