top of page

About the organisation

OperaUpClose is a national touring opera company with storytelling, partnership and innovation at its heart. Intimate in scale and mighty in impact.


Founded by Robin Norton Hale in 2009, OperaUpClose immediately established itself as a fresh new voice for opera, winning the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Opera Production for our inaugural production of La Bohème. We have grown from this first production in a 35-seat theatre above a pub; to the opera company with the widest geographical reach pre-pandemic; to the only full-time resident opera company in the South West, working with multi-artform collaborators from our home at the dynamic cultural hub MAST, Southampton.


In April 2023 OperaUpClose was, for the first time, included in Arts Council England’s National Portfolio , a powerful and transformative endorsement of our exciting and ambitious artistic plans. We are also generously supported by a network of Trusts, Foundations and individual supporters. Our Artistic Director/CEO, Flora McIntosh, is providing fantastic executive and artistic leadership to our small, directly-employed core team. We also work with diverse groups of freelance creative and production talent on all our productions.


Our status as a National Portfolio Organisation, and our base at MAST in Southampton, provide a brilliant foundation from which to grow the impact of our work at both a local and national scale.

About the role

OperaUpClose is governed by a Board of Trustees, which has a standing Finance sub-committee.


The organisation utilises Xero accounting software as its financial accounting and reporting system. We attempt to report month-end management accounts by 7 days after the relevant month end to our Finance Committee.

We are supported by an external accountant who supports with Tax (Theatre Tax Relief), VAT returns and payroll, as well as some ad-hoc tasks relating to Xero reconciliations.


OperaUpClose is seeking to work with a qualified or part qualified volunteer who would be able to help with the month end reconciliation and preparation of the management accounts.


The role will require 1-2 days input at each month end (ideally across a week at the start of each month).

  • Working with the Company Adminstrator in answering queries on reconciliations not completed after month end
  • Reviewing VAT submissions before submission by OperaUpClose's accountant
  • Identify any anomalies on balance sheet accounts which would require investigation
  • Complete the first draft of the month end management accounts narrative, in discussion with the Executive Producer (based on template already in use)
  • On the job training/mentoring
  • Accounting advice to the Executive Team
  • Provide a walk through with the Executive Producer and CE in advance of circulating papers to the Finance Committee and board
  • Responding to ad-hoc financial/accounting questions

Our ideal candidate

OperaUpClose are looking for a committed and passionate finance professional to work with us on a voluntary basis as we develop the depth and scope of our work as a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO).


Ideally we'd like someone able to come into our office at MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton, but this is not essential and the role could be done remotely.


Skills and qualities

  • Qualified or part qualified accountant
  • Tax experience would be ideal but not essential
  • Ability to train and upskill unqualified admin team members
  • Enthusiastic about the arts
  • Passionate about using public money to provide the greatest value of outcomes

What’s in it for you

OperaUpClose's executive team have a good understanding of finances and budgets, being experienced producers working in the arts. However, the overall team lacks capacity in terms of being able to work through both the volume of reconciliations and the specific expertise which would allow the organisation to undertake reconciliations more quickly, and identify any issues (e.g. VAT categorisation or balance sheet anomalies) before these are reviewed by the Executive Producer.


Supporting our work would have a huge impact on the team's ability to process and manage our finances efficiently. We're a small, committed and busy team and this would give us more time to focus on other tasks. We'd welcome a volunteer as part of the team and hope that they'd also be able to participate in the wider work of the organisation, having an impact on our financial strategy and coming along to events and shows, in Southampton or on our touring dates around the country. You'd be a key part of helping us achieve our objectives:


- Improving the availability, relevance and reach of opera by taking high-quality, affordable productions to places and people across the UK not otherwise well-served by opera and the arts more widely.

- Producing at an intimate scale as an active artistic choice, strengthening our commitment to give all performers equal agency as storytellers and breaking down barriers between pit, stage and audience.

- Working with composers and writers to commission re-interpretations of known work that distill the essence of classic operas into new, contemporary chamber works with their own artistic integrity and excellence.

- Commissioning new cross-disciplinary companion pieces in partnership with exceptional arts organisations from across the UK, co-creating with community and school groups.

- Creating work made with and for very young children, engaging a new generation in the power of musical storytelling.

- Supporting new voices within the art-form with paid training programmes for emerging producers, directors, conductors and performers through our Early Career Associate Artist Scheme.

- Diversifying both those who make opera (including performers, writers, designers and directors) and those who watch it by engaging people of all genders, ethnicities, backgrounds & economic means as audience, as

performers & behind the scenes.

- Creating legacy and impact by enriching the repertoire with excellent new work that will last and be of future value for organisations and audiences across the UK.

Apply for the role

Click here to upload your CV
Click here to upload your covering letter (optional)

Please enter all required information!

Thank you, your application has been submitted

Please provide a cover note if it is requested in the role description. Applications which are personalised, setting out your motivations for volunteering for the organisation and relevant skills/experience, are far more likely to be successful.

Voluntary Accountancy Support


Apply by

10 Jun 2024






Other volunteer role

Time commitment

1-3 hours per week
bottom of page