Wales

Welsh National Opera: First woman to chair directors' board

Yvette Vaughan Jones has become the first woman to chair the WNO's board of directors Image copyright WNO
Image caption Yvette Vaughan Jones has become the first woman to chair the WNO's board of directors

The Welsh National Opera has appointed a woman to chair its board of directors for the first time.

Yvette Vaughan Jones has previously worked for the Arts Council of Wales, the Welsh Government and local authorities.

She will shortly leave her post as chief executive of Visiting Arts to take up her new role.

Ms Jones will leave her position as chairwoman of No Fit State Circus in December 2019.

She said she was "thrilled" with her new position.

"WNO is a fantastic organisation whose origins are well known to have been formed in the community choirs for which Wales is rightly famous," Ms Jones said.

"I think that national organisations will need to be very different in the 21st Century. 

"There is an ever increasing need to show how the national companies reflect the widely differing interests of the people of Wales and England from Anglesey to Ely."

Ms Jones, who wrote Cardiff's 2008 city of culture bid, called the WNO "a beacon of quality and excellence."

She said: "The challenge is to show how the light from that beacon not only shines in the smaller towns and villages across Wales but also it illuminates the desires and interests, giving a voice, through opera, to many more people."

Five other women - Lynne Berry, Manon Edwards Ahir, Aileen Richards, Dr Chitra Bharucha and Nicola Amery - have also been appointed to the board.

WNO board nominations committee chairman Andrew Miller said: "I am delighted that all our appointments are women and that for the first time in our 73 year history, WNO will have a female Chair in Yvette Vaughan Jones."

He called the board "perhaps the most inclusive" in UK opera.

WNO general director Aidan Lang said Yvette Jones would be "a tremendous asset".

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