Meet the Team

Lizzie Web

Lizzie Graham


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.

Polly Web

Polly Graham

Artistic Director

Polly read English at Trinity College, Dublin, before completing a MA in Text and Performance at RADA.

Directing credits include the world premiere of Olga Neuwirth’s Orlando (Vienna State Opera), The Gondoliers (RWCMD), the world premiere of Dani Howard’s Robin Hood (The Opera Story); The Emperor of Atlantis (Loud Crowd at Bold Tendencies), Dido and Aeneas (Blackheath Halls), Le Vin Herbé (WNO and Theater St Gallen), A Christmas Carol (Orchestra Haydn Opera 20.21), Simplicius Simplicissimus (Independent Opera), Kommilitonen! (Welsh National Youth Opera); Unheard Voices: CREW (WNO), Nighthawks (Yellow Earth Theatre). Forthcoming projects include Il ritorno d’Ulisse (Longborough Festival Opera) and the world premiere of Orlando Gough’s Bloom Britannia (Barefoot Opera).

Her productions have twice won Best Opera at the Welsh Theatre Awards.

Jen 2020 Web 2

Jennifer Smith

Executive Director

Jennifer joined Longborough in April 2014, 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.

Fc Web

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.

Gill 19 Web

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.

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 Spektrix ticketing system and now finds himself ordering marquees and other temporary structures too. He lives in Herefordshire with his wife, 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.

Jess Web

Jessica May

Head of Learning

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 McClintock


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.

Martin & Lizzie Graham

Honorary Patron
Lady Solti

Martin Graham

Denys Firth
Elizabeth Graham
Leo Graham
Joseph Green
Alexandra Mackesy
Brian Muirhead
Rosamund Horwood-Smart QC

Lizzie Graham

Music Director
Anthony Negus

Artistic Director
Polly Graham

Executive Director
Jennifer Smith

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

Box Office
James Batley
Emma Silcock

Marketing and Press Manager
Fenner Curtis

Membership & Development Manager
Gill Powell

Artistic Administration | Company Manager
Remi Bruno Smith

Head of Learning
Jessica May

Julie McClintock

Director of Production
Wayne Parry

Box Office and Administration

Longborough Festival Opera
New Banks Fee
Gloucestershire, GL56 0QF.

Telephone: 01451 830292

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