The Grand Opera House is Northern Ireland's premier theatre, presenting an outstanding programme of drama, dance, opera, comedy, musicals and family shows. Our Vision and Mission Statements are:
The Theatre is a meeting place for the community where culture, entertainment, experience and participation mix naturally and provide an enriching experience for everyone.
Aims & Values
The Grand Opera House aims:
The Grand Opera House's overriding principles are to respect and champion all arts activities, raise the profile of artists based in Northern Ireland among audiences and critics nationally and internationally, and bring the best national and international productions to Northern Ireland.
Chief Executive: Mary Clare Deane
Mary-Clare Deane took up post as Chief Executive of the Grand Opera House on 1 July 2014.
Prior to her appointment Mary-Clare was a Partnership Director with Capita PLC, where she spent two years leading a public/private partnership in West Sussex. Prior to this, she worked in local government in England and Northern Ireland. She has had extensive experience of working in both the public and private sectors, and brings a wide range of skills to the role.
Originally from Belfast, Mary-Clare was educated at the Queen’s University of Belfast and the University of Ulster.
Brian Forsythe, Programming Co-ordinator
Brian began his career with the Grand Opera House in 2001 and has worked in many aspects of the theatre during this time. He trained in Theatre Management from 2004 – 2006 on a course which he commissioned himself in conjunction with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Brian assists the Head of Programming and coordinates the programming process. He is fully trained in British Sign Language.
Sian Mawhinney, Head of Sales and Marketing
Sian took up the position of Head of Sales and Marketing in October 2010 and is responsible for ensuring the Grand Opera House’s success in the achievement of its attendance and ticket sales income targets.
Ross Hickey, Head of Sales and Marketing (Maternity Cover)
A Philosophy graduate of the Queen’s University of Belfast, Ross completed Parity’s Graduate Management programme in 2005 before becoming Box Office Manager of the Grand Opera House later that year. In June 2014 he was appointed as the maternity cover for the Head of Sales & Marketing position. As well as now leading the Box Office and Marketing teams, Ross has engineered ticketing partnerships with other organisations such as Camerata Ireland and the IFA.
Kathy Crozier, Finance Manager
Kathy joined the Grand Opera House in June 2014. Kathy is a fully qualified accountant and a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Prior to joining Kathy gained extensive experience through senior roles in the not-for-profit sector and the management of an accountancy practice in Belfast. As a trainee accountant, Kathy achieved second place in Ireland in her technician exams. Kathy is responsible for overseeing the running of the finance department which has five team members.
Gerard Lawlor, Customer Services Manager
Gerard joined the Opera House in 2008 and has progressed and developed in a number of roles within the Hospitality Department. Having worked in the Hospitality Industry for almost 20 years he provides a wealth of experience in many aspects of the industry. Gerard manages our largest department and his team is responsible for all Front of house areas of Customer service.
Aine Dolan, Community and Education Manager
Áine graduated from the University of Ulster with a BA Honours in Theatre & Media Studies. She worked in local government before joining the Grand Opera House in 2006 as Education & Programme Manager, running the new studio space, The Baby Grand. With twenty years experience in working in the Arts Sector, Áine has extensive experience in Project Management, Community Engagement and Creative Development. In 2011 Áine completed a post graduate Diploma in Arts Management. Aine also holds a teacher’s Diploma in Speech & Drama. Áine is responsible for all aspects of education, outreach and access.
John Campbell, Facilities Manager
John joined the Grand Opera House in 1999 and his first position in the Theatre was Handyman. He attained a Certificate of Management Studies at Queens University; he is a registered Advanced Environmental Auditor and an Associate member of I.E.M.A. John’s current responsibilities include overseeing all aspects of servicing, maintenance and building projects at the Grand Opera House including managing a team of Housekeepers and a Maintenance Assistant.
Paula Freeman, Technical Manager
Graduating from the University of Ulster with a degree in English Literature and Theatre Studies, Paula began working in the Grand Opera House in July 1998, after securing a technical bursary. She believes this has given her the necessary skills and experience for her current role, which primarily ensures the smooth running and physical changing around of productions.