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Nicholas Payne

Chairman: jury member, both competitions.

Nicholas Payne has worked in opera since joining the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 1968 for the final years of the David Webster/Georg Solti period. 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. As Financial Controller of Welsh National Opera in Cardiff, his responsibilities included finance, labour relations, marketing, planning and programmes. He was then appointed General Director of Leeds-based Opera North, a company which he built up over a ten year period. He returned to London as Director of the Royal Opera at Covent Garden during the 1990s. He was subsequently appointed General Director of English National Opera at the London Coliseum. Throughout this time he was concerned with providing opportunities to develop singers, conductors and production teams.

Since 2003, he has been Director of Opera Europa, for which he has built up services and a membership of 127 opera companies and opera festivals from 36 countries and has established it as the leading professional opera association in Europe.

He has served on the jury for the Belvedere singing competition in Vienna, the Neue Stimmen competition in Germany, the Competizione dell’Opera in Dresden and Moscow, and as chairman of the jury for the Kathleen Ferrier competition in London, AsLiCo’s competition for young European singers in Como, and the International Festival of Operatic Singers in Tirana, Albania. He has been a trustee of the Peter Moores Foundation since 2003.