Richard Davidson-Houston

Richard Davidson-Houston became Glyndebourne’s Managing Director in October 2022.

Richard Davidson-Houston became Glyndebourne’s Managing Director in October 2022.
Collaborating closely with artistic director Stephen Langridge, Richard’s focus is to ensure that Glyndebourne remains, in his words, ‘one of the cultural wonders of the world’.

Richard first joined Glyndebourne at the end of 2019 as Director of Audience Development and Media. He oversaw the organisation’s communications strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic, placing audience retention at the forefront of Glyndebourne’s response. The streaming series Glyndebourne Open House – a full-length Glyndebourne opera available for free each Sunday for the duration of the cancelled Festival 2020 – accumulated 850,000 views across 60 countries, many from those experiencing Glyndebourne for the first time.

Glyndebourne Open House was the beginning of Richard’s dive into our rich digital catalogue and paved the way for the launch of Glyndebourne Encore, the dedicated streaming platform which went live in December 2021.

Richard’s ability to simplify the business proposition and connect an organisation with its customers, often exploiting or developing new technology, has been a constant throughout his career. Following a degree in English Literature at the University of York, Richard spent time in business strategy, then launched (and later sold) his own research and design consultancy before arriving at Microsoft, where he oversaw the rise of the market-leading MSN services including Messenger and Hotmail. Other highlights followed with the broadcaster Channel 4, where Richard led the organisation’s digital transformation, culminating in the launch and management of its on-demand channel All 4.

Though he has been at the forefront of the digital revolution throughout his career, technology is only the enabler. Richard’s greatest passion is for driving organisations to be the best versions of themselves, galvanising the talents of the team around him to ensure business success – thinking boldly about what should come next, adapting strategy while remaining true to core values and purpose.

All of which has led him to Glyndebourne. Sussex born and bred, Richard’s first Glyndebourne experience was in the early 1980s on a school trip to one of our Performances for Schools. He’s happy to admit that any seeds this may have planted took rather a long time to germinate, but he’s delighted to have rediscovered opera later in life.

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