Longborough Opera Festival has appointed retired commercial finance leader Andrew Mosely as non-executive chair of its board of trustees. He took up the post on 1 September.
Mosely brings a wealth of experience to his new role, together with a passion for opera. He spent more than 30 years in senior corporate leadership roles in the UK and the US. He has extensive experience as a board-level advisor in the delivery of performance insights within blue chip organisations, primarily in the financial services, technology, media and consumer products sectors.
After retiring in 2020, Mosely is currently chairman of Metapraxis Nordic AB, a Swedish management consultancy, and a trustee and treasurer of the Cosman Keller Art and Music Trust. In addition to an MA in physics, he was awarded a BA in opera studies in 2020 and is currently researching for a PhD at Newcastle University in the intersection of opera, surrealism and gender.
Mosely succeeds Lizzie Graham in the post. She served as interim chair for one year following her husband and Longborough co-founder Martin Graham, who stepped down after 20 years in the role. Martin and Lizzie Graham will retain their close interest in all aspects of the festival’s continuing success.
The next generation of the Graham family also remains involved with Longborough’s day-to-day operations, with Polly Graham as artistic director and Leo Graham serving as a trustee with Lizzie.
Mosely commented: “This is an exciting time to be taking over as chair of Longborough’s board of trustees. Our artists and musicians are in outstanding form, and under the artistic leadership of Polly Graham, we have continued energy and a fresh vision for taking forward the commitment to excellence and innovation which has characterised Longborough’s work since the festival was co-founded by Martin and Lizzie Graham in 1991.
“I look forward to supporting the festival as it reaches yet greater heights of artistic achievement.”
The news was announced as Longborough was putting in place plans for its Ring Cycle year (2024), which will see the festival stage all four productions in Wagner’s epic Der Ring des Nibelungen.
The 2024 festival will also feature a new production of Puccini’s La bohème (The Bohemians, 1896). This timeless masterpiece of unforgettable music tells of love, friendship and death. It is directed by movement specialist Sarah Fahie and will be conducted by acclaimed conductor Alice Farnham.
The production will showcase Longborough Emerging Artists, with Anglo-Venezuelan soprano Sofia Kirwan-Baez as Musetta and British bass-baritone Edward Jowle as Schaunard. The roles of Colline, Benoît and Alcindoro will also be sung by Emerging Artists. The production will feature the Longborough Festival Chorus and Youth Chorus.
Performances run from 25 July to 3 August. Booking opens in early 2024.
Longborough’s epic Ring Cycle will be performed in three rounds over summer 2024. Each of the four productions in the cycle – Das Rheingold (1869), Die Walküre (The Valkyrie, 1870), Siegfried (1876) and Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods, 1876) – have been created especially for Longborough by Amy Lane, artistic director of Copenhagen Opera Festival, and Longborough’s music director and eminent Wagnerian Anthony Negus.
Public booking for the Ring Cycle opens in December.
Longborough artistic director Polly Graham said: “Longborough Festival Opera is indebted to my mother and father’s inspirational leadership, expertise, passion and enthusiasm. Without their energy and drive, this festival would not exist.
“We continue to be inspired by their tenacity and daring, and intend to keep taking exciting artistic risks as we plan for the future, sharing great opera with as many people as possible.”
Retired finance leader Andrew Mosely has replaced Lizzie Graham as chair of Longborough Festival Opera’s board of trustees.