About Bernard Davies
Bernard Davies is an exceptional administrator with a distinguished reputation of over 25 years’ international experience in opera company management, touring and planning. An articulate, good-humoured and unbiased facilitator who is able to overcome challenges diplomatically and discreetly. A supportive, inspirational and collaborative colleague who consistently achieves the highest professional standards and who is always willing to go the extra mile.
September 2014 - April 2015
The Royal Opera House
Acting Deputy Company Manager
June 2014 - August 2014
Opera Holland Park
Artist Liaison Manager
Artists welfare, day to day running of rehearsals and performances
Artist welfare, day to day scheduling of rehearsals
April - June 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Grange Park Opera
London Company Manager
Responsible for the welfare and planning of rehearsals for four productions.
February 2014 - March 2014
Royal Opera House/Opera North/Aldeburgh Festival
Company Stage Manager
Artist welfare, day to day planning and running of rehearsal logistics.
Company Stage Manager
Assisted the Producer with budgets and contracts. Scheduled and maintained rehearsals as well being responsible for the welfare of the Company.
July - September 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016
British Youth Opera
Company Manager & Mentor
Responsible for the welfare and planning of rehearsals for two productions. Mentoring students and organising logistics for the Season.
January 2012 - April 2012
English National Opera
Acting Company Manager
February 2012 - August 2012
Birmingham Opera Company
Mittwoch aus Licht (Wednesday) as part of the London 2012 Festival
In partnership with the Executive Producer was responsible for contracting both UK and overseas artists, London Voices and Ex Cathedra. Assisting with the day to day co ordination of rehearsals in site specific area, coordinating accommodation requirements along with a myriad of other responsibilities resulting in a such a large scale project.
1991 – 2009
Glyndebourne Festival & Touring Opera
Head of Planning & Company Management
planning, preparing, organising, coordinating and implementing long-term scheduling. Prepared and maintained all rehearsal schedules. Supervised the operation of rehearsals and performances. Liaised with all artists, conductors, orchestras, outside organisations and contacts. Prepared, maintained and stayed within budget for the chorus, prepared and implemented last-minute budget changes. Supervised the Accommodation Manager, Deputy Company Manger and Company Office Assistant.
February - March 2012, 2013
Production Manager Pimlico Opera
Responsible for realising the artistic vision of the designer and director, co ordination of all technical aspects of the production including staffing and scheduling all within budget.
Since embarking of a freelance career in 2010, Bernard has worked with many of the UK’s leading opera companies including Glyndebourne, The Royal Opera, English National Opera, Grange Park Opera, British Youth Opera, Opera North, Opera Holland Park, Birmingham Opera Company, Aldeburgh Festival and Opera Circus, internationally he has worked with The Australian Opera.
He began his career in 1983 as Junior Office Assistant for the Australian Opera, where he remained and learnt his craft over the next 3 years. He became Assistant Company Manager in 1986. Three years later, he was promoted to the position of Company Manager, becoming the Australian Opera’s youngest Head of Department.
In 1991 he became Head of Planning and Company Manager for the internationally-renowned Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Operas. Over the next 18 years, he was instrumental in streamlining the planning and rehearsal processes of both the Festival and Touring Operas. He also overhauled the day-to-day running of rehearsals and artists’ welfare, earning Glyndebourne’s Company Office an international reputation for efficiency and hospitality.
Bernard was influential in the planning, execution and company management of two of Glyndebourne’s most successful overseas tours: to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, and to the Chatelet Theatre, Paris.
In 1996 he co-founded the charity Sarva – “He who does good to all” – working for “the relief of poverty, sickness and distress of those in need” and to “advance the education of children and young people in India, including the award of scholarships.”
After many successful years of dedicated service to Glyndebourne, in 2010 he embarked on a freelance career in order to spend more time on Sarva’s charitable projects.
