New roles for Blackwood, Cooper and Rattray

South Australian children’s group Patch Theatre Company has appointed Sally Blackwood (pictured) as associate director for its Artistic Director Residency Program. For seven weeks, Blackwood will work closely with Patch Theatre’s artistic director Dave Brown to impart her expertise and learn more about the company. Blackwood has over 15 years’ experience in the performing arts as a director and producer, and has toured productions both nationally and internationally.

Craig Cooper has been appointed as festival director of New Zealand’s Christchurch Arts Festival. Cooper, who was born and raised in Christchurch, is an arts producer who has previously worked at the Sydney Opera House and The Edge in Auckland. The city of Christchurch is still recovering from the devastating earthquakes which hit in 2010 and 2011. Lauren Semple, festival trust chair, said: ‘We liked his vision for the future, building on what has been achieved in the last four years by Philip Tremewan and the team. Craig talks about the eyes of the world being on Christchurch as the city rebuilds and how the arts are leading some of the recovery.’

The Metropolitan Opera has appointed Robert Rattray as its next assistant general manager for artistic affairs. Rattray succeeds Sarah Billinghurst, who has will retire at the end of this season after 20 years with the Met. Rattray is an experienced artist manager, and served as joint chief executive of Askonas Holt from 1998-2013. In his new role, he will work closely with general manager Peter Gelb and music director James Levine to schedule, plan and cast the opera’s performance programme.