Executive Director

Aaron Carpenè

Aaron Carpenè, conductor, harpsichordist, organist, pianist and early music specialist, has forged a unique path in today’s music performance panorama. The combination of a profound knowledge and performance experience in 17th and 18th century European music and the desire to interact with some of the world’s great and unique performing arts traditions has led to the creation of the pioneering projects Opera Bhutan, a critically acclaimed intercultural operatic performance of G. F. Handel’s Acis and Galatea in the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan that incorporated traditional Bhutanese music, dance and costume and Japan Orfeo, an integration of Monteverdi’s first operatic masterpiece and Noh Theatre, Nihon Buyo and Gagaku music. For Spoleto Festival USA 2015 Carpenè created the performance score and conducted the first production in modern times of Francesco Cavalli’s opera Veremonda, l’amazzone d’Aragona.


Board of Directors

Kingsley Dixon AO

Kingsley Dixon AO FTSE is an Australian botanist currently working as a professor at Curtin University. He was the founding Director of Science at Kings Park and Botanic Gardens, and helped to establish the laboratories there as among the world's leading He is an active communicator and community scientist with links to community restoration programs in urban to remote regional communities. He is co-author of the Australian Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration and the International Standards. He has authored more than 400 research papers, 14 books including major works in conservation biology. 2013 Linnean Medal in Botany, 2016 Scientist of the Year (Western Australia); 2018 John Curtin Distinguished Professor, 2020 Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering; 2023 Officer of the Order of Australia.

William Fischer
Deputy Chair

As the co-founder and executive director of the global non-profit Serengeti Genesis, his ever-present, seed-stage mentality has spawned nearly a dozens successful global science and performing arts programs, Japan Orfeo being a particular highlight in the culmination of soft diplomacy through the creative high arts. An archaeologist by study and avocational micro-biologist by trade, his eternal optimism and American cowboy spirit is rarely ever tamed. Over the years, Serengeti Genesis has collaborated with world-renown institutions as diverse as Yellowstone National Park, the Smithsonian Institute and Harvard University. Main projects have included the archaeological excavations in the Loiyangalani River Basin in the World Heritage Serengeti National Park, the Global Thermal Inventory, and Japan Orfeo. We have had the privilege of participating in the Kingdom of Bhutan since 2006 on projects including: the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival featuring the Kingdom of Bhutan; and Opera Bhutan in 2013

Claudia Alessi

Over the past 30 years she has contributed to the performing arts sector in Australia as a performer, choreographer, lecturer, movement director, rehearsal director and producer. Her Board positions include of STEPS Youth Dance Co, Ausdance WA, Australia Council Dance Board, Co Vice-President Ausdance National and currently as Vice President for CirQuest. In 2012 Claudia launched ‘Company Complesso’ – a collective from which she continues to develop new independent and collaborative projects. Since ‘93 Claudia has been a sessional lecturer at WAAPA with the dance, theatre, screen and musical theatre departments. During 2015 she held the position as acting head of movement for the Acting department at WAAPA was Associate Director for the Opening Event of the Perth Festival 2022 and works as a Creative Director for Theatre Kimberley delivering work in remote communities. As a performer Claudia has worked and toured nationally and internationally with dance and theatre companies including in Australia: Chrissie Parrott Dance & Performance Co, skadada, Sydney Theatre Company, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Australian Dance Theatre (under both Leigh Warren & Garry Stewart) and Legs On The Wall. Internationally with: Foundation Jean-Pierre Perreault Canada, Street Theatre Co Plasticien Volants of France & Xarxa Teatre Spain, CIRCA and currently engaged with Co:3 Contemporary Dance. Three times nominee for the Australian Dance Awards ‘Most Outstanding Female Performer’, joint winner of ‘Most Outstanding Female Performer and awarded for Services to Dance for the WA Dance Awards. She has worked prolifically with independent WA artists, performing with choreographers/directors such as, Sue Peacock, Sally Richardson and Adam Mitchell. As Choreographer/Movement Director Claudia has created various works including Point of Entry, a solo work for Perth International Arts Festival, 4by2, A series of Encounters, Twisting The Straight Line for STRUT Dance. In This a full-length work at The State Theatre Centre ’12 which launched her collective Company Complesso. Nick’ Dusty’d with The King for Perth Fringe World and Mortally Wounded. Movement directed for Hot Bed Ensemble, Barking Gecko, Yirra Yarkin Aboriginal Corporation, Melbourne Theatre Co and Black Swan State Theatre Co. Claudia continues to develop ideas and new work with WA’s physical Theatre Company MAXIMA and Sydney based aerial company Strings Attached. Claudia continues to develop ideas and new work while continually evolving her craft for the benefit of those she educates, collaborates with, and performs for. Alongside her partner they share a daughter and are owner/ venue managers of their studio known as The Chapel Space in North Perth.

Alan Bacchelli

Alan Bacchelli is one of the most cultured and experienced young film producer-directors now working in Western Australia. Receiving film training at New York University, Alan spent formative scriptwriting years under the mentorship of Luciano Vincenzoni ('The Good, The Bad and The Ugly') and garnered awards for his productions. Alan's experience in music and live events has seen him produce some of Italian music's icons including Patti Pravo in concert with Maestro Luciano Pavarotti as well as Hip-Hop artists in Paris and New York. In 2012 he co-produced a live concert event at Crown Theatre featuring Oscar winning Maestro Ennio Morricone ('The Mission') for the Perth International Arts Festival (PIAF). Alan is also an international lecturer on digital filmmaking.

Penelope Street

Penelope Street is the Founder and Managing Director of Narrowcasters Pty Ltd.  Narrowcasters is a Sydney based company that provides audio guide services to cultural, heritage and visited sites around the Australian Asian region.  The business was founded in 1988 and since then it has expanded its base beyond Australia to sites in Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand, India, Malaysia, Laos and Cambodia.  Penelope was educated at Abbotsleigh School in Sydney and the University of New England in Armidale, Australia. In 2016 Penelope was named the Businesswoman of the Year by the Australia India Business Council. Penelope works with a range of clients both in the public and private sphere. These include, although not limited to, the Sydney Opera House; Kiwi Bird Park in New Zealand; Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum and Walking Trail in Thailand; the Jodhpur Mehrangarh Fort and the Prince of Wales Museum in India; the Viengxay Memorial Caves in Laos; the Changi Prison in Singapore; The Killing Fields in Cambodia.

James Deutsch

James Deutsch is a curator and editor at the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, where he has helped plan and develop public programs on California, China, Hungary, Peace Corps, Apollo Theater, Circus Arts, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Mekong River, U.S. Forest Service, World War II, Silk Road, and White House workers. In addition, he teaches courses on American film history and folklore in the American Studies Department at George Washington University. Deutsch has also taught American Studies classes at universities in Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Norway, Poland, and Turkey. Overall, he has held more than sixty different jobs, including newspaper reporter, librarian, park ranger/forest ranger, census enumerator, and monorail operator at Walt Disney World.