A gem in the heart of the Cotswolds, Longborough Festival Opera is seeking an ambitious and forward-thinking Chair to shape the future of this internationally renowned opera company.
Commitment: Average of 3 days per month
Applications close at: 9 a.m. Wednesday 5th July 2023
About Longborough Festival Opera
Longborough Festival Opera started in 1991 when Martin and Lizzie Graham hosted opera performances in their garden to 400 people. It has since grown into an established opera company, with an annual season taking place in a purpose-built opera house seating 500.
Welcoming around 10,000 people every summer, audiences travel from around the world to enjoy its performances. LFO has an international reputation, both in cultivating emerging artists as well as showcasing upcoming Wagnerian singers.
In 2013, Longborough received wide-ranging acclaim for becoming the first privately-run UK opera house to present Wagner’s epic Ring cycle.
Since then, the organisation has grown and expanded, broadening its administrative team, developing an outstanding local education programme, welcoming more audience and members and producing ever more exciting operas on its stage.
In 2018, acclaimed opera director Polly Graham was appointed Artistic Director, and was quickly praised by Richard Morrison as offering a ‘bold new direction’ for the Festival.
LFO’s vision is ‘Opera is for Everyone’, underpinned by its aspiration to be grounded in innovation, artistic excellence, community vibrancy, and financial sustainability.
About the role
Ambitious, dedicated to emerging artists, embedded in its local community but with a keen eye to the future and evolving the LFO model, Longborough Festival Opera presents an attractive opportunity for a lover of Opera to become its next Chair.
Alongside the board and executive team, Longborough Festival Opera’s new Chair will be responsible for evolving, leading and delivering a new vision for Longborough Festival Opera and providing the springboard for growth.
Adding traction to the organisation’s many aspirations and to Longborough Festival Opera’s transition from the Founder-Chair, the Chair will balance the heart of the organisation whilst recognising the great potential for new pathways at LFO.
Working alongside its transformative and inspirational executive team of Polly Graham (Artistic Director) and Jennifer Smith (Executive Director), the next Chair will be skilled in helping LFO take its next transformational step.
Who we are looking for
Longborough Festival Opera has a long and illustrious history and has envisioned its future. They are looking for someone who is inspired by their past and who will use this legacy to build an exciting, forward-looking future for their work, their impact. For this next chapter, they seek a Chair who can steer their work with gravitas and who can direct a clear path that will enable them to continue to grow.
You will be a strategic leader who will quickly grasp the nuances of the businesses whilst having the energy and positivity to steer the organisation through a transition period where we make key decisions that will be the bedrock of the future.
With proven financial experience, you will ensure financial sustainability, actively support strategic fundraising and be confident in protecting assets and planning for the future; this will include the support of funding a new performance space.
With a commitment to the performing arts and a deep belief in LFO’s vision, mission and values, the new Chair will have a good understanding of the cultural landscape within which Opera sits and of the crucial part that festival opera companies such as LFO play in the fabric of the Opera scene in the UK.
Overseeing the effective engagement of the Trustees, you will be comfortable in encouraging debate and chairing the Board. Comfortable in appointing both for the board and for the executive, you will be clear on the delineation between the same and will demonstrate nurturing and supportive leadership.
As a keen strategist, the Chair will be acquainted with constructing and realising models for the growth of LFO and will understand the important and continuing role as advisor that the Graham family play in the legacy of the Company and its evolutionary path.
As an important figurehead for Longborough, you will also be an important champion of our work and our new future to donors, supporters, stakeholders and partners.
Please click 'Apply via website’ to be redirected to the Peridot Partners website, where you can find full details of the candidate profile and register your interest to apply.
Applications for this role close at 9 a.m. Wednesday 5th July 2023