Merit Ariane is a singer and composer whose work explores the fluid boundaries between music and theatre, cultures and languages. Her storytelling through songs is inspired by her German–Egyptian heritage, and draws on Arab and Western contemporary classical influences. In 2017 she co-created Woman at Point Zero with composer Bushra El-Turk, an operatic adaptation of the novel by activist Nawal El Saadawi. Her latest collaboration with visual artist Jessie Roger and writer Octavia Bright, supported by Help Musicians Fusion Fund, was premiered as part of her Birdsong and Borders, developed in association with the London Symphony Orchestra. She performs in her own unique theatrical one-woman-show Thumbelina, featuring music by Gershwin, Darwish and Montsalvage. Other works include storytelling project The Daughter of the Pomegranate Tree and Zanubia, a performance of rarely-heard ancient Arab Christian chants.
Merit has performed at Shakespeare’s Globe and collaborated with major UK opera houses such as the Royal Opera House and Opera North, has recorded for the BBC and Channel 4, and lectured at the British Museum. Merit Ariane is a professor at the Royal College of Music, has taught at Dartington International Summer School for four years and has recently completed her PhD in performance at York University, generously supported by a Jack Lyons scholarship.