John Ramster

Key details:

Music | Vocal Studies
Associate Head of Vocal Studies (Drama); Drama & Stage Director (Vocal Studies)
John Ramster


John is a director, writer and teacher. Born in the east of England, he studied history at Cambridge University, beginning his professional career as assistant to the late Clare Venables at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, then joined the Glyndebourne Festival where he worked on over twenty shows as assistant director and revival director, working with directors such as Peter Sellars, Deborah Warner, Trevor Nunn and Graham Vick, among others.

A teacher of drama specifically for opera singers for the last 24 years, his teaching career began with the Guildhall's opera course, and he has since taught or directed at all the main London colleges. An Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, he was lecturer in drama and Resident Producer at the Academy for fifteen years, teaching and directing operas and scenes programmes with all the vocal students there from undergraduate level through to the Royal Academy's opera programme. John has also taught with the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at Covent Garden, the National Opera Studio, the Birmingham Conservatoire, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Royal Northern College of Music, the Casa da Música in Porto and the Esbjerg Academy of Music in Denmark.

For Guildhall Opera, John recently directed Handel’s Radamisto and the new writing Operamakers project. Other productions include Der fliegende Holländer for Bergen National Opera, Theodora (RNCM), Agrippina (RCS), Die Zauberflöte and Le nozze di Figaro for Turku Opera in Finland, the UK premiere of Bloch’s Macbeth for University College Opera, Lucia di Lammermoor for the Belgrade National Opera (given the Belgrade National Theatre award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement), Rigoletto for the Iford Festival and Hansel and Gretel and The Marriage of Figaro for Opera Theatre Company in Ireland.

His productions for Opera Faber of L’elisir d’amore and Don Giovanni have been acclaimed in Portugal and Spain. John has also directed baroque gesture  productions: Ariodante for the Cambridge Handel Opera Group and Il pastor fido for the London Handel Festival and Royal College of Music. His staged production of Handel's Messiah for the Merry Opera Company has toured biannually since 2011.  For the Royal Academy Opera, John directed many shows, including L’incoronazione di Poppea, The Rake’s Progress, The Lighthouse, Eugene Onegin, La finta giardiniera, Hänsel und Gretel, La Calisto, Die Dreigroschenoper and Curlew River.

John’s writing includes the novel Ladies’ Man (published in seven foreign editions), screenwriting work on television serial dramas as well as a jukebox opera for Merry Opera, Kiss me, Figaro! He is currently writing a book on acting for opera singers.