Sydney Opera House appoints new Executive Director of Performing Arts

Sydney Opera House Kate Dundas - photo by Daniel BoudThe Sydney Opera House has announced the appointment of Kate Dundas as Executive Director of Performing Arts.

“We are thrilled to have an Executive Director of Kate’s talent, experience and proven ability leading our extraordinary creative and operational teams as we renew the Opera House for future generations of artists, audiences and visitors,” said Louise Herron AM, Sydney Opera House CEO. “On Saturday, we closed our busiest venue, the Joan Sutherland Theatre, for seven months to begin the first major project in $273 million-worth of building works.”

“The Opera House is a World Heritage-listed masterpiece of human creative genius that is brought together every day by the creative genius on show across its stages, platforms and channels. Renewal is all about ensuring it continues to live up to the expectations of 21st century artists and audiences,”

“The Opera House will remain open throughout the works and it is critical that the art we showcase is as bold and inspiring as the building itself. Kate is the perfect person to ensure that we meet that exciting challenge.”

A former Director of ABC Radio and Deputy Secretary NSW Government Arts & Culture, Kate has a remarkable track record of harnessing talent and leading creative teams to achieve outstanding results. She led ABC Radio to unprecedented success through a period of great change, managing the complexities of segmenting audiences, multiple platforms and diverse content in a fast-shifting digital environment. By the time she left in 2014, ABC Radio audiences were the highest on record.

A Vincent Fairfax Fellow and Member of the Council of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, Kate is a passionate advocate for the centrality of culture to Australian life and society. In her most recent position as Deputy Secretary, she oversaw the policy and funding arms of Arts NSW and Screen NSW and the government coordination of key cultural institutions including the Sydney Opera House, Art Gallery of NSW, Australia Museum and the State Library.

Commencing in July 2015, Kate will be responsible for developing and implementing the Opera House’s integrated artistic vision on-stage, on-site and online. She will lead its event operations and production teams and services, and support the delivery of the work of the Opera House’s seven flagship Resident Companies, together with the Opera House’s own presenting arm, Sydney Opera House Presents (SOHP), which comprises five senior Heads of Program (Contemporary Music, Contemporary Performance, Talks & Ideas, Children, Families & Creative Learning and First Nations).

“For me the Sydney Opera House has always been a living symbol of creativity, inspiration and beauty, reminding us how valuable these endeavours are in a modern world,” said Kate. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to play a part in its future and am very much looking forward to contributing my experience to the extraordinary skills and talent within the Opera House.”

“I am equally enthusiastic about working with the resident companies to ensure their creative works shine brightly in the brilliant and unparalleled setting of the Sydney Opera House. Throughout my professional career I have been committed to ensuring that audiences have access to the highest quality and most engaging experiences possible through all forms of music, art, discourse and ideas, and other forms of creative expression. It is a privilege to join the Sydney Opera House at such an exciting time in its history.”

The Sydney Opera House is the country’s number one tourist destination and its busiest performing arts centre, welcoming more than 8.2 million visitors a year on site and hosting more than 2000 performances attended by more than 1.5 million people. On its 40th Anniversary in 2013, the Opera House embarked upon a Decade of Renewal to prepare it for future generations of artists, audiences and visitors. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Kate Dundas – photo by Daniel Boud