Sydney Opera House Appoints Kate Dundas As Executive Director of Performing Arts
A former Director of ABC Radio and Deputy Secretary NSW Government Arts & Culture, Kate has a remarkable track record of harnessing talent and leading creative teams to achieve outstanding results.
As Director, Dundas led ABC Radio to unprecedented success through a period of great change, managing the complexities of segmenting audiences, multiple platforms and diverse content in a fast-shifting digital environment, including developing and implementing the strategy for the public broadcaster’s expansion into digital radio and streaming. By the time she left in 2014, ABC Radio audiences were the highest on record.
A Vincent Fairfax Fellow and Member of the Council of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, Kate is a passionate advocate for the centrality of culture to Australian life and society. In her most recent position as Deputy Secretary, she oversaw the policy and funding arms of Arts NSW and Screen NSW and the government coordination of key cultural institutions including the Sydney Opera House, Art Gallery of NSW, Australia Museum and the State Library.
As Executive Director of Performing Arts, Dundas will be responsible for developing and implementing the Opera House’s integrated artistic vision on-stage, on-site and online. She will lead its event operations and production teams and services, and support the delivery of the work of the Opera House’s seven flagship Resident Companies, together with the Opera House’s own presenting arm, Sydney Opera House Presents (SOHP), which comprises five senior Heads of Programme (Contemporary Music, Contemporary Performance, Talks & Ideas, Children, Families & Creative Learning and First Nations).
The CEO of the Sydney Opera House, Louise Herron AM, said: “We are thrilled to have an Executive Director of Kate’s talent, experience and proven ability leading our extraordinary creative and operational teams as we renew the Opera House for future generations of artists, audiences and visitors. On Saturday, we closed our busiest venue, the Joan Sutherland Theatre, for seven months to begin the first major project in $273 million-worth of building works.
The Opera House is a World Heritage-listed masterpiece of human creative genius that is brought together every day by the creative genius on show across its stages, platforms and channels. Renewal is all about ensuring it continues to live up to the expectations of 21st century artists and audiences. The Opera House will remain open throughout the works and it is critical that the art we showcase is as bold and inspiring as the building itself. Kate is the perfect person to ensure that we meet that exciting challenge.”
Kate Dundas said: “For me the Sydney Opera House has always been a living symbol of creativity, inspiration and beauty, reminding us how valuable these endeavours are in a modern world. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to play a part in its future and am very much looking forward to contributing my experience to the extraordinary skills and talent within the Opera House. I am equally enthusiastic about working with the resident companies to ensure their creative works shine brightly in the brilliant and unparalleled setting of the Sydney Opera House.
Throughout my professional career, I have been committed to ensuring that audiences have access to the highest quality and most engaging experiences possible through all forms of music, art, discourse and ideas, and other forms of creative expression. It is a privilege to join the Sydney Opera House at such an exciting time in its history.”
Dundas commenced in July 2017.
Edwina Throsby Appointed Sydney Opera House Head Of Talks & Ideas
The former Head of Curation of TEDxSydney, Throsby has dedicated her 20-year career to bringing complex topics and stories to the broadest possible audience across platforms and media. In her three years overseeing the artistic and creative vision for TEDxSydney, the ideas festival grew to almost 130,000 attendees, millions of online views and more than 150 satellite events.
Prior to TEDxSydney, she founded and produced the ABC’s flagship multi-platform ideas programme, Big Ideas, hosted by Tony Jones, which quickly expanded from ABC2 to the main ABC network and ABC News 24.
Throsby has worked as a documentary filmmaker, garnering the Best Documentary award at Flickerfest (2008) and Best Documentary Short award at Melbourne International Film Festival (2008) for Dance Like Your Old Man. She has also worked on esteemed news and current affairs programs, including Four Corners, Media Watch and Q&A.
Edwina recently completed her PhD in political science, writing her thesis on undecided voters in Australia.
She brings to the Opera House a genuine passion for curating engaging, relevant and inspiring multi-platform content that builds communities of all sorts around the sharing of ideas.
Edwina Throsby says: “Having spent my career working with ideas, to have the opportunity to bring the world’s best thinkers to one of the world’s most magnificent venues is immensely exciting. At such an interesting point in global history, there’s real power in people coming together to share ideas. I’m very pleased to be joining the Opera House team in keeping Sydney audiences included in the most important and influential conversations and debates from all around the world, and am looking forward to creating programmes that challenge, intrigue and entertain.”
Acting Director of Performing Arts (SOHP) at the Sydney Opera House, Alison Nadebaum, says: “Throughout her incredibly successful and varied career in media, filmmaking and ideas curation, Edwina has championed the power of ideas and developed a razor-sharp instinct for relevant, engaging and successful popular programming. The Opera House is at an exciting point in its history, equipping itself for the next generation of artists, audiences and visitors both physically and artistically. We must ensure we remain a driving force in artistic leadership and innovation to fulfil our vision to be as bold and inspiring as the Opera House itself. Edwina possesses the expertise, experience, and a sharp and collaborative mind to do just that. We are thrilled to welcome Edwina and can’t wait to see what’s next for Talks & Ideas.”
Edwina will commence at the Opera House in August 2017. She fills the role vacated by Ann Mossop in March this year when she took up the position of Director of Strategic Events, UNSW Sydney.
Visit Sydney Opera House’s website here.