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Who's Who

Executive

Douglas Boyd

Artistic Director

Dougie, in collaboration with his wonderful team, oversees the artistic direction of the company, including long-term repertoire planning, orchestra, cast and creative teams and working closely with Nicola Creed, our Executive Director. Before embarking on a conducting career Dougie was a founder member and principal oboe of The Chamber Orchestra of Europe for 21 years. He is also Music Director of Orchestre de chambre de Paris and guest conducts all over the world. His wife Sally Pendlebury is a cellist in the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Fitzwilliam String Quartet. Outside of music he is a political geek, an obsessive Crystal Palace fan and is making attempts to improve his French as well as raising three marvellous children.

Nicola Creed

Executive Director

Nicola became Executive Director in 2013 after 14 years as Associate Director. She shares the helm with Artistic Director Douglas Boyd and together they have developed increasingly high artistic standards and seen the expansion of the length of the festival and its membership by over 50% in the last six years. She was one of the core team managing the move to Wormsley, the design of the opera house and the appeal for £3.5million.

After graduating from Cambridge, where she was a choral scholar and cellist, Nicola joined Harold Holt before producing classical music festivals in Exeter, York, Salisbury and Chichester. Before joining Garsington she spent ten years with the National Trust and three with the Historic Houses Association overseeing large-scale events and membership.

Artistic Administration

Michelle Williams

Director of Artistic Administration

Michelle joined Garsington in the autumn of 2023, and she works closely with Dougie on all the artistic aspects of the organisation. Previously, Michelle held a number of roles at Scottish Opera, latterly as Head of Casting, before moving to ENO in 2016 to be their Head of Casting for 7 years. She studied singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and is a fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme. When not at the opera, she enjoys running around after her toddler and trying her hand at dingy sailing!

Jonathon Cole-Swinard

Head of Music

Jonathon joined Garsington as Head of Music in 2018 and is responsible for ‘how the dots on the page reach the stage’.

He works closely with Dougie, Michelle, and Hannah throughout the year to realise all the musical elements of the festival. Passionate about the training of young singers, he is Music Director of the Garsington Young Artists’ Programme and Chorus Director of the Garsington Opera Chorus. He studied at Oxford and the Guildhall before joining the music staff of Scottish Opera and the Staatstheater Nürnberg. He is a keen gardener, naïve father, and regularly dreams of building a ride-on railway with his son in the garden.

Hannah Barkley

Head of Planning & Company Management

Hannah started at Garsington in 2018, moving into her current role in September 2023, and manages all artistic planning and the running the Young Artist Programme, as well as looking after all of the Garsington artists. Hannah graduated from Durham University having completed a degree in Music and previously worked for the Royal College of Music and the Philharmonia Orchestra. She particularly enjoys working with young singers and regularly works as a careers consultant with the London music conservatoires. When not at the opera, Hannah can be found swimming at the lido or accompanied by her dog Arno the Schweenie.

Daisy Hibberd

Artistic, Membership, & Events Coordinator

Daisy joined the Garsington Opera Box Office & Membership team in January 2022 and now works as Membership & Arts Admin Assistant. After graduating from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in the summer of 2020, Daisy worked as Music Administrator in King Edward VI High School for Girls, Edgbaston. Alongside this, she has worked for several arts organisations in Birmingham, such as BMusic and Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Daisy sang in the CBSO Chorus for 5 years before moving to Oxfordshire and also has a huge passion for Baroque opera. When not at work, Daisy enjoys the creative aspects of baking, cross-stitch and walks in the countryside.

Communications

Lindsey Cook

Director of Communications, Marketing & External Relations

Lindsey joined Garsington Opera to lead the team delivering communications, marketing and external relations for the company. Having worked in arts marketing for over two decades, she has worked across different art-forms and in partnership with venues, festivals and funding bodies.

Previously Lindsey led the marketing and communications for Birmingham 2022 Festival, the six-month cultural festival which was part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and reached an audience of 2.4m people from diverse communities. Prior to that she worked for Arts Council England looking at evaluation tools for the industry. She spent 20 years working at Midlands Arts Centre, starting teaching youth theatre, and finishing as the Director of Marketing and Communications at the West Midlands Most Visited non-paying attraction.

 

Georgie Gulliver

Communications & Marketing Manager

Georgie joined Garsington Opera in 2020 after working at the London Philharmonic Orchestra and The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge. As Communications & Marketing Manager, she works on all aspects of Garsington’s communications including video content, social media, website, e-communications and print. As a singer and violinist, she completed a music degree at the University of York and still enjoys performing in a variety of choral ensembles. In her free time, Georgie enjoys baking, pencil drawing, and running or cycling in the countryside.

