Opera Holland Park founder and general director Michael Volpe has announced he is to leave the company after 31 years to take early retirement.
Volpe said the opera company had “framed so much of [his] life”, but said he felt the time had come for a new challenge.
Volpe began work at the Holland Park Theatre in 1989 with its then owners the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
He founded Opera Holland Park in 1996 under the council’s management, eventually transitioning the company into an independent charity in 2015.
Volpe currently runs the company as general director, alongside director of opera James Clutton. Clutton will be appointed chief executive and director of opera when Volpe retires in September, assuming overall responsibility for the company.
A deputy chief executive will be recruited in the coming months.
Volpe said: “It has been a life’s work at Opera Holland Park, but there comes a moment when one feels it is time for a change – both in one’s personal life, but perhaps also for the company, which is now mature enough to thrive and evolve on the strength of its own achievements and family of supporters.
“Opera Holland Park has framed so much of my life. There have been so many ups and downs, challenges and extraordinary highs. I have much to be proud of but it is time for new challenges.”
Clutton, who has worked alongside Volpe at the London-based opera company for more than 20 years, added: “The work that Mike has put in to making Opera Holland Park what it is today will never be surpassed.
“Now, in this next chapter, we have to make sure his legacy is protected and nourished; that OHP continues to grow while never losing sight of the values Mike originally instilled in the company and that for over two decades we have stood firmly by and proudly believed in.”