Our new Development Coordinator, Marylou Sauviat joins us for a Spotlight interview, in which she speaks with passion about the importance of our Young Artists scheme, the British weather, and her love of ballet and hiking.
Can you tell us about your role at Opera Holland Park?
I recently joined Opera Holland Park in May 2023 as a Development Coordinator. I have the privilege of working closely with our valued Gold, Silver, and Envoy members. My main focus is to ensure that these members have a wonderful experience and receive the utmost support throughout their engagement with us. In addition to my work with them, I will soon take on the responsibility of overseeing our dedicated volunteers who generously offer their time to help Opera Holland Park. They play a crucial role here, and I will ensure they have a rewarding and positive experience while contributing to the success of our performances
How did you get into working in Development?
My interest in working in development was sparked during my time at the Franks Family Foundation, where I witnessed first-hand how their programs empower young children to shape a brighter future for themselves. Seeing the incredible work the foundation was accomplishing, and the positive impact it had on the children, left an indelible mark on me. My profound admiration for the foundation’s work, coupled with the unwavering commitment of its founder, consultants, and the team to creating positive change, is what inspired me to explore the field of development with the aim of making a meaningful impact on the causes I deeply care about.
Do you have a favourite opera?
There are still so many operas that I have yet to see! I am still considering myself in the process of discovering and appreciating the vast and beautiful repertoire it offers. So far it has been an exciting journey for me, and I have had the privilege of learning from our passionate supporters who are graciously sharing their knowledge with me.
This season, I loved watching the performance of Hansel and Gretel by our Young Artists. It was captivating to see them on our stage performing with such talent. What made it even more special was knowing that they had the guidance and resources they needed to flourish, thanks to the support of our Young Artist Circle members.
What was your first summer at Opera Holland Park like? Was there anything that surprised you?
My first summer at Opera Holland Park was a whirlwind of excitement. It was a fantastic experience getting to know the wonderful members whose generous support allows us to return to Holland Park every year. Building meaningful relationships with them was a highlight.
One surprising aspect was the remarkably pleasant weather we enjoyed! I had anticipated more rain during our performances and was concerned it might discourage our spectators, but even though we had a fair share of traditional British summer weather, our audience showed up with smiles on their faces.
What are you most looking forward to in the next year at Opera Holland Park?
I am looking forward to seeing the revival of the 2008 production of Tosca, which I heard was a triumph. Everyone at Opera Holland Park is thrilled to see it brought back to stage.
Additionally, I am excited to meet the new members who will be joining us, and learning why they have chosen to support Opera Holland Park. It is always inspiring to hear the unique stories and motivations behind our supporters.
What do you believe the role of Members and Supporters is at Opera Holland Park?
The role of our Members and Supporters is the key to our success. Beyond their financial contributions, they help us spread the word about our work, attracting new audiences. It is their enthusiasm and passion for opera that inspires others to get involved. Some among them generously support our Young Artist program, which helps young talent to grow. Others recognise the importance of commissioning new works and provide their support behind innovative productions such as Itch.
Can you tell us about something you enjoy doing outside of work and opera?
I have been doing ballet since I was three years old, and trained to become a ballet dancer. Although that chapter has closed, I still love taking ballet classes and watching performances. Back in France, I loved going to ballet shows from the Opéra national de Paris, and since relocating to the United Kingdom, I have taken pleasure in exploring productions by different companies!
I have recently picked up a new hobby, which is pottery. I can’t say I have mastered it yet, but I am having fun learning. I am also a huge fan of the outdoors and hiking, especially in Annecy, France. It is a nice contrast to the hustle and bustle of London, and it is one of my favourite ways to unwind whenever I have the chance to visit.