Meet the Team

Lizzie Web

Lizzie Graham

Director

Lizzie started Longborough Festival Opera with her husband Martin and ran it for 24 years. In that time she helped the opera grow from an outdoor affair on hay bales into the 500-seat opera house of today. They have three children who have grown up with opera in their garden, the eldest of whom, Polly, is now an opera director based in Cardiff and Longborough's Artistic Director.

Lizzie retired at the end of the 2014 season, though is still actively involved in the artistic planning as well as strategic direction of the charity.

Alongside scouting new talent for Longborough, Lizzie fits in the odd stint of babysitting two grandchildren who have started on their own journey of opera appreciation.

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Polly Graham

Artistic Director

Polly fell in love with the whole enterprise of theatre when her parents started presenting opera in their garden when she was five years old. In 2013 she became the Genesis Assistant Director at WNO and worked there for two years, mentored by David Pountney. She directed Peter Maxwell Davies' Kommilitonen! for WNYO in 2016 and Frank Martin's Le Vin Herbé in 2017. Both productions won Best Opera at the Welsh Theatre Awards. In 2016 she also directed the UK premiere of Simplicius Simplicissimus by Karl Amadeus Hartmann, as Independent Opera Director Fellow.

She was listed in the 2017 Ones to Watch in the Guardian. She now works as a freelance director and in 2017 founded her own company, Loud Crowd, whose first production, The Emperor of Atlantis, was presented at Bold Tendencies in September 2018.

She has two young children.

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Jennifer Smith

General Manager

Jennifer joined Longborough in April 2014 as General Manager, taking on the role from Lizzie Graham. Previously Head of Operations at the Plunkett Foundation, Jen developed and managed a range of projects including a multi-partner £10 million Lottery-funded programme. Jen’s background includes project management, financial management, development, and strategic planning. While Jen has worked in both the charitable and private sectors, her heart has always belonged to the arts. She has degrees in music and business and a master in arts administration.

As a classically trained soprano, Jen loves nothing more than being immersed in music. She has performed with local orchestras and music societies across Oxfordshire.

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Fenner Curtis

Marketing & Press

Fenner joined the team at Longborough as Marketing and Press Manager in 2016. With a background in arts marketing, he spent seven years working across Cheltenham's four Festivals of Jazz, Science, Music and Literature.

He is also a keen musician, a violinist of hot jazz that can often be found performing throughout the Cotswolds and beyond with the ensemble Swing from Paris: a quartet of guitars, violin and double bass that specialise in the 1930s French jazz of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli.

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Gill Powell

Membership & Development

A former BBC radio producer, Gill began her career as a researcher on Radio 4’s The Archers. She left Ambridge for St Kitts where, through VSO, she made schools radio programmes. Back in the UK, she was appointed Individual Giving Manager with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. She recently completed a full-time MA Creative Writing (Non-Fiction), runs memoir-writing courses and shares the joy of country living in Herefordshire with her partner John and various chickens.

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Lauren Brice

Artistic Administration

Lauren joined Longborough as Artistic Administrator in September 2016, having worked as a freelance marketer and previously as Marketing Executive at Cheltenham’s Jazz, Science, Music and Literature Festivals.

A relentless baker and eater of cake, one of her most important roles is maintaining a steady supply of sugary treats to the office. She sings soprano with Gloucester Choral Society and plays the piano, when the mood takes her. She loves travelling to far-flung places, going for country walks and is a bit addicted to Instagram.

James Web

James Batley

Box Office & Operations

James has worked in ticketing for many years at the Courtyard in Hereford and then more recently for The Ticket Factory. There he managed the ticketing for the Royal Horticultural Society and the Chelsea Flower Show. He joined Longborough in August 2015 to install the new ticketing system Spektrix and now finds himself ordering marquees and other temporary structures too. He lives in Herefordshire with his girlfriend, drinks ale and agonises over his football team.

Emma Web

Emma Silcock

Box Office

Having lived in Longborough for a few years with her young family, Emma first became involved with the Opera because of a misdialed phone call from an opera singer needing accommodation, attending her first opera as a thank you for accommodation 5 years ago. When not taking your ticket bookings she can be found ferrying her teenagers around the Cotswolds or hot air ballooning.

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Jessica May

Education

Jessica is responsible for Longborough's Education and Outreach. Each year she creates an ever-expanding programme of utterly bonkers workshops, with the main objective of keeping opera alive and kicking in the minds of the next generation. Many local school students now think it is perfectly normal to have an opera house in their back garden. She studied music at Kings College, London and performance at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and her passion for accompanying has enabled her to work with some of the world’s leading performers as well as exciting up-and-coming talent in schools and conservatoires.

Julie

Julie McClintock

Finance

From headhunting in St James’s Square to Wagner in the Cotswolds, the variety for bookkeepers is endless. Julie has been working at Longborough for over three years, and says "I can honestly say I had no idea what to expect. I have found a job that has not only expanded my - sadly - somewhat lacking Wagner knowledge but has also provided me with a sometimes challenging, yet always interesting, role." Julie lives in a small village the other side of Chipping Norton where she attempts to control a somewhat 'rustic' garden as a contrast to working with figures.


Founders
Martin & Lizzie Graham

Honorary Patron
Lady Solti

Chairman
Martin Graham

Director
Lizzie Graham

Music Director
Anthony Negus

Artistic Director
Polly Graham

Trustees
Denys Firth
Lizzie Graham
Joseph Green
Brian Muirhead
Lucy Le Fanu
Rosamund Horwood-Smart QC

Associate Artists
Carmen Jakobi
Jonathan Lyness
Jenny Miller
Alan Privett
Jeremy Silver
Richard Studer

General Manager
Jennifer Smith

Box Office
James Batley
Emma Silcock

Marketing and Press Manager
Fenner Curtis

Membership & Development Manager
Gill Powell

Artistic Administrator
Lauren Brice

Press and Marketing Consultant
Judy Grahame, M&C Saatchi Arts

Education
Jessica May

Accounts
Julie McClintock

Director of Production
Wayne Parry

Box Office and Administration

Longborough Festival Opera
New Banks Fee
Longborough
Moreton-in-Marsh
Gloucestershire, GL56 0QF.

Telephone: 01451 830292
Email: boxoffice@lfo.org.uk

Box Office opening hours: 10am - 4pm,
Monday to Friday.