When Limelighttalks to Fiona Allan an hour after Opera Australia announcedthat she has been appointed as the company’s next Chief Executive Officer, she admits to feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the messages that have been flooding in.

“I am glad the cat is out of the bag because it’s a funny period between accepting a job and knowing it’s all going on, and the announcement. You just want to get it over with. I wanted the news to be out as I was afraid I would let something slip!” she says.

Allan is speaking from the UK, where she has lived since 2004. She is currently the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome, a position she has held since 2015, having previously worked as Chief Executive of Leicester’s Curve Theatre, and Artistic Director of the Wales Millennium Centre.

Fiona Allan

After 17 years away, she is thrilled to be returning to Sydney, where she was born, to take up the CEO role at Opera Australia. She replaces Rory Jeffes, who