Hugo Millard

Communications & Marketing Officer

Hugo joined the Communications & Marketing team at Garsington Opera in 2023, after having graduated with an MLitt from the University of St Andrews in 2022. Previously Hugo has taken a more creative, production-based role in theatre and the arts including the direction, assistant direction, and stage management of a wide range of theatre productions and genres, from traditional opera through new writing to site-specific performances. Away from work and the theatre, Hugo enjoys a variety of creative pursuits and practices, doing yoga, and is an avid reader who loves nothing more than a book, a bottle of wine, and an empty evening…

Anna Kenyon

Press & PR Consultant

Anna Kenyon is a freelance press consultant who has worked for clients including Hyperion Records, the English Concert and the Ryedale Festival. She began her career at Faber Music. When not at the opera she is also to be found in the choir stalls of many of London’s churches, swimming in rivers, lakes and the sea, and enjoying the architecture and history of East London.

Development, Membership & Box Office

Alison Dunnett

Development Director

Alison joined Garsington as Development Director in 2022 looking after all aspects of fundraising, membership, and box office, engaging our supporters and audiences in the many different aspects of our work from festival performances to school workshops. After studying music at university, Alison developed a career in arts fundraising and communications working with the London Symphony Orchestra, Harold Holt Artist Management, European Opera Centre, RADA, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and most recently 12 years with Welsh National Opera. Alison has a passion for “early” and “contemporary” music and before children, performed with amateur choirs and orchestras in London. Nowadays she enjoys the active approach to getting away from it all (and from the two teenagers) through rowing, swimming, hiking, travel, and fine dining.

Bryony Benstead

Head of Philanthropy

Bryony is Head of Philanthropy at Garsington Opera – overseeing Memberships as well as raising funds for Productions and Go Participate. She has held similar roles at Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation. In her free time, she enjoys playing the violin and piano (but not for public consumption!) and hiking in the Lake District with her children.

Pippa French

Head of Corporate Development

Pippa has been responsible for the growth in corporate support at Garsington on a freelance basis since the move to Wormsley. With an Economics Masters from Cambridge and an MBA, she worked in investment banking, management consultancy, her family business – James Latham plc – and ran her own company secretarial business for quote companies. She has 4 Non-Executive Directorship roles and is a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Builders’ Merchants. Pippa loves opera and choral works, riding, gardening, walking her dogs and sails regularly with her husband Fabian!

Gregor Spence

Philanthropy Officer

Gregor joined the Development Team at Garsington Opera in June 2023, after completing a Music Degree studying tuba, and a Masters in Arts Management, at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. At Garsington, Gregor is responsible for small trust and foundation applications, assists with membership and supports the Director of Development and Head of Philanthropy where needed. Outside of work, Gregor can be found playing tuba with one of the top 10 ranked brass bands worldwide, The Flowers Band. He also manages the band, planning concerts, tours, and events for the group all over the UK.

Jack Hill

Box Office & Operations Manager

Jack joined Garsington Opera in 2021 having previously worked in bookings and ticketing for Dartington Music Summer School, Coventry City of Culture and London Sinfonietta. A music graduate from the University of Surrey, he is a keen electric bass player and performs with various casual ensembles and function bands. Outside of work, Jack is a member of various railway preservation groups, a persistent amateur cook and a road trip aficionado.

Julian Guidera

Box Office Coordinator

Julian’s association with the company started in 2007, as a chorus member at Garsington Manor while studying at RSAMD. He was previously Customer Services Coordinator at Royal Albert Hall and Chorus Manager at Dorset Opera Festival, where he is now a board director. In 2016 he joined Garsington as L&P Coordinator, working on the people’s opera Silver Birch, and now provides ticketing support to our 2,500 members, manages tour group visits and oversees Box Office financial administration. As a production photographer he has been commissioned by Garsington, WNO & ETO, and specialises in headshots for musicians.

Rachel Young

Box Office & Admin Assistant

Rachel is the newest member of the Box Office team, having joined Garsington Opera in November 2023. After studying a Popular Music Practice MA at BIMM Institute Bristol, Rachel worked as the Music Administrator at St Helen & St Katharine School, Abingdon. As a singer, she has been involved in various choirs and bands, including Soul Choir at the University of Exeter where she studied English Literature. Outside of work, she is an avid reader, as well as playing tennis and the piano.

Finance & Administration

Carol Jesudason

Finance Director

Carol joined Garsington Opera in March 2022 as Finance Director. She is a qualified chartered accountant with experience in financial reporting and accounting covering a variety of industries from start-up businesses to charities. Carol was previously Finance Director at the Oxford Playhouse. She holds a degree in Physics from Somerville College, Oxford and when not at work, enjoys singing with her local choir.

Keziah Burrows

Finance Manager

Keziah joined Garsington in November 2020 as part of the Finance team. She trained as a Chartered Accountant with the National Audit Office, where they tried to put her off the whole thing by sending her to Kuwait on her first business trip. Many exciting overseas trips later, she moved to Deloitte, specialising in the audit of public sector organisations. She then held various other finance roles before having a career break to raise her family.

She lives in Wimbledon with her husband, two children and two cats. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, although she’s terrible at following recipes and shamelessly makes it up as she goes along.

