Who's who

Jonathon Cole-Swinard
Head of Music

Jonathon joined Garsington as Head of Music on a freelance basis in 2018 and oversees all musical aspects of productions, or "how the dots on the page reach the stage”. He is the Music Director of the Garsington Young Artists’ Programme, Chorus Master of the Garsington Opera Chorus, and works closely with Dougie and Laura to maintain the festival’s high musical standards. He grew up in Devon, studied at Oxford and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and began his career at Scottish Opera before joining the music staff of the Staatstheater Nürnberg. In addition to his roles at Garsington, Jonathon has a double life as Chorus Master at Scottish Opera. He considers himself singularly responsible for funding much of the improvements to the West Coast mainline.

Pippa French
Head of Corporate Sponsorship & Development

Pippa has been responsible for the growth in corporate support at Garsington on a freelance basis since the move to Wormsley. Following her MA in Economics from Cambridge and an MBA, her early career was in investment banking and management consultancy. She is Non-Executive Director of an engineering business and Head of Corporate Development at a centre right think tank. Pippa enjoys opera and choral works, riding, gardening, walking her dogs, yoga and is a fair weather sailor with her husband Fabian!

Karen Gillingham
Creative Director, Learning & Participation

In 2007 Karen started working with Garsington as a freelance artist working on various learning and participation projects. In 2011 she took on the additional consultancy role of Creative Director of the Learning & Participation Programme advising on the development of a strategy for L&P with the aim of devising an inspirational programme for all ages. She enjoys collaborating with such a passionate team. Karen also works as a freelance artist for many other opera houses in the UK and abroad and still occasionally finds time for family life.

Julian Guidera
Box Office Coordinator

Julian first joined the Garsington Opera administration team in 2016 as L&P Coordinator, where he now works full time in the Box Office team. He trained as a baritone at RSAMD and sang for three seasons in the chorus at Garsington Manor (including the flooded Fidelio) and has sung with the Philharmonia Chorus around Europe and with numerous ensembles in London. Prior to returning to Garsington, Julian's theatre roles have included Chorus Manager at Dorset Opera Festival and Customer Services Co-ordinator at Royal Albert Hall. Julian also works as a freelance production photographer and has taken many of the images featured on our website.

Georgie Gulliver
Communications & Marketing Manager

Georgie joined Garsington Opera in 2020 after working at the London Philharmonic Orchestra and The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge. As Communications & Marketing Manger, she works on all aspects of Garsington's communications including video content, social media, website, emails and print. As a singer and violinist, she completed a music degree at the University of York and still enjoys performing in a variety of choral ensembles. In her free time, Georgie enjoys baking, pencil drawing, and running or cycling in the countryside.

Daisy Hibberd
Membership & Arts Admin Assistant

Daisy joined the Garsington Opera Box Office & Membership team in January 2022 and now works as Membership & Arts Admin Assistant. After graduating from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in the summer of 2020, Daisy worked as Music Administrator in King Edward VI High School for Girls, Edgbaston. Alongside this, she has worked for several arts organisations in Birmingham, such as BMusic and Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Daisy sang in the CBSO Chorus for 5 years before moving to Oxfordshire and also has a huge passion for Baroque opera. When not at work, Daisy enjoys the creative aspects of baking, cross-stitch and walks in the countryside.