Dame Anne Evans

After studying at the Royal College of Music in London and the Geneva Conservatoire, Anne Evans pursued a career spanning 37 years that took her to the opera houses of Berlin, Vienna, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Brussels, Buenos Aires and London. Her many roles ranged from Pamina in Die Zauberflöte to Leonore in Fidelio; from Violetta in La traviata to Isolde. She sang the role of Brünnhilde at the Bayreuth Festival for four consecutive years with Daniel Barenboim, and at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, for five. She has given recitals at Wigmore Hall and the Edinburgh Festival and sung in concerts with most of the leading conductors of her era. She now devotes her time to teaching and coaching young singers, and adjudicating. Anne Evans is an Hon.DMus (University of Kent), a fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and a trustee of the Countess of Munster Music Musical Trust. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 2000.

Michael Grandage CBE

Michael Grandage is a multi-award winning director and producer, and Artistic Director of the Michael Grandage Company. He was Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse (2002–2012) and Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres (2000–05). He is the recipient of Tony, Drama Desk, Olivier, Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and South Bank awards, as well as Honorary Doctorates from both Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University. He is President of Central School of Speech and Drama and was appointed CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2011. His book A Decade At The Donmar was published by Constable & Robins in 2012.

Nicholas Payne

Nicholas Payne has been Director of Opera Europa since 2003, building the membership and services offered by this leading organisation for professional European opera companies and opera festivals.

He joined Covent Garden in 1968, during the final two years of the David Webster–Georg Solti period, and has worked in opera ever since. After a spell at the Arts Council of Great Britain during the early 1970s, he worked for four different UK opera companies over 27 consecutive years. He has been Financial Controller of Welsh National Opera; General Administrator of Leeds-based Opera North; Director of the Royal Opera; and General Director of English National Opera. He has written and broadcast regularly on operatic and general arts subjects.

Alistair Spalding CBE

Alistair Spalding CBE has been Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells since October 2004. Under Spalding, Sadler’s Wells has become the UK’s leading dance house, hosting world-class national and international companies and artists, and presenting an ambitious programme of cutting-edge dance in all its forms to audiences of over 600,000 each year.

In 2005, Spalding announced his vision for Sadler’s Wells to become a producing house. He has since driven the commissioning, producing and co-producing of more than 90 shows, including acclaimed collaborations zero degrees, PUSH and Sutra. In the last nine years, Sadler’s Wells’ productions have toured to 233 venues in 164 cities around the world.

Spalding also created the position of Associate Artist to the theatre. There are currently 16 Associate Artists and one Associate Company.

Before joining Sadler’s Wells, Spalding was the Head of Dance and Performance at the Southbank Centre, London (1994–2000), and a programmer at the Hawth Theatre, Crawley (1988–94).

In 2005, Spalding was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. He was appointed as a national member of the Arts Council England board in 2009. He was appointed CBE in 2012 for services to dance.