Ruth Mariner & Omar Shahryar
Award-winning artist-producers of ground-breaking participatory projects
About Ruth and Omar
As multi-disciplinary artists who specialise in making spectacular music theatre, we work with international performing arts organisations to deliver participatory projects with groups of 100 to 300 people of mixed ages and abilities.
In 2018 we won the Best Opera for Young Audiences for A Shoe Full of Stars, a comedy opera for teenagers about dealing with the effects of terrorist attacks.

Our values of authenticity and excellence translate into a creative process that empowers participants and into artistic productions that inspire audiences across the globe.

To see more of Ruth's work visit: and

To see more of Omar's work visit: and

Our services
Unique artistic process
In tailoring our artistic process to the needs of your stakeholders and participants, each project is uniquely rewarding and innovative
Top-class performance
We provide artistic performances of world-class quality, based on years of experience producing for the world's greatest art houses
Space for dialogue
We create a safe space for dialogue where every individual can discover new things about themselves and their community
Inspirational impact
Our methodology enables participants and audiences to inspire themselves with their own agency in overcoming new challenges
Training and mentoring
We deliver professional skills training for artists and educators so they can develop their own practice and creative legacy
A meeting of cultures
We facilitate cross-cultural exchanges that bring diverse peoples and traditions closer to one another in harmony
in focus
Opera & Special Needs
Ruth and Omar are experienced creators of projects for participants with special physical, emotional or educational needs. They are currently working on an opera for children under 5 and adults with learning difficulties for English Touring Opera.

Between them they have worked with Refugees, Deaf people, Teenagers with Aspergers Sydrome and Autism, Patients in hospital, Seniors in care, Teenagers at risk of exclusion and Adults experiencing homelessness.
See us change what opera can be
Watching this inspirational TV news report on our award-winning opera, A Shoe Full of Stars (2018)
Opportunities through our collaboration
Working with Ruth and Omar will give your participatory project several key advantages:
Feature #1 - Focus on participant engagement
Whether with children, adults, professionals or those with special needs, we have a 100% success rate in delivering enjoyable and inspiring arts projects suited to each participant
Feature #2 - Multi-disciplinary problem-solving
Ruth is more than a director and Omar is more than a composer - both are highly-trained, multi-disciplinary artists who use challenges as the means to innovate
Feature #3 - Global artists on a world stage
We live, work, think and act internationally, constantly seeking to break new boundaries. We are dedicated to sharing that pioneering spirit with you.
Watch another project developed by Ruth on the subject of visual impairment in collaboration with Snape Maltings, The National Opera Studio and Fuel Theatre (supported by The International Opera Awards).

Director/Writer RUTH MARINER
Director/Choreographer DUNCAN MACFARLAND
An opera in development
Reviews of our clients
A Shoe Full of Stars was an ambitious opera with a contemporary and challenging theme dealt with in a courageous and complex way, with the performers clearly enjoying what they were doing. A successful piece of opera all round!
Tuula Jukola-Nuorteva
YAMAward Juror / Head of Education, Finnish National Opera & Ballet
We continue to be impressed by Ruth's standards of delivery on ambitious opera projects for young people, and her relaxed but energised approach makes all of those involved - children, teachers, music leaders - feel proud of their own personal achievements, inspiring each of them to look at opera in different ways. A real skill!
Ann Barkway
Associate Producer at Mahogany Opera Group
Omar is one of very few individuals able to inspire groups of 40 school children in a morning workshop and a group of 30 adults in the evening, and all feedback from participants, audience and the local press suggests that there is a strong desire to run the project again.

Tim Pottier
Project Manager at Opera North
Watching the final piece performed by our pupils was a very special and powerful moment for us as a school. Their musical ability, dramatic skills and confidence has improved immensely, and there is a tangible sense of pride buzzing in our school community.
Dean Benoit
Assistant Head Teacher, Lansbury Lawrence/Wigmore Hall project
Tell us about your project
Whether you are an individual or an organisation with a full-blown project or the seed of an idea, tell us about it! We would love to discuss it with you
All photo and video materials belong to their owners and are used for demonstration purposes only. Please do not use them in commercial projects.
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