Royal Opera House makes Tate man its new chief

LONDON Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:57pm GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Opera House appointed a figure from one of the country's most prominent art galleries as its new head on Tuesday, filling a post left open when the last opera chief left to head the scandal-hit state broadcaster.

Alex Beard, 49, deputy director of Tate, a family of four art galleries, was a surprise appointment as he has never worked in the performing arts. He will take up the 250,000 pound a year position at the start of the 2013/14 season.

Hall became Royal Opera House head in 2001, helping to restore stability to the Convent Garden theatre that faced insolvency in the late 1990s.

Last November he was named BBC director general to replace George Entwistle who stepped down after 54 days in the role as a sex abuse scandal threw the state-funded organisation into turmoil.

Simon Robey, chairman of the Opera House's board of trustees, said Beard brought managerial experience to help forge partnerships and "lead the Opera House to still greater heights".

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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