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Opera Queensland today announces that Russell Mitchell will step down from his role with the company on 28 July 2017, after 5½ years’ service as the company’s General Manager, and as the season of Ruddigore draws to a close. During Mr Mitchell’s time as General Manager, OperaQ has reshaped its artistic program, leading to a distinct artistic identity, creative collaborations, and diversity in opera experiences for audiences and students throughout Queensland. At the same time, the company’s financial position has improved.

OperaQ Chair, Dr Sally Pitkin expressed the Board’s appreciation for Mr Mitchell’s significant contributions to the company. “Russell is a highly regarded arts professional who has provided operational leadership to the company during a time of transformation. He has worked seamlessly with our Artistic Director to provide exceptional artistic works together with excellent educational and community programs for our State. He retires from the company with our best wishes for his future endeavours.”

Mr Mitchell said it has been an exciting and rewarding time working to transform OperaQ into the modern company it is today. “I hope I have provided a legacy for OperaQ that will help it to thrive in the future. We have introduced a number of initiatives designed to develop new audiences, to present opera in interesting and compelling venues and to engage deeply with our local communities and with regional Queensland.”

Artistic Director Lindy Hume commended Mr Mitchell’s operational leadership of the company. “It has been a privilege and pleasure to work side by side with Russell since 2012.  He has overseen the company’s activities in an extraordinary period of turbulence for opera worldwide and I couldn’t be prouder of what we have achieved or more grateful for Russell’s contribution.”

The company expects to commence a process for selection of the company’s next General Manager shortly.

OperaQ welcomes to the Board, Ms Anne Cross as a non-executive director. Ms Cross is the Chief Executive Officer of UnitingCare Queensland and the 2014 Telstra Business Woman of the Year. She brings extensive executive capabilities in the non-profit sector and deep experience in regional Queensland communities. Ms Cross said it was an exciting time to be joining the Board. “I am looking forward to working with the Board to plan for the future of OperaQ.”

Dr Pitkin said she was delighted that Ms Cross had accepted the company’s invitation to join the Board at a time when the company would be welcoming a new Artistic Director and preparing for the next phase of the company’s artistic aspirations. The company expects to make an announcement regarding the appointment of the Artistic Director later this month.

-ENDS-

Media Contact: Natasha Spong | Agency North | M: 0424 202 147 | E : nspong@agencynorth.com.au

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