The Royal Opera House today announces five new appointments to its Board of Trustees. The appointees bring with them a wealth of experience across multiple disciplines and industries including retail, media, theatre, and public service.  

The appointments come three months after Sir Lloyd Dorfman became Chair of the Royal Opera House, committing to ensuring its future by sustaining future funding, extending access through growing learning and participation programmes, while strengthening its central position at the heart of the UK’s vibrant cultural landscape.  

The appointment process was conducted by the Board Nominations Committee, chaired by Sir Lloyd Dorfman and including fellow Board members Caroline BrittonTim BuntingSue Hoyle OBEDanny Wyler, and Dame Vivien Duffield, Chair of the Royal Opera House Endowment Fund. The roles were advertised publicly and supported by a wide-ranging search conducted by Nurole.  

The Board is delighted to welcome the following new Trustees. 

Vanessa Kingori MBE, Chief Business Officer, Conde Nast Britain, is an award-winning businesswoman with 20-years’ experience in media publishing. Vanessa has overseen revenue transformation at British Vogue amongst others, with an emphasis on diversity, social responsibility and female empowerment.  

Janis Susskind OBE, Managing Director of leading classical music publishers, Boosey & Hawkes, brings deep expertise in the world of classical music, across both the publicly funded and commercial sectors. Janis also serves on the Board of the London Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia and Britten Pears Arts. 

Lisa Burger CBE, former Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre, and former Chair of the Lyric Hammersmith, brings an extraordinary track record in the performing arts, leading change and extending access to a broad public. Lisa is also a trustee of Historic Royal Palaces and co-founder of Renew Culture, the sustainability organisation behind the Theatre Green Book. 

Michael Ward brings more than 30 years’ experience at the top of UK retail, not least in his current roles as Managing Director of Harrods and Chair of the Walpole Group. Michael is a leading voice in the luxury goods industry and brings a fresh commercial perspective as the Royal Opera House looks to diversify its revenue streams.  

Sir Alex Younger is the former Chief of the Secret Intelligence Services. Sir Alex has a keen interest in music and brings decades of experience in public service advising Government at the highest level as the longest serving head of MI6 in 50 years. 

Sir Lloyd Dorfman, Chair of the Royal Opera House, said: 

‘I am thrilled to see these new trustees join the Board, all of whom bring a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective as we meet the many challenges and opportunities ahead. I very much look forward to working with them all as we drive forward a robust agenda to ensure that future generations enjoy the very best of ballet and opera from the Royal Opera House for many years to come.’ 

Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, said: 

‘I am delighted to welcome such distinguished new Trustees as we forge an ever-stronger role in the cultural life of the nation. All join the Board at a hugely important time for the Royal Opera House as we build on the comprehensive recovery plan we set out during the pandemic. We look forward to extending further access to our work across the UK, sustaining our reputation for artistic quality while steering this great institution through the many challenges ahead.’ 

All appointments were unanimously approved by the Board at its meeting on Tuesday 4 October 2022, and are effective immediately.