March 19, 2013

Press Releases


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 Productions Ltd 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 .

Alex Beard


Deputy Director, Tate since 2002; Director of Tate Enterprises Ltd, Tate Gallery Projects Ltd, Tate Publishing Ltd
1999-2002, Director, Business, Tate
1995-1999, Director, Finance and Administration, Tate

1986-1993, Arts Council of Great Britain, London


Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House aims to enrich people’s lives through opera and ballet.

As the home of two of the world’s great artistic companies – The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet – our work is inspiring, innovative and unashamedly  ambitious. We are unique in the breadth of our artistic output, the extent of our reach and the innovation of our digital activity, consistently winning critical acclaim and awards for the quality of our productions and the creativity of our partnerships.

We work with the world’s great artists, practitioners and craftspeople, identify and nurture emerging talent, and commission new work that ensures the relevance of our art forms within the world in which we live. Last year we attracted almost 700,000 attendances of 428 performances at our historic Covent Garden theatre but our work was also experienced in cinemas across six continents, via screens in parks and public spaces nationwide, online, on television and on the radio.

A strong commitment to learning and engagement underpins everything we do. From workshops in schools to formal apprenticeships, community projects to teacher training, last year almost 30,000 people were inspired through participatory projects, including an extensive programme in Thurrock and the Thames Gateway. A further 21,000 attended for the first time through targeted schemes for families, schools, students and isolated older people.

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