Who's who

Douglas Boyd
Artistic Director

Dougie, in collaboration with his wonderful team, oversees the artistic direction of the company, including long-term repertoire planning, orchestra, cast and creative teams and working closely with Nicola Creed, our Executive Director. Before embarking on a conducting career Dougie was a founder member and principal oboe of The Chamber Orchestra of Europe for 21 years. He is also Music Director of Orchestre de chambre de Paris and guest conducts all over the world. His wife Sally Pendlebury is a cellist in the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Fitzwilliam String Quartet. Outside of music he is a political geek, an obsessive Crystal Palace fan and is making attempts to improve his French as well as raising three marvellous children. 

Nicola Creed
Executive Director

Nicola became Executive Director in 2013 after 14 years as Associate Director. She shares the helm with Artistic Director Douglas Boyd and together they have developed increasingly high artistic standards and seen the expansion of the length of the festival and its membership by over 50% in the last six years. She was one of the core team managing the move to Wormsley, the design of the opera house and the appeal for £3.5million.

After graduating from Cambridge, where she was a choral scholar and cellist, Nicola joined Harold Holt before producing classical music festivals in Exeter, York, Salisbury and Chichester. Before joining Garsington she spent ten years with the National Trust and three with the Historic Houses Association overseeing large-scale events and membership.  

Laura Canning
Laura Canning
Director of Artistic Administration

Laura moved to Garsington Opera in 2015 and manages the artistic side, working closely with production teams, principal singers, chorus and orchestra to ensure all productions are of the highest possible quality. During her degree in modern languages at Cambridge University, Laura worked backstage at the university theatre and has worked in opera administration for her whole career. She started in singer management with Athole Still and Harold Holt and has worked at Glyndebourne, Welsh National Opera and Houston Grand Opera. She lives in Oxford with her husband and two sons. Don't invite her to an opera on a Tuesday evening as she hates to miss her local pub quiz.

Janet Reeve
Development Director

Janet joined the Garsington team as Development Director in November 2021. An experienced consultant and development professional, Janet has brought strategic flair to numerous ambitious projects in the arts, science and education.

Following her early career as Development Director at the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Janet worked alongside the late Valerie Solti to complete the capital campaign for Sadler’s Wells Theatre. She went on to become the Executive Director of Somerset House Arts Fund. Her recent assignments include the Aspen Institute New Zealand, the US-UK Global Disinformation Index, and Comedy Women in Print.

Janet graduated from King’s College London with first class honours in English. She has contributed various writing projects including fiction, poetry, theatre collaborations, programme notes and professional resources for fund-raisers.

Steve Hawkins
Technical Director

Steve is responsible for all technical aspects of Garsington Opera's productions. He works closely with directors, designers and heads of lighting, costume, wigs and props to realise all design elements of each production. He particularly enjoys working with independent set builders and scenic artists from around the country to produce the varied and ambitious set designs. He recruits and manages the seasonal stage management and production teams and oversees the technical running of the repertory season. In his free time Steve likes to go camping and walking with his young family. 

Hannah Barkley
Artistic Administration and Company Manager

Hannah started at Garsington Opera in 2018, moving into her current role as Artistic Administration and Company Manager in November 2021, and manages all mid- and short-term planning and the running the Young Artist Programme, as well as looking after all of the Garsington artists. Hannah graduated from Durham University in 2013 having completed a degree in Music specialising in recorder performance and has worked in arts administration since, previously working for the Royal College of Music and the Philharmonia Orchestra. She particularly enjoys working with young singers and has volunteered as a careers consultant with the London music conservatoires. When not at the opera, Hannah can be found cooking, doing yoga or on long walks around the countryside.

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