Opera Queensland has announced respected community and business leader Linda Apelt as the successor to current Chair, Emeritus Professor David Siddle, who will retire from the role at the end of 2021.
Ms Apelt will lead the Board from January 2022, bringing to the role a wealth of experience in senior leadership, stakeholder engagement, and policy development in the public and private sectors.
Ms Apelt said she was excited to lead the Opera Queensland Board during a tremendous period of growth and creativity.
“I look forward to working with the Board, Patrick Nolan and the entire team at Opera Queensland to build on the solid foundations that have been laid by the leaders and artists who have acted as custodians for the company over the past 40 years,” she said.
“With the support of the Board and Opera Queensland’s funding bodies and partners, we will continue to grow our capacity to bring stories through song to diverse audiences across the state,” said Ms Apelt.
The appointment marks a welcome homecoming for Ms Apelt, who returns to Brisbane after more than four years abroad as the Agent-General for Queensland in the United Kingdom and Trade and Investment Commissioner for
As a former long-serving Director General with the State Government of Queensland, Ms Apelt oversaw enhanced service delivery in a range of portfolios including education, health, housing, community services, Indigenous policy and the arts.
Her board experience includes service as Screen Queensland Chair and as a Company Director on independent boards spanning superannuation, urban planning and research, housing and homelessness, health and welfare and children’s and disability services.
Opera Queensland CEO & Artistic Director Patrick Nolan said Ms Apelt’s deep knowledge of Queensland, corporate and government nous, experience in the UK and Europe and love of the Arts were a rare combination and would be a great contribution to Opera Queensland’s ambitions over the coming years.
“Linda is highly regarded as a resourceful leader and innately skilled in devising and delivering innovative policy, building productive relationships and negotiating across government, business and community sectors,” he said.
“Linda is joining at an exciting time for Opera Queensland and for opera as an art form across the state. We are looking forward to working with Linda on expanding our reach and delivering more innovative experiences for our audiences.”
“I remain excited and optimistic about the future, not just of the company but of opera as an artform across Queensland, under the governance of Linda and the Opera Queensland Board,” said Ms Apelt.
Mr Nolan thanked the current Chair, Emeritus Professor David Siddle, for his service to the Board of Opera Queensland over the past seven years.
“David has played a critical role in governing Opera Queensland during a time of incredible transformation and in the past two years, turbulence,” he said.
“His rigorous governance and great love of opera has been a source of wisdom and inspiration during his tenure as Chair. It has ensured the Company realised the ambitious artistic and business goals we set ourselves,” said Mr Nolan.
Emeritus Professor David Siddle joined the Board in September 2014, serving as Deputy Chair from 2016 to 2018 before being appointed Chair in October 2018.
He said it was an honour to Chair Opera Queensland’s Board and he was confident the Chair-Elect’s leadership and governance would see Opera Queensland continue to thrive and flourish.
“I thank my Board colleagues for their commitment and guidance and the greater Opera Queensland team for their tireless efforts to deliver opera experiences across Queensland, particularly their commitment to share the joy of opera with audiences that are diverse in terms of age, cultural background and geography,” said Prof Siddle.
“The COVID pandemic had a devastating impact across the global arts sector but I was pleased that effective and early planning by the company ensured we could protect the health of staff, patrons and supporters during this difficult time.”
Emeritus Professor David Siddle also extended his gratitude to members of The Chair’s Circle, an initiative he launched in 2019.
“The Chair’s Circle has been an important initiative to build Opera Queensland’s reserves and create a sustainable future for opera throughout Queensland,” he said.
“I’d like to extend my deepest thanks to members of The Chair’s Circle for their commitment, loyalty and generosity,” said Prof Siddle.
For more information about Opera Queensland, visit: www.oq.com.au for details.
Image: Linda Apelt (supplied)