The board of the National Opera Studio (NOS) is delighted to announce the appointment of Nicholas Allan as its new chair, taking over from Sir Vernon Ellis who reaches the end of his term, having served as Chair since 2012.  Nicholas will take up his new role from June 2019.

Alongside his wide knowledge of and commitment to opera, Nicholas brings to the board a wealth of financial and commercial expertise and experience. He has been on the board of English National Opera since 2009, latterly as Deputy Chairman and Chair of Finance, where he will reach the end of his term in May. He is also a trustee of The Two Moors Festival and the Sir Ernest Cassel Educational Trust and a Director of Lindsell Train Investment Trust.

Responding to the announcement of his appointment, Nicholas said: “Over my years involved in opera, one of the things that has most inspired me is seeing a succession of promising young singers mature into real artists. I am thrilled to become the Chair of the National Opera Studio, which is at the forefront of opera training in the United Kingdom and plays such an important part in that process,” adding “It is a particularly exciting time to be joining the NOS, as it develops its position as a sector supporting organisation, taking the lead on introducing new wide-reaching initiatives to increase the diversity of our art form and provide support to mid-career singers.

NOS Trustee Sue Walter, who led the Chair Nominations Committee said: "It was always going to be difficult to replace Sir Vernon Ellis, and it is a credit to his legacy that we had such a high calibre of candidates apply for the position.  We are delighted to be welcoming Nicholas as the new Chair of NOS. He brings a wealth of commercial experience as well as a passion for opera and talent development, and I have no doubt that he will be a great addition to the Studio as it moves forward with the next stage of its development".

Outgoing chair Sir Vernon Ellis said: “I am very proud of what the team have achieved over the last seven years.  The distinctive core training is still at the heart of the organisation and stronger than ever.  But with a new organisation model under a dynamic Chief Executive, we have worked with the opera world to address wider issues in the whole talent development ecosystem, and have taken a leading role in developing new approaches to improving diversity and helping singers through their later careers.”

NOS Chief Executive Emily Gottlieb today welcomed the announcement of the appointment.  She said: “The relationship between a Chair and Chief Executive is very important, and I have been fortunate to have been supported by Sir Vernon’s guidance and experience during my first four years in post. I am very much looking forward to working closely with Nicholas on widening the Studio’s role in supporting and helping to develop the opera sector of the future”.  

To find out more about the work of the National Opera Studio, visit


Notes to Editors:

Nicholas Allan was Managing Partner of Boyer Allan Investment Management LLP (a specialist Asian fund management company) from 1998 to 2012. Prior to setting up Boyer Allan he had senior roles with Kleinwort Benson in London, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong. His principal business interest now is in Indian hospitality.

The National Opera Studio (NOS) celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2018. It is unique, being the only studio of its kind to work in partnership with not one but six leading opera companies: English National Opera (ENO), Glyndebourne, Opera North, Royal Opera House (ROH), Scottish Opera and Welsh National Opera (WNO). The Studio’s mission, in partnership with these companies, is to play a leadership role in the development of operatic talent for the resilience of the art form, through high-quality training, support and dialogue. Through its partnerships it creates world-class development opportunities for artists of exceptional promise and will become a resource for the sector.

Being independent, the NOS is not subject to main stage activity and does not cast dependent on productions: it selects young artists purely on merit. The Studio’s independence, the strength of its opera company partnerships and world-class coaching is key to its success. Artists on its programmes undergo intensive, bespoke training that is individually designed around their vocal and developmental needs. The NOS trains 12 singers and 4 répétiteurs each year on its Exceptional Talent Programme, and through short courses and other programmes it also develops and create diverse pathways for emerging talent.

In 2016, the NOS commissioned a report into the UK Opera Training Ecology. In response to the report, the NOS has expanded its vision to provide programmes and initiatives which aim to address the most pressing areas for development within the opera training sector. New initiatives include Diverse Voices, which will include a national network to build progression routes and ultimately improve the diversity of opera singers on our stages, and Talent in Transition, which will support singers going through transitional stages in mid-career.