Pegasus Opera Company Announces New Senior Leadership and Board Changes

Rating: 4 out of On the grand occasion of a 90th birthday, you may expect a focus on the good days gone by. But as Glyndebourne rolls into its 10th decade, the prestigious operatic institution is planning ahead. “We’re spending a lot of time here thinking about the future,” muses artistic director Stephen Langridge. “Where do we want to be when we’re 100? Where do we want opera to bWith a reputation as the poshest and stuffiest of art forms – opera performances tend to be long, in a foreign language and made of music that few of us are brought up consuming – a lot of that distinction in the UK is linked to Glyndebourne. In the summertime, the grounds of the East Sussex manor house play host to hordes of people in fancy evening wear carrying elaborate picnics for the interval. For many, it seems a world away from reality. But when Langridge talks about opera, the musty cliches it has accumulated fall away. “My definition of opera is telling stories through music and action,” he says, never quite staying still as he talks. “And if that’s what opera is, then it exists everywhere, in every culture. It’s a way of reflecting the world around us. But it’s only going to reflect our world if we open it up.”

Pegasus Opera Company have recently announced some exciting changes in board membership and its senior leadership team. Sarah Sawyerr has been appointed Vice-Chair of the board of trustees and Melvin Claridge has been appointed Talent Director.

Melvin Claridge has stepped down as Vice-Chair of the board of trustees, to take on a role on staff at Pegasus as talent director. Melvin was instrumental in the formation of Pegasus Talent, a new artist management agency representing classical musicians of African and Asian heritage. He also heads up the talent development at Pegasus, and leads on the Opera Mentoring Programme. Additionally, Melvin is a commercial solicitor, as well as a trustee at Oxenfoord International Summer School and serves on Glyndebourne’s Creative Conspirators advisory board.

He now forms part of the senior leadership team of Pegasus, along with Alison Buchanan, artistic director, and Sonia Hyams, executive director.

Sarah Sawyerr has been appointed Vice-Chair of the board of trustees. Sarah has a background in both theatre, education and not for profit organisations. She worked for a number of theatre companies including Talawa, the National Theatre and the Young Vic. She moved to Liverpool to set up the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s Education Department on a bursary from the Arts Council. She also worked for Marie Curie Cancer Care where she was instrumental in creating their Daffodil Campaign. She was an Assistant Head Teacher at Ricards Lodge High School from where she retired in 2019. Sarah continues to teach and is now a Magistrate and volunteer adviser for Citizens Advice Bureau.