Become a Trustee

Currently we are not actively searching for new Trustees, however, we are always keen to hear about people passionate about our work and feel that they have the time and expertise to offer as a member of our Board, in order than we may grow our activities and fulfill our ambitions. Below are details of the commitment and skills required from Trustees. If you would like to get in touch about working with us, please get in touch with Olivia at

We're looking for people who share our passion for opera, music and theatre, and our ambition for OperaUpClose and its work. 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 opera sector.

In common with all charities, 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. The majority of Board meetings are held at our offices in East London. Wherever possible, meeting and diary dates are communicated at least 12 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
We are an ambitious, Olivier Award-winning opera company, producing innovatively staged, unintimidating, affordable and - crucially - high quality English chamber re-imaginings of well-known works and premieres of new operas. We are an associate company of Soho Theatre and co-produce with the Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Tricycle Theatre, Kings Place and Malmö Opera (Sweden). We tour across the UK as well as some international engagements.

Since being founded in 2009, OperaUpClose has produced twenty-five operas: six world premieres of contemporary operas and nineteen classic operas in newly commissioned chamber orchestrations and English librettos. Our production of La Bohème won the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Opera Production and the Award for Best Off-West End production; and our world premiere of The Blank Canvas won the 2015 Off West End Award for Best Opera. In 2015, we toured to 35 theatres and festivals across the UK. We have plans to develop our international touring from 2017.

We are committed to reaching new audiences for opera. We have recently started a creative learning programme, designing and touring workshops and productions for children, to introduce them to opera.

What are we looking for?
We are looking for people with knowledge and professional experience of one or more of:

  • arts/creative/cultural sector senior management
  • musical excellence
  • fundraising, including dealing with Arts Council England, trusts and foundations
  • the creation of arts opportunities for children & young people
  • professional legal expertise
  • professional HR expertise

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. In addition, Trustees would be expected to 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 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 legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship, please visit the government's guide for trustees.