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Jaguar design guru and Opera boss to be honoured by Birmingham City University

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 07 FEBRUARY 2012

The man behind some of the most stunning car designs in the world will join one of Birmingham’s leading cultural visionaries when they will be honoured by Birmingham City University tomorrow (Tuesday, February 7) .

Ian Callum, Director of Design at Jaguar Cars, will receive an honorary degree from Birmingham City University tomorrow afternoon (February 7) in recognition of over 30 years of outstanding achievement in his field.

He will receive the honour at the University’s annual Awards ceremony which will celebrate the work and achievements of students graduating from the University’s world leading Birmingham Institute of Art and Design.

Ian joined Jaguar in 1999 and is based at the company’s design studios in Whitley, Coventry. He immediately set in place a programme to define a new design language for Jaguar as well as heralding an exciting new era for the brand.

The first all-new production car under his leadership was the highly-acclaimed all-aluminium XK, followed by the XKR and the purposeful XKR-S – the fastest Jaguar in a generation, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2011.

The XK has been joined by the XF saloon and, more recently, the XJ luxury saloon – each taking the design theme further and once more establishing Jaguar as a creator of ‘fast, beautiful cars.’

Ian continues to lead a highly talented team of designers at Jaguar, as the bold new era for the brand continues demonstrated by the pioneering C-X75 supercar and the exciting C-X16 hybrid sports car, both of which look firmly to the future yet are unmistakably Jaguars.

While Graham Vick, Artistic Director at the Birmingham Opera Company, will receive his honour at the morning awards ceremony to celebrate the work and achievements of students graduating from the University’s Faculty of Performance, Media and English.

The accolade coincides with Birmingham Opera Company celebrating its 25th anniversary. Graham is directing its latest production - Life is a Dream - which has its world premiere on 21st March at the Argyle Works in Digbeth.

In what is heralded globally as a unique approach to opera, Birmingham Opera Company engages around 200 people of different ages, faiths, cultures, education, social background and professions for each production.

From vicars to venture capitalists and hip-hop performers to HR managers, the Birmingham Opera Company chorus members, many of whom have never sung or performed before, come together for an intensive timetable of regular rehearsals and workshops in the weeks leading up to the performances, resulting in ground-breaking productions that consistently achieve critical acclaim and are often credited with ‘changing lives’ for those participating in them.

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