Brenna Hobson appointed Sydney Opera House Director of Programming

After a competitive global recruitment process, the Sydney Opera House has appointed Brenna Hobson as its next Director of Programming, succeeding Fiona Winning who departs in June after six transformative years in the role.

An internationally respected cultural leader with a deep commitment to artistic excellence and audience development, Hobson’s expansive 20-year career has centred on curating, programming, and promoting critically acclaimed theatre, dance theatre and work for young audiences.

Hobson will return to Australia from Scotland, where she has been Executive Director of the National Theatre of Scotland since 2017. During her tenure, she spearheaded the creation of a year-long, multi-artform festival featuring world-leading contemporary performance companies and Scotland’s young people, as well as a feature film in 2021. She served as Executive Director of Belvoir from 2008 to 2017 and before that Executive Director of Jigsaw Theatre Company. Her expertise in international touring has seen her take work to stages across Asia, Europe, North America, Australia, and the UK, forging cultural connections and bringing diverse stories to life.

Commencing at the Opera House in July, Brenna will lead programming, producing and artistic development for the Opera House’s internal presenting arm, Sydney Opera House Presents (SOHP), which programs almost 700 performances each year in the areas of Contemporary Music, Contemporary Performance, First Nations, Talks & Ideas, Children, Families & Creative Learning, Classical Music and Screen.

Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM:

Brenna has an international reputation as a powerful storyteller and collaborative cultural leader, both qualities that will be critical as we focus on realising our ambition to be Everyone’s House.

I have known Brenna for more than two decades, since her days as a staff representative on the Belvoir board, and I’m confident she will play an important role in helping us write the next chapter for the Opera House and for culture in Sydney more broadly.

I also pay tribute to Fiona Winning for shaping our programming with heart and distinction over so many years while building a more contemporary and inclusive culture.

Brenna Hobson:

I’m thrilled to bring my passion for vibrant and inclusive arts experiences to this iconic institution. My connection to the Sydney Opera House runs deep – both working backstage in the Drama Theatre for Belvoir and Bangarra Dance Theatre in my early career and as a Trustee from 2014 to 2017. The Opera House is a canvas for storytelling on a grand scale and I can’t wait to work with the talented team to bring bold, diverse and entertaining programming to its stages.

Photo Credit: Dan Boud

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