Meet New Zealand Opera’s New Executive Director

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This month we welcome our new Executive Director, Richard Knowles to New Zealand Opera.

Richard will be based in the company’s Auckland office, signalling a return to his home town after 24 years working in England and Australia for a range of arts organisations including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, (Orchestra Manager) and Opera Australia (Company Manager). In the past decade, Richard worked for several prestigious venues in London – Royal Albert Hall, Southbank Centre, and most recently, as Head of Visitor Services at Buckingham Palace. 

General Director Stuart Maunder says that Richard has a wealth of operational and strategic experience that will be of great benefit to New Zealand Opera.

“We hear so often of talent leaving to pursue career development in Europe, so it’s wonderful to have someone of Richard’s calibre come back to New Zealand after enriching his skills overseas.”

As Executive Director, Richard’s responsibilities include overall management of the administrative functions of the company, as well as specific areas such as HR, risk management, board liaison, corporate sponsorship and relationships with core funders.

“I’m very much looking forward to working in the performing arts again, with a direct connection to music,” Richard said.

“New Zealand has been pulling on the heart-strings for a while now, both to be nearer to my family, but also for the more attractive quality of life that is possible.”

“It’s really exciting to be living in New Zealand again after being away for 24 years. I’ve watched from afar as the cultural scene has grown exponentially here and have been pleased to see it moving to echo the diversity that the country itself now has.”