A former partner and Chairman of the accounting firm Ernst & Young, David is an experienced company director. His current directorships include Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited, Nuplex Industries Limited and The New Zealand Refining Company Limited where he is Chairman. He is based in Auckland.
Dame Malvina Major was born in Hamilton, New Zealand. After winning the New Zealand Mobil Song Quest and the Melbourne Sun Aria, Dame Malvina went to London to study at the London Opera Centre. She won the Kathleen Ferrier competition while studying at the London Opera Centre. In New Zealand her singing teacher was Dame Sister Mary Leo, and in London she was taught by Ruth Packer from the Royal College of Music. Read more
Thomas is the eldest of Dame Malvina’s ten grandchildren. He has had the privilege of attending many performances and rehearsals where Dame Malvina has been the star performer, often being allowed backstage to meet the other performers. Although he has not graced the stage with Dame Malvina (unlike his brother Mitchell in Madama Butterfly), Thomas and his siblings were often involved in practices when Dame Malvina visited the family farm in Opunake. Thomas is currently working for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and was asked by Dame Malvina to join the Trust Board to ensure her legacy continues and the Foundation remains connected with Dame Malvina’s family into the future.
Alan is a former Partner and Chair of consulting firm EY. He is an independent director for a number of private companies, on the Council of Victoria University of Wellington and is Chair of the City Gallery Wellington Foundation.
Gretchen is Chief Executive for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held since 2013. Formerly Principal Clarinet with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, she is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and founding member of 175 East, an Auckland based contemporary music ensemble. Gretchen is a trustee for the Chamber Music New Zealand Foundation, an advisory member of the Christchurch City Council’s Arts Strategy Committee and an external assessor and member of the Arts Advocacy panel for Creative New Zealand.
Anna completed a Master of Music at the Guildhall School of Music in London before enjoying an opera career in Europe, singing in houses such as La Monnaie, Opera du Rhin and the Palau de la Musica. After returning to New Zealand following the birth of her first child, in 2013 she co-founded Festival Opera and the Project Prima Volta programme, which shines a light on opera as an educative tool, accessible to all young people, regardless of their circumstances.
Susan is a lawyer and the Chief Executive Officer of Financial Services Complaints Ltd, an approved dispute resolution scheme. In 2017 Susan was awarded a Women in Law Corporate Lawyer of the Year award from the Lawyer Month publication, recognising achievement and success amongst women in the legal profession. Susan is also a public member of the Advertising Standards Complaints Appeal Board. Susan has had a love of opera and been a great admirer of Dame Malvina Major for many years and has regularly supported both the Foundation and NZ Opera. She is passionate about helping young opera singers to realise their potential.
Jenny Wollerman is a Senior Lecturer in Classical Voice at Victoria University’s Te Kōki New Zealand School of Music. After completing her Master of Music in Opera at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and advanced courses at the Banff Centre of the Arts in Canada and the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh she returned to pursue her career in Australasia. She has appeared as soprano soloist with key arts organisations throughout New Zealand and Australia, including the NZSO, NZ International Arts Festival, NZ Opera, Auckland Philharmonia and the Tasmanian, Adelaide and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, and has released several CD recordings of music by New Zealand composers. She has acted as an external assessor for postgraduate examinations at universities throughout New Zealand and has been adjudicator for national singing competitions and awards such as the New Zealand Aria and Mobil Song Quest.
Martin Snell is one of New Zealand’s most prominent international bass singers who serves as an overseas consultant to the Trustees and mentor to young artists in Europe. Born and educated in Dunedin, Martin studied law before undertaking postgraduate vocal studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He has received many awards and scholarships including winning the 1993 Mobil Song Quest and a scholarship from the Peter Moores Foundation, London. Based in Switzerland, Martin has performed in major concert halls and opera houses of the world including Teatro alla Scala, Milan.
Currently based in Dunedin, Anna Leese is a Classical Vocal Tutor in the School of Performing Arts, University of Otago. Anna has performed at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Classical Opera Company, Opera Köln, Flanders Opera, Opera Holland Park, Canadian Opera Company, and for New Zealand Opera. A multiple award winner, she has also represented New Zealand in the Cardiff Singer of the World competition.