Michael Williams, Managing Director of Africa’s premier opera company, Cape Town Opera, will be leaving the company after 28 years to become the CEO at the Buxton International Festival, one of the UK’s leading arts festivals.

Williams said “It has been a wonderful journey with Cape Town Opera over the last twenty-eight years and I am deeply grateful to the staff, the singers and to the members of the board – all of whom have played such an important role in my life.”

The Cape Town Opera Board of Directors are sad to be losing a dynamic Managing Director but equally excited and proud for Williams with his new appointment at the Buxton International Festival.  “Under Michael’s strong and inspiring leadership, Cape Town Opera has become an internationally acclaimed company. We will all miss his drive and creativity and congratulate Michael, wishing him every success in his new position.” said Susan Smith, Board Chair for Cape Town Opera.

Williams has played an integral role in the development and success of the company, more specifically its touring programme.  His business flair coupled with his artistic passion was the driving force in securing international engagements for the company to perform on stages in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Kenya, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Wales, the United Kingdom, Australia, Argentina, Ireland, China and the UAE.

Elise Brunelle, who joined the company in 2005 and has been CTO’s Financial Manager for the past nine years, will take over from Williams as Acting CEO.  Over the past 13 years Brunelle has worked closely with Williams to ensure a sustainable business model for CTO.  “We have complete confidence in Elise and know that she brings what Cape Town Opera needs as a world class opera company.” said Cape Town Opera’s Board of Directors.