Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

John Berry launches not-for-profit opera company

12:44, 20th March 2017

Former English National Opera artistic director John Berry has launched a new, not-for-profit company that will commission and produce opera as well as offering training opportunities, The Stage has reported.

Opera Ventures will produce opera and mixed-media performances in addition to providing workshops, classes and training.

Berry described the charity as a ‘flexible and agile’ organisation which will work with UK and international partner organisations.

Its first project will be a collaboration with Scottish Opera on a production of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek, which will be performed at the 2017 Edinburgh International Festival.

The charitable organisation’s executive team will include Cause4 founder Michelle Wright as chief executive, former ENO chief executive Loretta Tomasi as executive producer, and will be chaired by Sally Groves.

‘It’s been a dream to create this charity for many years and I’ve been wanting to find a way to put something back into the UK opera business for some time now,’ Berry told The Stage. ‘I’ve been working on this charity for 18 months and I am thrilled the first project is about to happen, with more productions in development.

‘Putting philanthropy directly on to the stage rather than into an institution, while keeping fixed costs at a minimum, is central to our vision. Now that we are established, the real fundraising starts.’

Berry, who resigned as ENO’s artistic director in 2015 after 20 years with the company, is currently working with the Bolshoi in an advisory capacity.

Further details about the new company and its international partners are expected later this year.

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