Mad King Suibhne, directed by Ella Marchment



Award-winning Opera Director & Artistic Director

Opera Director

Ella Marchment is internationally acclaimed as one of opera’s finest auteur stage directors and artistic directors.

Whether dramatizing canonical classics or contemporary masterpieces, Ella imaginatively blends music, drama, movement, and design to create enthralling and engaging productions.

Ella’s award-winning operas have been performed in theatres throughout Europe, Russia, Scandinavia, and America, and screened worldwide by national broadcasters and global streaming platforms.

Ella has also directed the International Opera Awards at The London Coliseum, Teatro Real in Madrid, and Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London.

Artistic Director

Ella believes that an opera company should be a welcoming, collaborative, and creative place, where performers and artists are nurtured to excel, and audiences are offered richly layered, thought-provoking productions.

Ella is currently the Artistic Director of Opera in the Rock, Arkansas, and she has previously run opera and theatre companies in Europe and America, including the Opera Festival of Chicago, Helios Collective, Constella OperaBallet, and Theatre N16.

During the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, Ella also founded the internationally celebrated Opera Harmony movement, bringing together more than 100 artists worldwide to compose and film twenty new operas, premiered by OperaVision.

Ella’s opera seasons have included research-driven rescoring and restaging of canonical masterworks; opera club nights and festivals; international competitions for new compositions; an operetta for Channel 4; augmented-reality, virtual-reality, and interactive animated productions; and operas combined with theatre, modern dance, and ballet.

‘Wow-factor level of glamour

Le roi de Lahore directed by Ella Marchment for Dorset Opera in July 2023 photo copyright Julian Guidera

The Stage


Ella’s production of Hydrogen Jukebox won the National Opera Association’s Opera Production Award for 2022–2023, and her staging of Le Roi de Lahore for Dorset Opera was nominated as a Rediscovered Work by the International Opera Awards in 2023.

In 2018 and 2022 Ella was a semi-finalist in the European Opera Directing Prize, and in 2018 she was shortlisted for the Women of the Future Awards. In 2015 Ella became the first opera director to receive an International Opera Awards bursary. Ella has also served as a funding assessor for PRS for Music in the UK.

Ella has a first-class honours degree in music (with German and Italian) from King’s College London and the Royal Academy of Music, as well as a scholarship for academic excellence conferred by King’s College London. Ella also has postgraduate qualifications in set design and drama, awarded by Central St Martins and by City Lit in London.

Eight Songs For A Mad King was frankly stunning. This was music theatre that was vividly alive

Little Women directed by Ella Marchment at Opera Holland Park 2022 all photos (c) Ali Wright

Professor, Speaker, Writer, Charity Founder

In addition to directing productions worldwide, Associate Professor Ella Marchment is currently the Director of Opera at Shenandoah University, USA.

Ella has also worked for other pre-eminent universities and conservatoires, including the Royal College of Music, London; the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London; the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London; The Juilliard School, New York; and Northern Illinois University, USA.

Ella regularly speaks at events in Europe and America, covering topics such as the art of stage directing, the role of women in opera, diversity in performance arts, opera management, the future of opera, and arts funding. Ella has also featured in broadcasts hosted by Opera America, Opera Vision, Dallas Opera, OperaCast, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, Channel 4, RTÉ, and Resonance FM.

Ella has been commissioned by publishers in London to write a book on arts management, and she is a co-founder of the charity SWAP’ra.

‘A genuinely imaginative fusion of sound and screen that manages to say something worthwhile

The Guardian

‘Something great here rises

Chicago Tribune

Ella is represented by Day Macaskill of Cruickshank Cazenove

Cruickshank Cazenove Ltd
97 Old South Lambeth Road
London SW8 1XU
United Kingdom

+44 (0)20 7735 2933
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