Entertainment & Arts

Royal Opera House appoints Tony Hall successor

Alex Beard
Image caption Alex Beard has been at the Tate since 1994

Alex Beard has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Royal Opera House, it has been announced.

Beard, who has been deputy director of the Tate since 2002, follows on from previous chief executive Tony Hall, now director general designate of the BBC.

The 49-year-old said he was "absolutely delighted" to have been appointed.

"To have the opportunity to build on Tony Hall's achievements and strengthen the Royal Opera House's reputation... is hugely exciting," he added.

Beard, who was made a CBE for services to the arts in the New Year Honours, comes to the historic London institution after 19 years at the Tate.

Simon Robey, chairman of the Opera House's board of trustees, said Beard had "a passion for the work we do" and would bring "a wealth of managerial experience" to his new role.

"I am confident he will forge excellent partnerships with our artistic leadership and our executive team, and that they will, together, lead the Opera House to still greater heights."

Sally O'Neill, the Opera House's finance director, will act as interim chief executive until Beard takes up his £250,000 position ahead of its 2013/14 season.

Before joining the Tate, Beard spent seven years at the Arts Council in roles that included head of business assessment.

He has also sat on the board of Glyndebourne since 2008.

Tony Hall, who became Lord Hall of Birkenhead in 2010, became chief executive of the Royal Opera House in 2001 and remained in the role until earlier this month.

Last November he was named the BBC's new director general following the departure of George Entwistle, who stepped down after just 54 days in the role.

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