Ella Marchment Opera Director

Universally acclaimed as one of Europe’s most original and progressive directors, and widely celebrated as the founder of the global #OperaHarmony movement, auteur-director Ella Marchment has also taken on leadership roles for international arts organisations and spoken and lectured at world-renowned companies and conservatoires, including Opera Europa in the Netherlands, The Royal Opera House in London, The Juilliard in New York, and The Royal College of Music in London.

Represented by Day Macaskill of Cruickshank Cazenove Limited in London, Ella’s career has seen her working successfully as both a director and an arts-company manager, and she is currently the Artistic Director of Opera Festival of Chicago, and the Director of Opera at Northern Illinois University. Ella has been the Director of the International Opera Awards since 2017, and part of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama vocal faculty since 2019. She is also a founding member of the campaign group SWAP’ra—Supporting Women & Parents in Opera. During the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, Ella founded an international community group called #OperaHarmony which developed new operas remotely. The filmed works were showcased worldwide by OperaVision. She is currently writing a book on arts management, is an artistic associate of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity Opera in the 21st Century programme, is in the process of directing remote productions of The Bear for Northern Illinois University and an adaptation of Verdi’s La Traviata for the Arkansas-based company Opera in The Rock, and is writing a screenplay with actress and singer–songwriter Daisy Boulton.

Tremendously enjoyable and accomplished…what a delightful operatic experience

Rupert Christiansen‏, The Telegraph

International Directing Credits

Ella has worked throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, and America, and her directing credits include L’inganno felice (Wexford Festival Opera); The Turn of the Screw and Mad King Suibhne (Bury Court Opera); International Opera Awards Ceremony (ENO London Coliseum and Sadler’s Wells Theatre, for the International Opera Awards); Operatic Mass Actions (European City of Culture, AUT DK); SWAP’ra Gala (Opera Holland Park); Tryl / Magic Flute (Copenhagen Opera Festival); Sideshows (Sadler’s Wells Studio); Il Letto and Hathaway (Buxton International Festival, Copenhagen Opera Festival, Grimeborn); L’occasione fa il ladro (CCF Glasgow, Teatro Signorelli, Teatro di Cortona); Say Hello, Wave Goodbye (Teatro Tuoro sul Trasimeno); King Roger (a film for Random Acts / Channel 4); Salon Russe (National Portrait Gallery); Il Tabarro (LSO St Luke’s); Macbeth and Un ballo in maschera (Opera Integra); María De Buenos Aires (The Vaults London, for a A Curious Invitation); Louise and Otello (Buxton International Festival); An Evening with Lucian Freud (Leicester Square Theatre); Stand and Deliver (King’s Head Theatre); Rock Tosca (Tête à Tête Festival); Façade and Eight Songs For a Mad King (Rose Theatre Kingston, Arcola Theatre, St Petersburg Philharmonia); Triptych (Mariinsky II); and a triple-header production of The Bear, Red as Blood, and Bare (Rose Theatre Kingston, Sage Gateshead, Greyfriars Kirk, St Cyprian’s).

In 2015 Ella became the first opera director to receive an International Opera Awards bursary, and in 2018 she was both an arts-and-culture nominee in the Women of The Year awards and a semi-finalist in the European Opera-Directing Prize. She has also been a principal speaker at events held at the Royal Opera House, Welsh National Opera, the Wiener Institute, Opera Europa (Netherlands), Arts Council England, Chetham’s Music School, and the Southbank Centre.

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