Ella Marchment | England/Switzerland

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 organizations and spoken and lectured at world-renowned companies and conservatoires, including Opera Europa in the Netherlands, the Royal Opera House in London, the Juilliard School in New York, and the Royal College of Music in London. She was previously director of the opera programme at Northern Illinois University, is the current artistic director of Manor Opera in the UK, and Opera Festival of Chicago, and from August will take up a new role as Director of Opera at Shenandoah Conservatory.

Winterreise/10 Commandments of Women (2021 edition)

According to UN Women there are 433 million women globally still without internet access, only 33% of climate-related decisions are made by women, and during the Covid-19 pandemic out of 225 task forces across 137 countries only 24% were women. Women are still fighting to live in peace and security, for equal pay, to be recognised for their achievements, and those who dream are often depicted as abrasive, obnoxious or un-feminine. Although there has been much improvement over the past few centuries we are still in many respects caged and shackled by societal expectancies, which want to force us to fulfil specific gendered roles.

This piece is designed to draw awareness as to what the role of the modern woman is via a contemporary ten-commandments of women that I will construct into a spoken text using verbatim interviews that are conducted across a cross-section of society. A new text exploring this edict will help represent the shackles that society is still imposing on women causing their true identities to become suppressed.

In between these commandments I am building arial footage of wild nature as a place in which humanity needs to return to to find equilibrium. Instead of domestic woman being represented, this is woman who is free, un-gendered and unshackled. I will harness the power of nature in order to celebrate the beauty of being free in the world that surrounds us.

See more of Ella Marchment's work here.

Instagram: @ellamarchment

Ella Marchment's residency was generously supported by the David Spencer Endowment Encouragement Fund.