Opera Queensland (OperaQ) has appointed Sandra Willis as executive director. It follows the news that general manager Russell Mitchell will leave the company at the end of July.
Willis has an enviable arts pedigree, having previously worked as general manager of Oz Opera at Opera Australia (OA) and company manager at Bell Shakespeare.
During her time at OA, Willis secured almost AUD10m (€6.8m) in government, private and philanthropic funding, and oversaw the rebranding of OA’s touring arm. She also acted as executive producer for its critically successful show The Rabbits, which picked up four Helpmann Awards in 2015.
“Sandra’s achievements during her six years at OA, and her combination of management, production and philanthropy experience at some of Australia’s most prestigious cultural institutions, make her a sought-after arts leader,” said OperaQ chair Sally Pitkin. “[Her] exceptional work as the producer on the highly praised and awarded The Rabbits is one of a long list of credits that ensures the business of OperaQ is in very good hands.”
Willis will leave her current position as senior adviser for philanthropy at RMIT University to take up the role, which commences on 24 July.