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Monday 03 August 2020

Call for Trustees

Mahogany formed in 2014, bringing together two acclaimed contemporary opera-making companies led by artistic director Frederic Wake-Walker: The Opera Group and Mahogany Opera. Mahogany Opera Group is a leading independent opera company stretching the boundaries of what opera can be and who it is for.

Programme of work

It is an exciting time for us as we look to develop and grow the two main strands of our activity – Mahogany Youth Opera (MY Opera) and Various Stages.

MY Opera is an opera-making programme for schools and regional groups located in areas of cultural low engagement across the UK. It exists to provide opportunities for young people to embrace all aspects of opera, from creation and composition, through to performance. It also supports teachers and local leaders, giving them the confidence and skills to take on their own projects, to upskill them in the opera genre, and to work with them to create a sustainable and ongoing platform for delivering the arts in their schools and regions.

Various Stages is a programme of residencies, workshops and showcases that expands the opportunities for artists to develop new and boundary-shifting opera and music theatre. Working in partnership with promoters and venues, we give composers and writers the chance to develop work collaboratively with performers and creative teams, culminating in our pioneering Various Stages Festival which showcases this work and opens it up to an audience for critical response feedback. Various Stages is a continuing yet evolving programme developing work and talent, and giving emerging and established artists the space to generate and share ideas and techniques.

In addition, we also have an international reputation, with our work programmed at festivals across Europe. Recent projects include: Snappy Operas – a nationwide schools programme commissioning ten miniature operas for young people to perform; Hans Krasa’s Brundibár with 500 children from across the UK; The Rattler , a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin by Stephen Deazley and Martin Riley; Lost in Thought – the world’s first mindfulness opera; and Mozart Versus Machine – an electronic essay collage opera by Dominic Robertson, mashing-up Mozart electronic sound and video.

Our small core team is support by a group of freelance associates to develop our work and stage productions. Our offices are located at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and we are a resident company of Watford Palace Theatre.


Mahogany Opera Group is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. We are at an exciting phase in our development, and are looking for the right trustees to join our board, under the chair of the Board of Trustees, Penny Jonas. We are looking for trustees who can help us build on our national and international reputation, to champion our work, and to inspire and strengthen our team as we grow.

If you have a passion for opera, for the development of new work, for children and young people, and think that your skills and experience would enhance our existing board, then we would love to hear from you. (Please note that the role of a trustee is not remunerated.)

We are keen to hear from a wide variety of candidates, but are particularly keen to find trustees with understanding and expertise in any of the following areas:

  • Knowledge of other artforms or how comparative companies in other artforms operate

  • Knowledge of alternative fundraising avenues

  • Knowledge of legal/child protection issues

  • International connections

Knowledge and Skills

  • The governance of charitable arts organisations

  • The work, history and aspirations of Mahogany Opera Group

  • Strategic insight for long-term planning

  • Strong interpersonal skills

  • Providing support and challenge to the management team

  • Use of your social network to help broaden audiences and support


Three meetings of the main Board per year, with the potential to be invited to join sub-committees of the board, and to act as a consultant as needed.

Trustees are expected to champion the work of Mahogany Opera Group, to act as ambassadors at events and performances, and to represent the organisation where appropriate.

The Process

Expressions of interest, including a CV, should be emailed to Allison Rosser, General Manager, at For an informal chat about the role, please contact Penny Jonas,

Mahogany Opera Group aspires to be an equal opportunities organisation, and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their ethnicity, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

January 2018


We are looking for trustees who can help us build on our national and international reputation, to champion our work, and to inspire and strengthen our team as we grow.
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