Become a Trustee

About the Opportunity

As OperaUpClose’s activities and ambitions continue to grow, we are seeking to appoint a new Trustee to work with the rest of the Board and the Artistic Director/Chief Executive to deliver our ambitions.

We're looking for people who share our passion for opera, music and theatre, our ambition for OperaUpClose and its work, and our belief that inclusive, high-quality arts provision has the power to change lives. We are looking for people who can bring skills, knowledge and experience that will complement that of existing Trustees. We're looking for people who can think strategically, work collaboratively and want to make a significant contribution to the future of this organisation and to the wider theatre sector.

In common with all charities and most subsidised regional theatres, Trustees/Board members are volunteers (these are unpaid appointments) and so the capacity to devote the time needed to attend our quarterly Board meetings, as well as at least one performance of each of OperaUpClose’s productions, is an essential requirement.

Trustees must also make time to read papers in advance of Board meetings, and may, from time to time, be required to contribute to fundraising activities or the work of specific sub-committees and/or task groups. Board meetings are usually held on week-day evenings in central London locations. Wherever possible, meeting and diary dates are communicated at least 2 months ahead of the next Board meeting.

We are committed to improving the diversity of our team, and welcome applications from all sectors of the community, including both those who are new to non-executive/trustee Board work, and individuals who have a proven track record in senior governance roles.

About OperaUpClose

OperaUpClose, is an ambitious, inclusive, Olivier Award-winning touring opera company, touring to over 50 venues annually. We produce high-quality, innovatively staged, unintimidating and affordable English-language productions. Our mission is to show that opera is a vibrant, living art form that everyone can enjoy and be inspired by. There is a place for people of all genders, ethnicities, backgrounds and economic means as part of the audience, as performers, and behind the scenes, at our productions. We encourage people unfamiliar with opera to try it by strategically breaking down barriers preventing them from doing so. Ultimately, we want to diversify the audience and makers of opera, which will result in the most exciting, resilient and relevant art form. We do this by:

  • Delivering innovative learning and participation programmes to engage diverse young people, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with opera as makers and audience members
  • Offering traineeships for aspiring Producers and Directors, paid at London Living Wage, targeting groups currently under-represented in the industry
  • Employing emerging artists, alongside established ones, to create productions which challenge, enliven and, where necessary, confront some of the sexist, racist or outdated baggage hampering great works of art
  • Commissioning new orchestrations and new English versions of classic, large-scale operas
  • Producing a biennial world premiere chamber opera (new writing).

We provide a platform for the next generation of performers, composers, librettists, directors and administrators to showcase and develop their craft. We work with emerging artists alongside established ones, creating rehearsal environments where learning and experience are shared. We provide training in performance skills such as puppetry and movement and in delivering participatory workshops. We provide paid training positions for young Producers and Directors who would otherwise find it hard to gain a foothold in an industry still over-reliant on unpaid internships. We work with schools, Music Education Hubs and theatres to develop and deliver operas and workshops for young people, and ensure that these are available to all, regardless of their financial circumstances. In stating, ‘OperaUpClose are leading an artistic revolution’, Sunday Times captured exactly what we aspire to achieve.

Press through the years:

  • A huge artistic success’ New York Times, 2010
  • OperaUpClose is the brand leader’ Evening Standard, 2013
  • ‘Since 2009 London’s operatic life has been enriched by OperaUpClose’ Evening Standard, 2014
  • Makes a powerfully direct impact no opera house can match’ The Stage, 2015
  • This was the night OperaUpClose came of age’ WhatsOnStage, 2016
  • An infectious sense of fun… utterly joyous’ The Stage, 2017

What are we looking for?

We are looking for a someone with financial management experience to join our board of trustees and to sit on the Finance sub-committee. You may have an accountancy qualification or similar, but this is not essential.

We need potential Board members to demonstrate:

  • good, independent judgment
  • the ability to think both strategically and creatively
  • excellent communication skills and a willingness to speak their mind
  • the ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • the ability to treat sensitive information confidentially
  • an understanding of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
  • the ability to act as an advocate for OperaUpClose within their own networks – personal and
  • professional
  • a willingness to offer their specialist, personal and business skills and experience to support
  • the work of the staff when required


Like Trustees of all UK charities, OperaUpClose’s Trustees are unpaid volunteers.

Time Commitment

Trustees are asked to attend quarterly Board meetings. and sub committees as appropriate. For this role this would involve up to 6 additional sessions in working with a small group to scrutinise and support the financial position of the company . In addition, we hope that Trustees will attend Press Nights or other performances of all our productions, as well as fundraising events – this would normally involve no more than four evenings per year.

Trustees must also make time to read papers in advance of Board meetings, and may, from time to time, be asked to contribute to fundraising activities or the work of specific sub-committees and/or task groups. On occasion, Board members will be required to respond to issues and opportunities that arise outside of Board meetings by email or phone. A timely response is required in making contributions to such discussions.

Term of Office

Trustees have a 3-year tenure with the Charity, with an opportunity to renew for a second term, also of three years.

More information

For more information on the company, please visit, or find information on the charity commission pages (reg. number 1153307). If you would like to arrange an informal conversation about becoming a Trustee with our Chair, please email For more information on the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship, please visit:


To apply to become a Trustee, please send your CV and a cover letter to Your cover letter should be no more than one page of A4 and tell us why you would be a suitable candidate for the role and what our work means to you. Please include at least two references.

The deadline for applications is Midday on Monday 23 July 2018. Successful applicants will be asked to attend an interview with OperaUpClose’s Chair and Chief Executive on the morning of Friday 27 July. The successful candidate will then be asked to attend an OperaUpClose board meeting on the evening of Wednesday 1 August 2018, as an observer, before being formally offered a place on the board.