Deborah Bull to leave Royal Opera House

Michael Quinn

Deborah Bull is to step down as creative director of the Royal Opera House to take up the newly created position of director with King’s Cultural Partners.

A former principal dancer with the Royal Ballet from 1992 to 2001, she joined Covent Garden’s executive management team in 2001 to establish ROH2, the venue’s developmental laboratory for its ballet and opera companies, and was appointed creative director in 2008.

She will assume her new role, based in King’s College, London, in March, 2012 and will continue to liaise with the Royal Opera House until the delivery of its contributions to next year’s Cultural Olympiad.

The King’s College Partnership is described as “a cross-disciplinary teaching and research initiative with innovative collaboration across the cultural sector at its heart”. Bull told The Stage her new role will be concerned with creating “a neutral space where different organisations can come together, and a crucible where ideas can be shared and challenged, and spark off each other”.

She added: “My mantra at the Royal Opera House has been that you don’t succeed in the arts without failing; it’s a central part of learning. My long term aim at King’s will be to provide a space where people can be brave, think the unthinkable, and try the untryable”.

ROH chief executive Tony Hall, said Bull had made “a huge contribution” to the Royal Opera House. “The fact that the Linbury Studio Theatre now has a clear identity and purpose – producing some outstanding work – and that the Royal Opera House is involved with so many other organisations in the field of opera and dance is a great tribute to Deborah. Her role in transforming the Royal Opera House over the last decade has been enormous.”

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