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27 April 2022: The State Opera South Australia Board has today announced that Yarmila Alfonzetti will step down as their Executive Director later in May to take up a new appointment as the Queensland Symphony Orchestra Chief Executive in Brisbane, effective from July 2022.

John Irving, Chairman of the State Opera Board said that Yarmila’s commitment over the last four years has been commendable and thanked her for her leadership and loyalty to the company.

“Working alongside Artistic Director Stuart Maunder, Yarmila has revitalised and re-imagined State Opera into the thriving major performing arts company it is today; a company with a big vision, a busy roster of productions and projects, and a diverse and expanding audience. She has done an outstanding job, been a positive contributor to the company and on behalf of the Board we wish her every success in her new venture – she will be missed,” he said.

Ms Alfonzetti was equally grateful to the Board of Directors.

“I can’t thank the State Opera Board and my entire team enough for their trust, support and friendship; I feel very lucky to now have a South Australian network for life,” she said.

Over her tenure, Ms Alfonzetti was responsible for steering the flagship South Australian arts organisation, implementing a robust strategy, securing future State and Federal funding as well as multiple major grants, implementing professional systems and online tools, navigating and weathering the COVID pandemic and the engagement of a high-performing team amongst other achievements.

She went on to say that her departure was bittersweet.

“I am incredibly excited about this new challenge but leaving this brilliant company and the people in it will be hard. One of the highlights, hands down, has been working with the wonderful Stuart Maunder. Idiosyncratic, iconoclastic, very funny and very clever – this man has made every day memorable. Married with an incredible group of talented individuals, I know that I leave the company in safe hands.

“Whilst I have a soft spot for each and every production, supporting the team in delivering unforgettable and transformative works like Carmen in the Square, Sweeney Todd, Cunning Little Vixen and the recent Boheme on the Beach has been an incredible honour,” she said.

Prior to her appointment at State Opera, Ms Alfonzetti has held prior roles as the CEO of Sydney Youth Orchestras, the Head of External Relations at the Sydney Conservatorium, and the Head of Classical Music at Sydney Opera House. Her experience in arts management and classical music programming includes lengthy contracts with the Perth Festival as Classical Music Advisor, and with the Sydney Opera House as the Curator of the renowned Utzon Music Series for more than 10 consecutive years. She holds a Bachelor of Musicology Hons., a Master of Project Management and is recognised by the Australian Institute of Project Management as a Certified Practising Portfolio Executive.

Ms Alfonzetti said that she had loved her time in Adelaide and has savoured the challenges and the excitement that this period brought into her life, particularly navigating the effects of the pandemic on the arts.

“COVID didn’t stop us from being creative and productive, and as an arts leader it certainly required the majority of my focus and energy to ensure that we always remained relevant and connected,” she said.

Ms Alfonzetti has worked at State Opera as the Executive Director for more than four years. She leaves the role on 27 May 2022 and starts at the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane in July 2022. The recruitment announcement for the incoming Executive Director will be made soon with an appointment expected later in the year. ENDS.