Writer • Director

Ruth Mariner


Ruth's background is in composition, voice and social anthropology of music. She studied at Goldsmiths and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. In September 2014 she became the first writer and director to enter Guildhall School of Music and Drama on MA in Opera Making course, on a joint scholarship from the Leverhulme Foundation and the Ewen Balfour Award. In 2015, she was awarded a fellowship in Opera Making and also became a Guildhall Creative Entrepreneur where she was mentored by public art company Artichoke. She also holds a foundation degree in Art and a short course in Stage Directing from Central School of Speech and Drama. 


Ruth thrives on creating bold, innovative projects and approaches to core repertoire, collaborating with a wide range of artists, people and organsations. She writes and directs for the theatre & opera house, as well as locations including schools, museums and festivals. Her approach is bold and inventive, influenced by a love of interdisciplinary work and bringing together her backgrounds in art, music and writing. In all of her work she aims to unite compelling storytelling with movement and visual acumen, underpinned by the values of both entertainment and emotional depth. She enjoys the ways in which art can be used for social inclusion, celebration of cultural heritage and well-being.


Recent works include 'Four Stories About Welcoming', created for the main stage of Opera Holland Park with The British Red Cross, 'Unsung Heroes of The Planet' — the first opera to be created with The Eden Project, 'A Shoe Full of Stars' for The Lawrence Batley Theatre with anti-terrorist organisation The Active Change Foundation, and a new version of Purcell's Fairy Queen. Upcoming engagements include writing a people's opera for an opera house is the Middle East, and creating an SEND opera for English Touring Opera. 

She directed for companies including Waterperry Opera Festival, Opera Holland Park, Mahogany Opera Group, Lawrence Batley Theatre,  and Snape Maltings. She has written for companies including The Royal Opera Clore Studio & Linbury Theatre, Milton Court Studio Theatre, Liszt Academy Budapest, Wigmore Hall and The National Opera Studio.

As an Assistant Director directors including Martin Constantine, Martin Lloyd Evans and Tim Yelland, at companies including English National Opera, English Touring Opera and Garsington.

Ruth has a background working as a teacher with primary school and SEND settings, having worked with children with special needs, autism and emotional and behavioral difficulties. She has lead projects for companies including The Royal Opera House, Wigmore Hall, Opera North and Mahoganny opera Group. She has written for Classical Music Magazine, TimeOut Hong Kong and was a script consultant for Oberon Books. Ruth's thoughts on writing libretti for The Royal Opera House Blog.

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 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.
Ruth has been a participant on the 2014 Director's lab at the Lincoln Centre and in 2013 she was funded by the EU to partake in a month long theatre residency making work about the economic crisis on Sifnos, Greece.


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

View Ruth's Portfolio


"We had the pleasure of working with Ruth over the past few months at Lansbury Lawrence. She skilfully took very abstract ideas generated by our Year Five pupils and pulled them together to create a performance which had social justice and equality issues at its heart. She was dogged in her efforts to ensure that the children had as much input as possible with the piece of art they were creating. Watching the final piece performed by our Year Six children was a very special and powerful moment for us as a school. Their musical ability, dramatic skills and confidence has improved immensely. They pulled together as a team, and there is a tangible sense of pride buzzing in our school community."

— Dean Benoit, Assistant Head Teacher, Lansbury Lawrence Primary School

 "Unsung Heroes of the Planet must be one of my favourite cultural performances during my 10 years at Eden. Fun, risky and irreverent mixed with slick world-class performance. A highlight of the opening season of our new Invisible Worlds Exhibition." 

                                                                                 — Gabriella Gilkes, Events Manager, The Eden Project

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© 2019 by Ruth Mariner

Fairy Queen

Waterperry Opera Festival © Greg Viet