Tiffany Redman

Office & HR Manager

Tiff (and sometimes office dog Dutton) joined Garsington in 2022 firstly as part of the Adult Company in Dalia and then took on the role of Office & HR Manager. Tiff studied at The Guildhall School of Music & Drama followed by a diploma in HR Management a few years later, so this role is a true collaboration of all her studies. Living on the edge of the Wormsley estate with her husband and two little girls, they relish everything the area has to offer, enjoying all the lovely walks and great pubs.

Garsington Studios & Events

Angus Boyd-Heron

Director of Operations at Wormsley

Angus has enjoyed a long association with Garsington Opera, working on a seasonal basis on the opera festivals since 1996. Before that, he worked in war-torn Bosnia, something that GO founder Leonard Ingrams thought might come in handy for resolving neighbourly disputes! In 2010-11 he was Project Manager for the successful move to Wormsley, where he is now the freelance Event Manager, responsible (as one friend kindly put it) for ‘bogs and boilers’. With a Masters in Renewable Energy, Angus has a keen interest in reducing our carbon footprint. He has a Chemistry degree from Oxford, is a qualified gas engineer, and is regularly found swimming in the River Thames throughout the winter in just his trunks!

GO Participate

Karen Gillingham

Creative Director of Learning & Participation

In 2007 Karen started working with Garsington as a freelance artist working on various learning and participation projects. In 2011 she took on the additional consultancy role of Creative Director of the Learning & Participation Programme advising on the development of a strategy for L&P with the aim of devising an inspirational programme for all ages. She enjoys collaborating with such a passionate team. Karen also works as a freelance artist for many other opera houses in the UK and abroad and still occasionally finds time for family life.

Judy Knowles

Head of Learning & Participation

Judy is a freelance arts manager responsible for producing the GO Participate projects and community operas. She originally qualified as a teacher which was followed by an MA in European Cultural Policy and Administration. Previous roles include Orchestra Manager of the CBSO and Entertainment Manager at Legoland as well as many years spent as a peripatetic music teacher. Alongside Garsington she is the Lead Senior Arts Award moderator for Trinity College, London. She enjoys spending time with her family, all of whom have a great love of the outdoors and have perfected the art of camping in the rain…

Barbara Cole-Swinard

Learning & Participation Coordinator

Barbara first joined Garsington Opera as a freelance chorister in the Monteverdi Vespers and then as a professional soloist in the Youth Company’s opera The Selfish Giant. Since then, she has also done some freelance admin and was delighted to join the team full time as L&P Coordinator in December 2022. Barbara grew up on Vancouver Island, Canada, before moving to Glasgow to train as a coloratura soprano at the RCS. She has greatly enjoyed a portfolio career as both singer and freelance administrator, even moonlighting as video & sound editor for a number of choirs during lockdown. Outside of Garsington, Barbara’s pursuits include working in her garden, building things with power tools, and curating the Instagram of her two cats, Bunbury and Cecily.

Phoebe Higgs

Learning & Participation Projects Officer

Phoebe joined Garsington Opera in June 2023 as Maternity Cover, previously having worked in various education settings, from a student support role to the Orchestra of the Swan’s learning department whilst also assisting with concert administration on a regular basis. Having studied music and then an MMus in Glasgow, Phoebe is a passionate member of her local concert band, providing an extra number to the ever-large flute section. She enjoys attempting to improve her piano playing alongside drawing, taking care of her borderline out-of-control plant habit as well as hiking, running and yoga – just to keep out of trouble!

Technical

Steve Hawkins

Technical Director

Steve is responsible for all technical aspects of Garsington Opera’s productions. He works closely with directors, designers and heads of lighting, costume, wigs and props to realise all design elements of each production. He particularly enjoys working with independent set builders and scenic artists from around the country to produce the varied and ambitious set designs. He recruits and manages the seasonal stage management and production teams and oversees the technical running of the repertory season. In his free time Steve likes to go camping and walking with his young family.

Board of Directors

Founder
Leonard Ingrams

President
Rosalind Ingrams

Directors
Miranda Curtis CMG (Chair)
Neil King KC (Deputy Chair)
Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood CBE
Nigel Higgins
Catherine Ingrams
Iain Mackinnon
Lady Marks
Lady Stringer
David Suratgar

Audit and Governance Committee
Iain MacKinnon (Chair)
Nigel Higgins
Catherine Ingrams
David Suratgar

Advisory Council
Dr Margaret Bent CBE FBA
Dame Hilary Boulding DBE
Dominic Burke
Sir Stuart Hampson
Diana Hiddleston
Peter Maniura

Nominations Committee
Lady Marks (Chair)
Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood CBE
Neil King KC
Iain Mackinnon

Finance Committee
Nigel Higgins (Chair)
Miranda Curtis CMG
Lady Marks
Iain MacKinnon
Neil King

Artistic Advisory Committee
Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood CBE (Chair)
Douglas Boyd
Jonathon Cole-Swinard
Nicola Creed
Brian Dickie
Neil King KC
Sarah Playfair
Michelle Williams

Arts Hub Campaign Committee
Lady Stringer (Chair)
Marie-Claire Agnew
Miranda Curtis CMG
Lady Lloyd
Leslie Macleod Miller
Lady Marks
Lady Sants
Clara Tucci