Rhinegold Photo credit: Laima Arlauskaite

Melissa Bradshaw

Opera Holland Park general director Michael Volpe announces retirement

10:22, 14th January 2020

Michael Volpe, general director at Opera Holland Park, has announced his retirement after 31 years with the company.

Volpe will take early retirement after the 2020 season and the end of the 2019/20 financial year, taking effect from 30 September 2020. He began work in 1989 with the then owners of the Holland Park Theatre, and founded Opera Holland Park under their management in 1996.

Commenting on his departure, Volpe said: ‘It has been a life’s work at Opera Holland Park, but there comes a moment when one feels it is time for a change – both in one’s personal life, but perhaps also for the company, which is now mature enough to thrive and evolve on the strength of its own achievements and family of supporters.

‘I have so many people to thank and have made so many friends among the talented OHP family as well as within our supporters whose faith and commitment have been so critical to OHP’s success.’

James Clutton, who joined the company as producer and has since become director of opera, formed a longstanding partnership with Volpe and will be appointed chief executive and director of opera with overall responsibility for the company on 1 October 2020.

‘For over 20 years Mike and I have not only been colleagues but brothers,’ Clutton comments. ‘The work that Mike has put into making Opera Holland Park what it is today will never be surpassed. Now in this next chapter we have to make sure his legacy is protected and nourished; that OHP continues to grow whilst never losing sight of the values Mike originally instilled in the company and that for over two decades we have stood firmly by and proudly believed in.’

Chairman Charles Mackay added: ‘When Mike retires in September, Opera Holland Park will have completed five years as an independent charity. He has indeed played an absolutely key role in that transition, as he did in the preceding 20 years under the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea after he established the company for them in 1996 … We wish Mike every possible success in his new endeavours.’


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