Award-winning Leeds-based company Opera North has announced that Henry Filloux-Bennett will be its new executive director. He takes up the position in May.
Filloux-Bennett brings with him an enormous amount of experience. He is currently executive director and deputy CEO of HOME theatre in Manchester. Prior to this, he was chief executive and artistic director of the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield and previously the head of marketing at The Lowry and head of marketing and communications at Nottingham Playhouse.
He has also worked as a producer and general manager for organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Theatre Royal Haymarket and Bill Kenwright Ltd.
“I am thrilled to be joining the team at Opera North,” Filloux-Bennett commented. “Having had a long connection with the company, from first seeing them at the Theatre Royal and Concert Hall in Nottingham to then working with them at The Lowry in Salford and more recently at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield, the prospect of joining as executive director at this really exciting – but also challenging – time is one I absolutely relish.”
Filloux-Bennett has also worked as an author and playwright. He wrote the award-winning Nigel Slater’s Toast, a play based on the food writer, journalist and broadcaster’s memoir of his childhood. Commissioned by The Lowry, the play subsequently transferred to Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre and The Other Place in London, as well as heading out on a UK tour.
In 2020, he wrote the award-winning play What a Carve Up! based on the novel of the same name by Jonathan Coe. A thrilling murder mystery, it chronicles the events leading up to the fictional ‘Winshaw Murders’ – the killings of six members of the very rich and very corrupt Winshaw family.
In 2021, he adapted Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, reimagining Dorian as a social media influencer. This online production starred Fionn Whitehead, Joanna Lumley, Russell Tovey and Stephen Fry. It was seen in more than 70 countries.
Most recently he co-wrote the original screenplay Going the Distance with Yasmeen Khan. This digital comedy tells the story of a theatre company determined to keep going in the face of the Covid lockdowns. It starred Sara Crowe, Sarah Hadland, Shobna Gulati, Emma McDonald, Matthew Kelly and Stephen Fry.
Opera North’s general director Richard Mantle said: “I am delighted to announce that Henry Filloux-Bennett has been appointed as our new executive director, joining the company in May 2023. He brings with him a wealth of experience through his theatre career and as a writer
“This is a pivotal moment in the history of Opera North as we develop our strategic priorities and re-build our way out of the impact of the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis. Henry will be a key part of the leadership of Opera North into the future, bringing with him significant experience of business planning, budgetary and financial forecasting, programming, stakeholder management, commercial strategies and food and beverage hospitality.
“I am thrilled to be able to welcome Henry to the Opera North team and look forward to our collaboration as colleagues.”
You can find out more about who’s who at Opera North on the company’s website.
Henry Filloux-Bennett has been appointed executive director for Opera North (Samantha Toolsie).