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Leonora Thomson to leave managing director role at Welsh National Opera as it restructures

Leonora Thomson. Photo: Gareth Iwan Jones Leonora Thomson. Photo: Gareth Iwan Jones
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Leonora Thomson is stepping down as managing director of Welsh National Opera, the company has confirmed.

Thomson, who joined the Cardiff opera company as managing director in 2015, said she was departing because WNO’s board wants the company to operate a single leadership model, with one person overseeing both its artistic and business elements.

Leonora Thomson leaves Barbican to be Welsh National Opera MD

The announcement of her departure follows news that the company’s artistic leader, David Pountney, will hand over the role of general director to Aidan Lang in July.

In a statement, Thomson said: “In February of last year, WNO’s board took the decision that they wanted to return to the model of single leadership – with one person being both the artistic and business leader of the organisation. Since this decision was made I have thought long and hard about remaining at WNO but in the end have decided to move on.

“Although there continues to be a managing director role reporting to Aidan Lang, the new general director, it will be different from the role I came to do, which was to jointly lead the organisation with David Pountney, reporting to the board.”

Thomson said she would remain at the company until Lang takes over on July 1, and would “continue to be a massive advocate for this wonderful company and indeed for opera and the arts as a whole”.

Thomson was appointed in July 2015, joining from the role of director of audiences and development at the Barbican.

Pountney’s departure was announced last year, when the board said it would not be renewing his contract after the end of this season.

Welsh National Opera managing director Leonora Thomson: ‘My goal is to make sure we are fit for the future’

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