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 served on more than a dozen boards in the cultural section. He is currently Chair of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Vice-Chair of MILAP, 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.
Was appointed the Centre's Curator in 2019. She is a music historian who currently lectures at the University of Nottingham, having previously held teaching and research positions at the University of Sheffield, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Liverpool Hope University.
As a specialist in music for the stage, in 2019 she led The Audland Talks, the Centre's adult opera education talk series in Liverpool. She also supports the Learning Programme and is involved in training animateurs.
Sophie Redfern is the author of Bernstein and Robbins: The Early Ballets and has contributed to books on Stravinsky and music criticism. She has given talks on music for organisations including the BBC and the Hallé, and has written programme notes for the BBC Proms. In 2019 she was Dramaturg for a music theatre production at the Nationaltheater Mannheim.
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 became responsible for the Centre’s work in July 2015. Previously, the Centre was governed by a charitable trust established in 1996.
The Trustees have made two honorary appointments, the Centre’s President, Kent Nagano and Vice-President Suzy Klein.
The late Sir John Manduell CBE is acknowledged as the Centre’s founder.
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.
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.