Tell us a bit about your working history and how you came about this role at the RPO.
After studying a music degree at King’s College, London, and deciding performing wasn’t for me, I had a short stint working as a Recruitment Consultant, which I hated! After that, I was lucky enough to win an internship in the concerts department of another orchestra in London, and I’ve never looked back. I made the shift to tour managing about eight years ago and joined the RPO three years ago. The combination of working with the wonderful RPO, the travelling, and the huge variety of artists, cultures and venues is a constant source of fascination and interest for me.
What’s the best thing about being a Tours Manager?
Working with such a huge variety of artists in many different venues across the world is enthralling and gives one an appreciation for different cultures, as well as our own. But, most importantly, it is a real privilege to tour the globe with the RPO.
And the worst?
The early mornings can be difficult, particularly on a long tour. We often start our journey to the next concert venue very early in the morning in order to check-in for a flight, or to ensure that our coaches don’t get stuck in traffic. And, of course, I am (almost!) always the first one up checking everything is in order for the day ahead.
Describe a typical working day for you (if there is such a thing!).
There is no such thing!! We travel to all corners of the world with all different kinds of programmes, conductors, soloists and often with over 100 musicians. When I am in London, I might spend the first part of the morning queuing at an Embassy with a bag full of passports to lodge visa applications. Once back in the office, I might be drafting a contract for a tour in eighteen months’ time, discussing flight or accommodation arrangements for a tour later in the year or discussing rehearsal requirements with a conductor and their agent. When we are on tour, then my job is to keep track of all the details of the schedule and to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible – for example, ensuring the buses arrive on time; the hotel rooms are ready and prepared ahead of our arrival in each new city; ensuring the group is successfully checked-in to flights and arrive at concert venues on time.
Has the current financial climate affected the way you do your job and if so, how?
Absolutely; it has had an effect on every aspect of orchestral life. In the touring department, we find ourselves finalising and confirming projects much later into the season than in previous years, which puts pressure on us to put all the arrangements and logistics in place in a short amount of time.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love taking long walks around where I live in Surrey with my husband and my SLR camera, especially if there is a nice pub for lunch halfway around! When I get the time, I enjoy knitting and travelling to new countries, exploring new places and cultures, as well as photographing new landscapes and wildlife.