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 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.
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.
Director of Membership & Communications
Johnny is responsible for looking after members and supporters of Garsington Opera, as well as overseeing the charity's communications with audiences and the wider industry.
He is a trustee of the Royal Philharmonic Society, London English Song Festival & Septura, a University of Cambridge music graduate, occasional trumpeter and tenor in Her Majesty's Chapel Royal, St James's Palace. When not at musical events, he can be found enjoying long walks in the countryside, a good book and the odd gin (sometimes all at once).
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.
Head of Individual Giving
Jill comes to Garsington from the United States, where she has worked as a fundraiser in the non-profit arts and culture sector for many years, most recently as Executive Director for the Palm Springs Opera Guild and Development Director for San Diego Opera.
Jill is also a multidisciplinary poet who works collaboratively with composers, dancers, and musicians. As well as the author of five books of poems, several plays and CDs, she is a double Juno Award nominee for her libretto for the oratorio Dark Star Requiem.