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New Executive Director

Northern Ballet is delighted to announce that David Collins is joining the Company as its new Executive Director.

David joins the Company from Opera North, where he is currently Executive Director and Deputy CEO. A hugely respected and highly successful leader with extensive experience across the arts, David will join Northern Ballet in early 2023 following the departure of Mark Skipper DL, who retires on 30 September after taking the organisation to extraordinary new heights during his 26 years as Northern Ballet’s Chief Executive.

David arrives at an exciting moment for Northern Ballet as it looks to the future under the artistic leadership of Federico Bonelli, who took over as the company’s new Artistic Director in May, and the chairmanship of Guy Perricone, who joined in July. He joins as the Company continues its successful 2022/23 season, presenting a vibrant mix of treasured classics and newly commissioned work across England and Northern Ireland, and prepares to confirm its plans for 2023/24. 

David joined Opera North, one of UK’s leading touring opera companies, in 2016, when he was appointed as its Director of External Affairs. After working on an £18 million capital redevelopment programme that transformed the company’s Leeds headquarters, he became Executive Director and Deputy CEO in October 2021. Before joining Opera North, David was the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Head of Marketing, where his projects included the launch of Live from the RSC and the capital transformation of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

David Collins, Northern Ballet’s incoming Executive Director, said:

“Under the leadership of Mark Skipper, Northern Ballet has flourished, creating extraordinary work that connects thousands of people across the UK through dance rooted in compelling stories. That success has been underpinned by their commitment to opening up the joy and power of participation in dance for all. I’m thrilled by the prospect of working in partnership with Federico and the many skilled people across the Company to shape a future for Northern Ballet that builds on that enduring commitment to create work of relevance for, and with, communities across the country.”

Federico Bonelli, Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director, added:

“I can’t wait to begin working with David to shape Northern Ballet’s plans for an exciting future, both on and off the stage. David’s reputation as an inspiring, passionate and proactive arts leader speaks for itself, as do his recent successes at Opera North. I’m delighted that he’ll be helping me in the months and years to come, building on Mark Skipper's outstanding legacy and taking the Company to new heights.”

Guy Perricone, Chair of Northern Ballet, said:

“I am absolutely delighted that David Collins will be joining Northern Ballet as our new Executive Director. David brings significant experience in managing arts organisations and will be able to build on the invaluable contribution of Mark Skipper, our CEO for over 20 years. This is a very exciting time for Northern Ballet, for our supporters and for our staff, and I am certain that David and Federico Bonelli, our Artistic Director, will form an exceptional leadership team to shape and direct Northern Ballet into the next, exciting phase of its evolution.”

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