Message from the West-country Wagner festival:
Our Executive Director, Jennifer Smith, will be standing down from her role after nine outstanding years.
Jennifer took up the post of Executive Director in 2014. Under her leadership, Longborough Festival Opera has undergone a period of significant expansion. Alongside operational changes, the charity’s turnover has grown by 66%, the administrative team has quadrupled in scale, and charitable reserves have expanded to provide a stronger bedrock for the charity’s future. Jennifer steered Longborough Festival Opera through the challenging period of closure due to Covid, working alongside Artistic Director Polly Graham to produce an innovative socially distanced solution, moving the 2021 season into a 270-seat circus tent. Jennifer has championed the substantial development of Longborough’s educational work, helping to increase the reach from 75 students in 2014 to 3,000 young people in 2023.
Polly Graham said “Jennifer’s leadership has been instrumental in the festival’s growth and success, and she has brought us through some challenging years, especially recently, with flying colours. We’re sad to see her move on while looking forward to finding a worthy successor.”
Longborough’s Music Director, Anthony Negus, added “Since taking over the reins at Longborough almost a decade ago, Jennifer has been a wonderful force for transformation with her energy, passion and love of music.”