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Opera Queensland (OperaQ) today announced the retirement of Chair Robert Hubbard after serving as a director of the company for ten years.

During Mr Hubbard’s time as Chair, OperaQ has pursued a bold new direction, embracing artistic vibrancy and community engagement with new work and initiatives that reach out to new audiences.

As a result, the company is enjoying great success at home and internationally. In 2015 OperaQ reported its best financial outcome in ten years and a 21 per cent increase in customers.  The company’s 2016 main stage productions are exceeding box office targets and Queenslanders across the state have joined OperaQ community choruses and experienced OperaQ’s innovative work in schools. On the international stage, OperaQ productions are being performed in Germany, New Zealand and the USA.

Robert Hubbard will step down as Chair on the same day as OperaQ wraps up its regional tour of The Barber of Seville in Toowoomba.

Mr Hubbard said the conclusion of Project Rossini – OperaQ’s epic community initiative, which has trained nearly 250 Queenslanders in eight regions to perform in the chorus of The Barber of Seville - was a fitting finale.

“I am so proud of this wonderful company and the success of the change and transformation agenda we put in place in 2012,” Mr Hubbard said.

“The way the team has re-engaged with communities across the state, and their incredible artistic work are an inspiration.

“It has been an honour to work with the Board, Artistic Director Lindy Hume and General Manager Russell Mitchell during these exciting times.”

Dr Sally Pitkin has been appointed to the role of Chair with Professor David Siddle as Deputy Chair.

Dr Pitkin is a company director and lawyer with 30 years corporate experience, who has been an OperaQ Board Director since 2012 and is Queensland President, Fellow and National Board Member for the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Deputy Chair Professor Emeritus David Siddle has been a Director of OperaQ since September 2014, and serves on the Audit and Risk Committee. An academic psychologist, he has worked in universities in England, Canada and Australia. He is currently Chair of Brisbane Diamantina Health Partners.

Dr Pitkin said it was an exciting time to be taking over as Chair of Opera Queensland.

“Rob’s contribution to OperaQ has been immeasurable. It has been an honour to be a member of the Board during this time of enormous change when opera companies across the world are struggling to imagine a sustainable future,” Dr Pitkin said.

“Rob, Lindy and Russell have ensured OperaQ is an opera company of the future, with new audiences spreading the word about its exciting productions and excellent community work.

“It is now up to us to build on the platform they have created to help OperaQ continue to flourish.”

The new Chair and Deputy Chair have been appointed in time to oversee the selection process of a new Artistic Director, which will commence shortly.

Artistic Director Lindy Hume will leave the company at the beginning of 2018, having programmed the 2018 season. The Board expects to announce the appointment in the first half of 2017, enabling the new Artistic Director to have input into planning for 2019 before formally commencing in their role in 2018.

Lindy Hume said she had always enjoyed wonderful support from Mr Hubbard and the Board.

“It has not been an easy four years to be at the helm of an opera company in such a tough climate, but we have succeeded in no small part because our Chair believed in our artistic vision and backed us unwaveringly even when times were tough,” Ms Hume said.

“I look forward to working with Sally, David and the rest of the Board to plan for the future of OperaQ.”

General Manager Russell Mitchell thanked Robert Hubbard for his support in steering the company in a brave new direction since taking on the role of Chair in 2012.

“It has been an exciting, daunting and rewarding time working with Rob to transform OperaQ into the modern company it is today,” Mr Mitchell said.

ENDS

 For more information please contact Agency North: Natasha Spong | nspong@agencynorth.com.au | 0424 202 147

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