He has subsequently undertaken consultancy work for Glyndebourne and, since 2010, has maintained the London rehearsals for Grange Park Opera and British Youth Opera. He was Acting Company Manager for English National Opera during the early months of 2012. During the summer of the same year, he was invited to be the Company Manager for Birmingham Opera Company’s critically-acclaimed World Premiere of Stockhausen’s Mittwoch aus Licht, which was part of the London 2012 Festival and winner of the Best Opera at the RPO Awards 2012.
Since 2012 Bernard has been a Member of the Board of Directors for choreographer Ben Wright’s dance performance company bGroup.
He has worked for Pimlico Opera as Production Manager on two of their renowned prison projects, Les Miserables and West Side Story.
As Company Stage Manager, he worked on a co-commission and co-produced production of Cafe Kafka and The Commission with Aldeburgh Music, Opera North and The Royal Opera.
Company Manager for several Opera Circus projects including the inaugural ” The Complete Freedom of Truth” (TCFT), which is a 5 year international project with the ambition to develop global youth citizenship through culture and the arts.
During the 2016 Grange Park Opera Season, he was appointed Executive Director on Jo Davies’ new production of Don Carlo, as well as being London Company Manager. He was also very much involved in the planning of the 2017 Season for the move to the new opera house known as “The Theatre in the Woods” for Grange Park Opera. He is currently the Executive Director of GPO, a position he took up in March 2018 to the present.
Bernard has a keen interest in educating the younger generation of artists on how an opera company operates and what they should expect from future opera employers. He willingly advises young singers on business protocol and behaviour, and is happy to offer talks on his many years experience in Opera Company Management.
DAVID PICKARDGeneral Director, Glyndebourne
“I had the good fortune to work with Bernard Davies for 10 years when he was Head of Planning and Company Manager of Glyndebourne. Bernard took on one of the most challenging roles at Glyndebourne and was an outstanding member of the senior management, respected by all those who worked with him. We were lucky enough to benefit from his remarkable range of skills – necessary in such an important and wide-ranging position. His thoroughness and attention to detail contributed greatly to the success of Glyndebourne’s long term planning while his exceptional interpersonal skills were a huge asset in his role managing the performing company. The affection in which he is held by his colleagues and the many artists who have worked with him is a testament to both the quality of his work and the warmth of his personality.”
PAUL CARRDirector/Stage Manager
"I've known Bernard since 1986 when he became Assistant Company Manager with The Australian Opera. To date, there are few operating in this field with the knowledge and understanding of how an opera company actually works and survives - its singers and directors, chorus, designers, technical staff, orchestra, wigs and wardrobe and the top brass - he is in short, an exceptional man in his own field! If I ran a company, I would without a doubt want him on board!"
"Bernard's talk at the NOS was an invaluable insight into the inner workings of major opera companies, not to mention receiving advice on the profession in general and tips passed on from the lengthy list of international singers who have had the pleasure of working with him over the years."
I have had the pleasure of working with Bernard Davies on several occasions, most notably at Glyndebourne. He is an exceptional company manger in that he is extremely efficient, and also very charming and kind to performers. Whatever problems arise be they personal or professional, he is always willing to help and can be relied on to be supportive, calm and clear headed. On the administration front he is organised and always one step ahead of the game. Any company that employs him is extremely lucky as in Bernard they have basically found a "superman"
"He has always shown a thorough understanding of what was required of him as well as a tactful yet strong way of dealing with the personalities and problems of an opera company. He shows a real initiative in anticipating the myriad of problems which arise in a company .."
RUSSELL MITCHELLArtistic Administrator Opera Australia, 1991
"You have been responsible for the most effective and stable period of Company Management for the Australian Opera for some time .. Your calm and fair presence will be missed .."
DONALD McDONALDGeneral Director, Opera Australia, 1990
"He successfully ran the busy office which required from him the ability to deal tactfully and discreetly with the many personalities among the artists and technical staff"
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