Sussex-based opera house and music festival Glyndebourne has announced that Richard Davidson-Houston has been appointed as new managing director. He will take up the post in autumn.

Davidson-Houston will replace Sarah Hopwood, who announced earlier this year that she will be stepping down from the role at the end of October 2022. At that time she will join Glyndebourne’s Board of Trustees.

Already well known at Glyndebourne, Davidson-Houston was appointed the opera house’s director of audience development and media in November 2019. An experienced leader in the media sector, he has previously worked as head of All 4 at Channel 4, and UK business manager for Hotmail, Messenger and MSN at Microsoft.

Commenting on his appointment, Davidson-Houston said: “It’s a dream come true to have the opportunity to lead this immensely skilled and creatively ambitious team and to invent the future of Glyndebourne together. Coming here has already been a life-changing experience and I am very excited about what lies ahead.”

In his new role, Davidson-Houston will work alongside artistic director Stephen Langridge to bring opera and the Glyndebourne experience to members, supporters and audiences around the world. This includes at Glyndebourne itself, on tour, through the newly launched Glyndebourne Encore online streaming platform and through the opera house’s Learning and Engagement programme, which together make up the year-round offering of the charity.

Executive Chair Gus Christie commented: “It is especially pleasing that, after an extensive, externally led search, the top candidate is Richard. I am confident that he has the inclusive leadership style, strategic insight and executional excellence that are so important to a leading, innovative arts organisation, as we work together towards Glyndebourne’s 100th anniversary in 2034.”

Lord Davies of Abersoch, chair of trustees, added: “The Board of Trustees is delighted that Richard will be stepping into the role of managing director this autumn. We have every confidence in the executive team to ensure that Glyndebourne continues to thrive for years to come.”

The Glyndebourne Festival for 2022 launches later this month. Tickets are on sale now.



Richard Davidson-Houston, currently Glyndebourne’s director of audience development and media, will replace Sarah Hopwood as the opera house’s managing director in autumn (James Bellorini).