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"Humbling" response to Opera House appeal as new Directors announced

Thursday 26 October 2023

"Humbling" response to Opera House appeal as new Directors announced

Thursday 26 October 2023

The Opera House board has announced five newly appointed Non-Executive Directors, with the Chair of the board describing it as “humbling” that so many islanders “were prepared to give their time for free as volunteers to support the Opera House’s re-opening and new adventures going forward”.

A total of 26 applications were received for the five NED positions, which the Opera House's Interim Director said is “an indication of how cherished” the performance venue is and “how missed it has been”.

The Non-Executive Director (NED) description called for individuals who are "passionate about art and artists, building community cohesion, and believe that care and equity should sit at the heart of everything that we do".

The un-paid position was advertised is being particularly suited to people with a a background in the arts, property development, fundraising, or hospitality.

Chair of the Opera House board, Dave Chalk said that the standard of applicants was “quite exceptional”.

Video: Ashbe Construction director Ben Cairney gives an update on the works at Jersey Opera House. (Megan Davies)

He explained that the board also took the decision to also appoint a board trainee position, describing it as “important to bring the new generation of NEDs through the ranks”.

“We are delighted with all the appointments and can’t wait to get working with them,” added Mr Chalk. “These are exciting times for the Opera House.” 

The new Opera House NEDs are:

  • Bruno Santos Costa – Business owner of The Watchmaker and Portuguese travel agent Estrela Travel.

  • Louise Ashworth – IOD-qualified strategic marketer.

  • Ryan Williams – Senior HR professional who is currently head of the Performing Arts Development Group, which represents the local performing arts community.

  • Christine Jasper – Trained singer who worked as an artist manager at a leading classical music concert agency.

  • Laura Robertson – Lawyer with a lifelong love of theatre who has served on numerous boards across the arts, heritage and sports sectors.

  • Hayley Routier– Founder of social enterprise Dancing in Jersey and production lead at Reel Creative, also joins as board trainee.

As the new Board of Directors is annouced, Ashbe Construction has also started works on the extensive refurbishment of the Opera House building.

It comes as part of plans for the theatre's re-vamp which is set to be completed by the end of 2024, with hopes that it will open for business by early 2025.

Andy Eagle – who spent 11 years as CEO of Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff – was also appointed as the Opera House's new Interim Director earlier this year

Mr Chalk added: "We have exciting plans for the future of the Opera House which will be coming to fruition between now and the opening date."

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