This week, we speak to Ceri Jones in the OAE office…

CeriWhat’s your role in the OAE office?

Projects Director

What does your typical day involve?

There is no such thing as a typical day.  Checking e-mails, writing e-mails, drafting schedules, thrashing out details for future schedules with conductors, artists, players, negotiating details for artists contracts, realising my desk is hidden somewhere beneath a huge pile of papers, coffee cups and apple cores then attempting to tidying it up before being side tracked by a telephone call….

Which mobile number do you call the most?

Philippa – our orchestra manager.  It’s the only mobile number I know off by heart other than my own (not even my Mum’s!)

What – or where – is perfection?

It doesn’t exist.  We can always do better.  But in my head perfection is probably a quiet beach somewhere in the Indian Ocean.  I wouldn’t know I’ve never been there.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?

Elizabeth Bennett, apart from being ridiculously stubborn she was a pretty modern thinking girl – way ahead of her time!  Most leading ladies of literature and opera are a bit wet.

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?

Judi Dench.  One word, Class! (& my mum)

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?

I wish I could REALLY sing (I assume my colleagues would agree.)

What do you fear the most?

Snakes & ferries.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?Bananarama The Greatest Hits Collection

Stop worrying too much about little things.

What was the first album you ever bought?

Bananarama’s Greatest Hits on cassette tape in 1988.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?

Oh god this is embarrassing, probably One day more from Les Miserables or currently Don’t stop believing from the Glee soundtrack…

Which OAE concert are you most looking forward to in 2010-2011?

Jurowski in January – Mahler, Liszt and Wagner – yummy stuff.

What’s been the highlight of your time at OAE so far?

Too many to pick from so I’m choosing a few.  Perhaps being part of the Vivaldi’s Women filming project in Venice back in 2005 or launching the Young Conductor scheme in 2008, hearing OAE play Tchaikovsky at the Night Shift in the Royal Festival Hall in October 2008, or the recent Monteverdi tour in April/May 2010, just one of those tours where everything went right!