Sarah Ernest Butler Chair
Managing Director Perryn Leech, born in Brighton, England, joined Houston Grand Opera as technical and production director in the 2006–07 season. He became chief operating officer in August 2010, and in May 2011 was appointed the company’s managing director, overseeing all aspects of the company’s operations. When HGO was displaced from its home, the Wortham Theater Center, due to devastating flood damage from Hurricane Harvey, he located a new performance venue in the George R. Brown Convention Center and led HGO’s technical and production team in building a theater in the space—in less than two weeks. He joined Houston Grand Opera after five years at Welsh National Opera (WNO) as technical director, and four years as production manager at English National Opera. His extensive freelance career included serving as the head of lighting at the Edinburgh International Festival, one of the largest and most prestigious arts festivals in the world. In 2016, he was appointed by Mayor Sylvester Turner to serve on his Quality of Life Transition Committee. He is chairman of the board for Theater District Houston and serves as a board member of Houston Grand Opera, Central Houston, and Opera America. In addition, he is a board member and treasurer of the Houston Arts Combined Endowment Foundation and board member and secretary of the Wortham Center Operating Company. This past August, he was named one of Houston’s most admired business leaders in the nonprofit category by the Houston Business Journal, one of 35 for-profit leaders and 13 nonprofit leaders to receive this inaugural award. He is married to author Caroline Leech and is proud father to three children, Jemma, Kirsty, and Rory.