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In conversation: Alex Beard, Chief Executive, Royal Opera House and Peter Mather, bp Group Regional President for Europe and Head of Country UK

Release date:
2 October 2017
On Wednesday 4 October Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, and  Peter Mather, bp Group Regional  President for Europe and Head of Country UK will share insights into the running of two of the world’s leading organisations
Watch a replay of the lecture

Hosted by Martin Green, Hull City of Culture’s Chief Executive and Director, Alex and Peter will explore the synergies between the two companies that may appear to have little in common but have enjoyed a long-standing relationship for almost 30 years.


Find out what keeps these two leaders awake at night and what they wish they’d known when they first started in their respective roles.

Alex Beard was appointed Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House in 2013 following 19 years at Tate where he was Deputy Director since 2002. With a life-long love of opera and a passionate enthusiasm for ballet, Alex describes his role as his dream job.


Peter Mather was appointed Head of Country, UK in January 2004.  His job then expanded to include the role of Regional President for Europe in 2010. 

Peter’s career in bp has included oil trading, refining and shipping, in London, New York, Paris and Brussels; senior strategic planning roles, initially in bp's upstream Global Gas group,  and then in the Corporate Centre; and responsibility for BP’s Gas & Power business in the UK. 


The bp Cultural Visions Lecture Series offers the opportunity to listen to the challenges and the obstacles faced by some of the UK’s leading creative and business figures, how this shaped them into the people they are today and to be part of the conversation around a cultural vision for the future. Featuring varied and prominent speakers, this is a fresh space to investigate and celebrate innovation and passion. A collaboration between bp and the University of Hull, it is designed to spark cultural conversation with monthly lectures throughout 2017.


The event will take place at 6.30pm on Wednesday 4 October in Middleton Hall at the University of Hull as part of the bp Cultural Visions Lecture Series.


Book online at: hull2017.co.uk/culturalvisions and culturenet.co.uk


For media enquiries, please contact Sian Alexander in the University of Hull press office on 01482 462193 or s.alexander@hull.ac.uk

Notes to editors

bp support for UK Arts & Culture

In the UK, BP is a major supporter of the arts with a programme that spans over 50 years. bp’s investment in long term partnerships with the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House, and the Royal Shakespeare Company represent one of the most significant long-term corporate investments in UK arts and culture www.bp.com/arts.


bp is a global energy company with wide reach across the world’s energy system. The energy we produce serves to power economic growth and lift people out of poverty. In the future, the way heat, light and mobility are delivered will change. We aim to anchor our business in these changing patterns of demand, rather than in the quest for supply. We have a real contribution to make the world’s ambition of a low carbon future. We have operations in Europe, North and South America, Australasia, Asia and Africa, and employ around 75,000 people.


BP Hull is home to some of bp’s most innovative operations. We own and operate a chemical manufacturing facility which is the largest producer of acetic acid and acetic anhydride in Europe. bp is at the forefront of research and technology in the petrochemicals field, and Hull is one of our principle global centres for petrochemicals research and technology. In addition, Hull hosts part of bp’s Centre of Expertise in Applied Chemistry and Physics (AC&P). Earlier this year, we marked our 50thanniversary at bp Hull.  


Fast facts:

  • 74,500 employees
  • 72 countries
  • 17,810 million boe proved reserves
  • 18,000 retail sites
  •  6,000+ marine voyages completed by bp-operated and chartered vessels
  • $115 million profit attributable to bp shareholders
  • 3.3 million boepd production
  • $2.6 billion underlying replacement cost profit
  • 109% group proved reserves replacement ratio


University of Hull

Creativity lives and breathes at the University of Hull – always has done, always will.


As a catalyst for creativity we are a keen supporter of arts and culture within our community and beyond – and now, as a principal partner of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 we are delighted to be an integral part of the celebrations.


The University of Hull is playing a significant role in producing and hosting some of the spectacular events that form part of the Hull 2017 programme including, in the first few months alone, an exhibition of drawings from some of art’s prominent masters from Matisse to Michelangelo; a film festival dedicated to Oscar-winning Director Minghella who kick-started his career here; and an exhibition of bp Portrait Award Commissions from the National Portrait Gallery featuring famous faces from Paul Smith to J.K. Rowling. Some of this activity is being held in our newly relaunched Middleton Hall which, following a £9.5million redevelopment, is now a world-class concert and arts venue.


University of Hull students, graduates and staff are at the heart of the programming with conferences, concerts and festivals showcasing their talent. In addition, as the exclusive academic partner we are an official partner in creativity and in helping to pave the way for future generations.

For further information visit www.hull.ac.uk


Hull UK City of Culture 2017

Hull UK City of Culture 2017 is a 365 day programme of cultural events and creativity inspired by the city and told to the world. Hull secured the title of UK City of Culture 2017 in November 2013. It is only the second city to hold the title and the first in England. Divided into four seasons, this nationally significant event draws on the distinctive spirit of the city and the artists, writers, directors, musicians, revolutionaries and thinkers that have made such a significant contribution to the development of art and ideas.


The Culture Company was set up to deliver the Hull 2017 programme and is an independent organisation with charitable status. It has raised £32 million, with over 70 partners supporting the project, including public bodies, trusts and foundations and local and national businesses.


Key contributions are coming from: Host City – Hull City Council; Principal Partners - Arts Council England, BBC, Big Lottery Fund, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, KCOM, KWL, Spirit of 2012, Yorkshire Water and the University of Hull; Major Partners –Associated British Ports, Arco, bp, the British Council, British Film Institute, Green Port Hull, Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, MKM Building Supplies, P&O Ferries, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Sewell Group, Siemens, Smith & Nephew and Wykeland Group. The National Lottery has contributed more than £10m of this funding, making it the largest single funding body for Hull 2017.


For information go to www.visithull.org/


Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House presents more than 400 performances at the iconic Covent Garden theatre in London each year reaching an audience of more than 700,000.  Beyond that people enjoy world class performances of opera and ballet across the globe through ROH Cinema Season, World Ballet Day, Royal Opera House YouTube Channel (over 269,000 subscribers), bp Big Screens and other online and interactive projects. The Royal Opera House also plays a leading role through its Learning and Participation Department, community engagement, skills development, professional training and cultural regeneration in the UK.