To advance education about, promote public appreciation of, and encourage participation in, the art of opera and singing for the public benefit by;
· Developing singing at all levels from amateur to professional standard
· Encouraging emerging professional singers to find new approaches to the rehearsal and performance of opera
· Developing new audiences for opera, music recitals and concerts with innovative, inclusive and accessible performances
· Promote singing for mental and physical health for all
Olivia Shaw, Chair
Olivia has had a long career in marketing and communications, holding senior marketing and communications positions in both local and national NHS organisations for over 20 years and has significant board experience. She has also held the position of company secretary at an NHS trust. In the later years of her career, her work focussed mainly on service improvement and large scale change. She has previously been a trustee of another charitable organisation and has led on and been involved in many successful fund-raising events both for the public and charitable sectors.
She has a life-long interest in music and the arts and, having moved to Hastings some years ago, is delighted by the quality and range of cultural activities available locally.
Elizabeth Allen, Trustee
It was Elizabeth’s first job, working as a music critic on an evening newspaper in South Wales, covering events which ranged from a recital by Arthur Rubinstein to a school production of The Sound of Music that showed her the importance to the wider community of making and listening to music. Having moved to Hastings twenty years ago, she has been delighted to witness and, through Barefoot Opera, be involved in, the growth of the music scene in the town. As a director in environmental organisations, she was respon-sible for the development of educational projects, working with schools, national and lo-cal government and corporate sponsors and recognised that projects are only sustaina-ble when those involved feel ownership of them. Her later career was as a university lec-turer in literature and cultural studies.
Joao Figueiredo, Trustee
Joao is a well-rounded management consultant with a background in governance and organisational change. Experienced in managing and delivering complex consultancy projects, he works with senior leadership across government and public sector to achieve effective and sustainable outcomes.
With an academic background in international development, Joao has experience in the not-for-profit sector. He worked with the UNDP in Cambodia, where he oversaw the landmines programme clearance programme’s M&E processes; and for International Service UK, where he was part of a development programme focused in Ghana. As part of the University of York’s Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU), Joao conducted research in Kosovo on themes of reconciliation and development.
A strong believer in the power of the arts in driving community and human development Joao is very keen to work with community-based organisations to help democratise the arts and support young professionals to build their portfolios.
Virginia Gilbert, Treasurer
Virginia Gilbert is a retired local government service head with management experience in IT, HR, Finance and a range of public recreational and cultural services. Her earlier roles included business analysis, systems analysis and project management for large employers in the UK and the US. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the State University of New York. She has a strong interest in opera and the development of young singers and wholeheartedly supports the work of Jenny Miller and Barefoot Opera. She has been a trustee since 2017.
Laurelle Hughes, Trustee
Laurelle Hughes is a proud DFLer, having moved from London to St Leonards-on-Sea 18 months ago.
She is a professional PA with business experience in various commercial and other sectors. Her career has included work in the creative industries and she is passionate about the arts in all forms (with a particular love of dance). For 10 years to 2018, she provided freelance business administration services including management board and committee administration/governance and promoting best practice procedures.
She retains trusteeship of The Dalgarno Trust, a charity working with multicultural communities in London’s North Kensington, and has recently been appointed to the Advisory Panel of 18 Hours Ltd who delivers local events and education with a focus on global citizenship and diversity.
Laurelle’s varied interests include wining and dining (and exercising to counteract those) and cultural activities. She is also a member of a local contemporary choir, her focus being on the joy of participation.
Glenys Jacques, Trustee
Glenys Jacques MSc MA has worked for 30 years in education and the arts. She has directed and collaborated on many theatre and arts projects with The Stables and Electric Palace cinema. She has organised creative funding events, and presents the annual International Womens film week. Glenys has run workshops on personal expression and creativity. In her capacity as a psychotherapist she has conducted mediation and ethical process for various organisations.
Charles Neal, Trustee
Charles Neal has been involved in charitable, voluntary and community projects & campaigns for sixty years. Through these and his education and psychotherapy practices, he has always sought to provide new opportunities for disenfranchised people. For twenty-five years he was active in innovative education for excluded communities at all levels. His four ground-breaking psychotherapy books and the organisations he co-created have opened new fields of theory, practice & ethics in supporting diverse communities. He has been a trustee and chair for numerous organisations from residents associations to European psychologists’ groups. His other interests are grandfathering, parenting, politics, the arts, travel, photography and gardens.