News & Commentary, Opera, Stage

Opera Australia CEO Craig Hassall to leave Australia for Royal Albert Hall

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Opera Australia’s CEO Craig Hassall will be leaving the company in the first half of 2017 to take up the post of Chief Executive of London’s Royal Albert Hall.

melba-opera-trust-mentor-craig-hassallThe national opera company today announced that Hassall has given six months’ notice, which will give the company time to find a replacement. Hassall joined the company in 2013, working closely alongside artistic director Lyndon Terracini. He replaced long-standing CEO Adrian Collette.

In a statement, Opera Australia’s Chairman, David Mortimer AO said:

“Craig has made a significant impact on Opera Australia over the three years he will have been with the company. The company continues to face challenges with the closure next year for an extended period of time of the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House, but Craig and Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini along with the OA team have introduced an excellent program to minimise the financial disruption and ensure exciting operas and programs continue to be available to our patrons and supporters throughout Australia.

“We will miss Craig and his leadership but recognise that his new appointment is a major one and it is wonderful to see an Australian again playing a major role in London’s arts community.”

Hassall said:

“I am very proud to have been CEO of Opera Australia. Throughout my long association with the company at varying stages of my career, I have always had the greatest admiration for the team who produce such an extraordinary range of works of the highest quality.

“With recent changes, a national review, the 2017 closure of our main theatre and challenges for the arts sector, I remain impressed at the company’s ability to develop and define a 21st century Opera Company. I look forward to continuing to work with Lyndon and David Mortimer on this vision before I head to London in 2017, and of course wish the company continued success”

Hassall’s move will see him return to London after he was Managing Director of the English National Ballet for seven years, from 2005 to 2012. Prior to his move to London he worked as Deputy General Manager at Sydney Theatre Company, General Manager at Bell Shakespeare and across various cultural events connected to the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

[box]Featured image: concept art for Opera Australia’s upcoming production of Sydney Opera House: the Opera – The Eighth Wonder[/box]

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