Artistic leadership is provided by Laurent Pillot, the Centre's Head of Singer Development and Artistic Advisor. As a conductor, Laurent Pillot has worked all his professional life in opera including at the Opéra National de Lyon and in Los Angeles where he was Associate Music Director working with Kent Nagano and Plácido Domingo. He founded the Opera Studio at the Bavarian State Opera where his work was the subject of three one-hour documentaries made for television. He is highly skilled in hearing the potential in developing artists - his advice has guided many people into the profession.
We are fortunate to have worked in partnership with major orchestras and some of the most internationally acclaimed conductors. Kent Nagano, who is the Centre's President, instigated the animated film of The Cunning Little Vixen with the aim of reaching a worldwide audience who might otherwise never experience opera. He conducted the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester for the film and oversaw its production and initial release.
Chief repetiteur - Daniela Candillari - has worked across Europe and in North America and Asia. Resident in New York, her professional work has included engagements with the Manhattan School of Music and the Metropolitan Opera Guild as well as broadcasts on National Public Radio.
Is an experienced arts manager, who has worked previously for English National Opera, the Aldeburgh Foundation and the Arts Council of Great Britain.
At Aldeburgh, he ran the annual Aldeburgh Festival and the programme for Snape Maltings Concert Hall, and had responsibility for the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies. At the Arts Council, his responsibilities as Music Director included the funding and development of opera and music theatre. In 1994, he was asked by Sir John Manduell to help establish the European Opera Centre and is the Centre’s first Chief Executive.
Kenneth Baird has chaired the British Arts Festivals Association and the lead UK organisation for electro-acoustic music; he has been a board member of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and of the Arts Council in the North-West region; and currently serves on the boards of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and of the leading UK organisation specialising in Indian classical music.
Has been Centre’s Project Manager since 2003. She is now Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna, and continues to advise on project management.
Her PhD – awarded with distinction by the University of Music and the Performing Arts Vienna – was partly based on the work of the European Opera Centre. Its focus includes the career and professional development of young professional singers.
Olga Kolokytha has taught at university level (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greek Open University, University of Vienna), presented papers at international conferences and worked extensively as cultural projects manager and consultant around Europe. In 2006 she was ranked 7th in Europe for the Cultural Policy Research Award, awarded by the European Cultural Foundation and the Bank of Sweden. She is a member of ECURES (the European Association of Cultural Researchers); and speaks English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
European Opera Centre is a charitable company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales company number 09734788 charity registration number 1164360.
European Opera Centre has taken over responsibility for the Centre’s work from a charitable trust established in 1996 and which governed the Centre for some twenty years.
The Trustees have made a number of honorary appointments to create a Council of Honour, which is led by the Centre’s President, Kent Nagano. Members of the Council of Honour are: Baron Cardon de Lichtbuer, Ivo Dubois, Paolo Galli, Kerstin Meyer CBE, Paloma O’Shea and Frans de Ruiter.
Sir John Manduell CBE, who founded the Centre, is designated Trustee emeritus.
The Trustees bring a wide range of expertise to the governance of the Centre.
The current Trustees are :
Andrew Thomson, who was formerly a partner of a major international practice of Chartered Quantity Surveyors, has experience of working in France, Germany and the Middle East as well as the UK. He has a wide-ranging understanding of the not-for-profit sector through past chairmanships of the City of London Sinfonia, a major British private school and of the North of England Zoological Society. He has also served as a Board Member of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Sir Christopher Audland KCMG DL
Sir Christopher Audland is a retired British diplomat. He served in Germany, the United States, for the Heath negotiations for UK accession to the European Union, and Argentina before being seconded to serve in the European Commission. He spent 13 years of his career with the Commission: first as Deputy Secretary-General and later as Director-General for Energy. After retirement, his voluntary activities include being a founding Trustee of the European Opera Centre. He was Pro-Chancellor of one of Britain’s top-ten universities for seven years. He was also, for 15 years, a key figure in the development of Europa Nostra – the leading European cultural heritage organisation – of which he is now Honorary President.
Fiona Chambers, who has a Masters degree in education, is an experienced teacher both at primary and secondary levels. She has also taught children with special needs, acted as a tutor in adult education and been co-author of a number of educational publications. She has volunteered for projects in Africa, India and South America. She continues to keep in touch with developments in community and family education, as well as serving on the boards of a number of organisations involved with the arts, education or the environment.
Andrew Sutton is a chartered accountant who spent his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers, mainly in London but also in Melbourne and New York, where he was seconded for four years. A partner for 25 years, in addition to client service he took a lead for risk management in the international Price Waterhouse network. As well as chairing the Governors of a noted independent school, other voluntary work has included the encouragement of educational and cultural links with Bhutan and Nepal; and – in the UK – creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities and supporting communities in deprived inner city areas.