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Alex Beard announced as new Chief Executive of Royal Opera House

New Chief Executive joins from Tate.

By Royal Opera House

19 March 2013 at 4.02pm | 8 Comments

Simon Robey, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, today announced the appointment of Alex Beard to the position of Chief Executive.

Alex Beard comes to the Royal Opera House from Tate where he is currently Deputy Director.  He will take up his post in readiness for the 2013/14 Season and be available for consultation on key strategic matters prior to his arrival.

Commenting on the appointment, Simon Robey said “Alex Beard has a passion for the work we do at the Royal Opera House. He also brings a wealth of managerial experience from his very successful partnership with Nick Serota at Tate, as well as the insights and perspectives that this role has given him.  I am confident he will forge excellent partnerships with our artistic leadership and our executive team, and that they will, together, lead the Opera House to still greater heights.”

Alex Beard, aged 49, has been at Tate since 1994 and has been Deputy Director since 2002. With a lifelong interest in music, Alex has been on the board of Glyndebourne since 2008 and recently been awarded CBE for services to the arts.

During his 19 years at Tate, Alex has played a key role in its transformation, working closely with Nicholas Serota. He set the business plan for the creations of Tate Modern, led the Tate’s subsequent capital development programme at Tate Modern, Tate Britain and Tate St Ives including the launch of The Tanks in the summer of 2012 and has overseen all the business operations of the Tate family of galleries since 2000.

He said ‘I’m absolutely delighted to have been appointed Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House. To have the opportunity to build on Tony Hall’s achievements and strengthen the Royal Opera House’s reputation as one of the world’s leading artistic and creative forces is hugely exciting.’

‘I’m very proud to be joining a world class team led by Antonio Pappano, Kasper Holten and Kevin O’Hare, together with a superb executive and committed staff across the organisation.’

Sally O’Neill, Finance Director, will act as Interim Chief Executive until Alex Beard takes up his position. The remuneration for the new Chief Executive will be £250,000 per annum. In the financial year 2010/11 the Royal Opera House had a turnover of £109.5 million of which the Arts Council subsidy was £27.9 million, box office £37.7 million, donations, legacies and sponsorships £20.7 million, commercial trading, touring and other income was £23.2million.

By Royal Opera House

19 March 2013 at 4.02pm

This article has been categorised Off stage and tagged Alex Beard, Chief Executive

This article has 8 comments

  1. does he like Opera?

  2. Daniel F. Tritter responded on 19 March 2013 at 6:01pm Reply

    Is Tate an opera house? Is ROH a museum? This sounds almost as remote a connection as when the Paris opera selected Pierre Berge, whose operatic connection was running the house of Yves St. Laurent. I guess a c.v. isn't as vital as it used to be.

  3. Michael responded on 19 March 2013 at 6:14pm Reply

    Does he like - love - ballet and modern dance?

  4. Michael lynch responded on 19 March 2013 at 11:05pm Reply

    A brilliant choice
    Big boots to fill but he can do it
    Well done ROH
    Michael Lynch Cbe Am
    Chief Executive
    West Kowloon Cultural Disrict
    Hong kong

  5. Good grief! :-(

  6. Brian Goldfab responded on 23 April 2013 at 11:00pm Reply

    While Mr Alex Beard may not have been responsible for the production, he is the new head of the ROH. Perhaps he can avoid blaming his predecessor and promise to do better in future.

    I recently attended a production of Nabucco. The music was sublime and the singing excellent. But...had I been alone, I would have left during the first act. I found the visual presentation extremely disturbing. Whoever the designer was (I understand from others that he is Italian) showed extreme insensitivity in the way he presented "the Hebrews". They were dressed as though it was the 1940s in, perhaps, Poland and had been rounded up by the Nazis. I "watched" most of this act with my eyes closed. The middle section was adequate (from a visual point of view), but the final section, when the Hebrew slaves are preparing and being prepared for death, was extremely distressing. Here were women undressing - as they would have done before being herded into the gas chambers or been shot and their bodies thrown into a ditch. Here were children being herded to their death. Did the ROH know that 1 1/2 million of the 6 million murdered Jews were children? If not, why not?

    Given that I saw this production some two weeks ago, you can tell that I am still upset and disturbed at the images portrayed. Before retirement, I was a Principal Lecturer in Sociology and wrote a few papers on the subject of the Holocaust, as well as taking part in various discussions on aspects of this, so I am not ignorant of the issues here.

    While, given the subject of Verdi's opera - the taking into captivity to Babylon of the Jews of Judea in c563 BCE - I can understand the temptation of the producer/designer to set the production as he(?) did. That's his prerogative. However, I would hope that the management and artistic team at the ROH would have had greater sensitivity than to have taken the production as was. And if they commissioned it, then they really should have known better.

    I shall be interested to hear your response to this email - and from as high a level as possible.

    Whatever you reply, there will be some delay in a response, as I am extremely busy over the next three weeks; however, I will respond to anything you care to say to me.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 10 June 2013 at 11:04am

      Hi Brian,

      Thanks for your comment. I believe that the Opera Company have been in contact with you directly in regards to your views on Nabucco.

      Digital Content Producer

  7. Nolia Devlin responded on 19 May 2015 at 7:01am Reply

    I live Bankside Lofts, Lon Se1, next to the Tate Modern.

    I have attended residents meeting with Alex Beard's presence. One that stays in my memory, was the meeting with refence to the new extension of the Tate.

    Alex was symphatetic towards my strong feeling of disagreement in the new design.

    He is a people's person despite his high position in the establishment. He has no boundaries. At the end of the meeting that evening, he came up to me and, against agesim, racism and sexism, he hugged me and said " really feel passionate about the "cube" design".

    I am a 67 year old Malay woman.

    Google: Nolia Devlin.

    Alex may remember me.

    He has the quality of a peoples leader an asset much needed within the top position in any establishments.

    Royal Opera House trustees had made a good choice.

    Do look after him and dont let go of him.

    Best regards

    Nolia Devlin

This article has 1 mention elsewhere

  1. gramilano:  Tate's Alex Beard becomes new Royal Opera House chief

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