Experienced arts leader Lou Oppenheim has been appointed as Executive Director of Sydney Dance Company.
New Executive Director
We are delighted to announce that Lou Oppenheim has been appointed as Executive Director of Sydney Dance Company and will take up post mid-February 2022. Anne Dunn, Executive Director since 2010, steps away from the role in mid-January to take up the post of Executive Director and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Sydney Theatre Company.
Lou is a highly experienced strategic leader with more than 18 years’ experience in the performing arts and is passionate about connecting artists with audiences through the power of live performance, community engagement and the development of the next generation of artists and arts workers.
She has most recently been Director of Production & Events at Sydney Opera House and has been Create Infrastructure Senior Manager (Create NSW), General Manager of Circus Oz and Director of Operations of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
“I am thrilled to welcome Lou to the Sydney Dance Company family. Lou represents a tremendous cultural fit, with a highly engaged and thoughtful leadership style and the capabilities to build on the strong foundations laid by Anne. Sydney Dance Company remains unashamedly ambitious, and Lou brings the skills and experience to help us scale new heights. Our Board was particularly attracted by her strategic acumen and depth of experience in the live performance industry. The coming year promises to be another significant one with a packed program of shows, training, and education activities. It’s great that Lou will be at the helm alongside Raf for this next phase of our journey.” Brett Clegg, Sydney Dance Company Chair
“I am delighted to welcome Lou as our new Executive Director and look forward to working in partnership with her. Her breadth of experience is outstanding. Lou joins us at an exciting time for Sydney Dance Company as we embark on a year incorporating six world premieres, two encore works, national and international tours and a new independent dance season. There is much to achieve, and I know that Lou joins us with great ambition to propel the Company to further success.” Rafael Bonachela, Sydney Dance Company’s Artistic Director
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside everyone at Sydney Dance Company. I have long admired the energy and artistry of the Company’s dancers, as well as the organisation’s vision, broad community reach and strong commercial foundation. I pay tribute to the leadership of Anne Dunn and look forward to collaborating with Rafael and the Board at this exciting time in the Company’s history, including next year’s return to a full schedule of local, national and international performances.” Lou Oppenheim, incoming Executive Director Sydney Dance Company
Lou will join Sydney Dance Company in February 2022 and will report to the Sydney Dance Company Board.
Lou Oppenheim Biography
Lou is a strategic leader with more than 18 years’ experience in the performing arts, and with a passion for connecting artists with audiences through the power of live performance, community engagement and the development of the next generation of artists and arts workers. She has an extensive background in venue management, leadership roles in producing companies alongside national and international touring.
Lou began her professional career at the global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG), working across Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America in a breadth of industries ranging from telecommunications to transport.
Lou has worked in the performing arts since 2003, and most recently was the Director, Production & Events at the Sydney Opera House. In this position she was responsible for the strategic leadership and overall management of performance and event delivery, together with related planning, production and technical services. Her broad portfolio encompassed venue and event sales, event operations and planning, production services and recording and broadcasting services. Specific achievements included leadership of all COVID-Safe planning for performances, and oversight of all operational requirements in preparation for the Concert Hall reopening.
Previous roles have included Create Infrastructure Senior Manager (Create NSW), Circus Oz General Manager, and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) Director of Operations.This followed a strategic planning role at the MSO made possible under a non-for-profit secondment through BCG.
Lou is a Board Member and Treasurer of Theatre Network Australia (TNA) and deputy chair of ELISION Ensemble. She has also been an Arts Administration Tutor for the Australian Youth Orchestra and Chair of the City of Yarra Arts Advisory Committee. Lou holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Computer) and Bachelor of Arts (German,Linguistics) from the University of Melbourne.