By combining her exceptional singing, acting and composing skills Merit Ariane has become a performance artist, who truly enchants her audiences. Her performances take you to mystical places, enable you to travel through time and invite you to learn about foreign cultures. Her powerful storytelling through the use of songs is inspired by her German/Egyptian heritage. Merit draws on Arab and Western contemporary classical influences in her music to create a unique dialogue between these cultures. Her work is informed by research of Arab Christian chants in Lebanon and her passion is to explore the fluid boundaries between music and theatre, between cultures and languages.

Merit performs as a solo artist in her own unique theatrical one-woman-show Thumbelina, which is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale and features music from Gershwin, Darwish and Montsalvage. She also collaborates with several ensembles. Current shows are The Daughter of the Pomegranate Tree, a storytelling project based on a Cretan fairy tale, reinventing traditional and original songs, poems and stories and Zanubia, a performance of rarely heard ancient Arab Christian chants. Her latest project Woman at Point Zero, created in collaboration with composer Bushra el Turk, performance poet Sabrina Mahfouz and choreographer Maria Koripas, is a newly developed opera based on the seminal novel of Egyptian feminist and human rights activist Nawal el Saadawi’s. The project is supported by the Royal Opera House, Shubbak Festival, Snape Maltings, Abu Dhabi Festival, the Arts Council England and the Jerwood Trust.

Merit has performed at the Shakespeare’s Globe and collaborated with major UK opera houses such as the Royal Opera House and Opera North. Moreover, she has recorded for the BBC and Channel 4 and lectured at the British Museum. Merit is a professor at the Royal College of Music, a tutor at Dartington Summer School and is currently studying for a PhD in performance at York University, generously supported by a Jack Lyons scholarship.