General DirectorSeattle Opera • Full-Timehttp://www.seattleopera.orgSeattle, WASeattle Opera invites applications and recommendations for the position of General Director. Speight Jenkins, General Director since 1983, will retire in September of 2014.
Hailed internationally as North America’s leading Wagner company, Seattle Opera will produce three cycles of its signature production of Der Ring des Nibelungen
in August of 2013. Audiences from 33 countries and all 50 American states have made the pilgrimage to Seattle for the Ring.
The mission of Seattle Opera is to produce musically extraordinary, theatrically compelling operas, employing casts of uniformly high quality, dramatically aware conductors, and innovative yet textually concerned directors and designers. Committed to continuing its emphasis on the work of Richard Wagner and the achieving of national and international recognition for the quality of all of its programming, Seattle Opera is also dedicated to advancing the cultural life of the Pacific Northwest through education and performance.
Founded in 1963, Seattle Opera produces its main stage season of 5 productions and 36 performances at the 2,893-seat Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, designed by LMN Architects (opened 2003). The Company also leases an administrative/production center with offices, rehearsal space, storage and costume shop, and has its own Scenic Studio. Under the leadership of Speight Jenkins, Seattle Opera has continued its deep commitment to Wagner, while broadening its overall repertoire premiering works new to the company, doing major co-productions with other major opera companies (including Gluck’s Iphigenia in Tauris
with The Metropolitan Opera), and maintaining the very highest possible artistic standards.
The General Director is the Chief Executive Officer of Seattle Opera, reporting to the Board of Trustees, responsible for artistic direction and overall management, with specific responsibilities in the areas of strategic planning, opera production, fiscal stewardship, community, donor and board relations. The CEO works closely with the Executive Director Kelly Tweeddale and the very talented senior management, production, and artistic teams. The annual expense budget is approximately $21.5 million USD with a full-time staff of 69.
As with many international opera producers, Seattle Opera has had fiscal challenges in recent seasons. The new General Director will be charged with leading the fiscal transformation of the company, keeping the tradition of excellent productions, but willing to explore and possibly embrace new business and production models. The ideal candidate could be either an established, recognized leader or a “rising star” within the international field of opera whose track record demonstrates a commitment to, and the consistent delivery of the highest possible artistic achievement, coupled with effective management, fiscal responsibility, and fund-raising.
The Search Committee seeks a dynamic leader who will build on the company’s solid foundation and reputation while attracting ever greater public support. The General Director is expected to maintain a profile as a leader of the opera industry and should foster and maintain a strong Seattle presence. The position requires the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with artists, board members, community leaders, administrative and artistic staff, foundations, artists’ managers, corporate and individual donors, the international operatic community, the media, and the audience. A strong contact network throughout the opera industry is vital.
Duties and Responsibilities:
The General Director would be expected to:
- Develop and implement, in partnership with the Board of Trustees and Senior Management, a Strategic Plan to transform the organization financially, which would include a compelling artistic vision, and a rolling 60 month operational plan;
- Attract and provide outstanding direction to a gifted senior management team;
- Maintain a positive, highly focused/disciplined and dynamic working environment, setting and managing expectations effectively, and challenging the organization’s administrative and volunteer leadership to strive for, and sustain the highest artistic values and institutional goals;
- Plan, manage and monitor all financial aspects of the organization in partnership with the senior management team and the Board of Trustees;
- Participate in major gifts solicitations and donor cultivation and represent Seattle Opera at community events and activities and within the opera industry as the company’s chief spokesperson;
- Support Seattle Opera’s educational and community outreach activities; and
- Maintain a series of collaborative relationships between Seattle Opera and its community/region, the international opera industry, and funding partners.
Education and Experience:
Any combination of education and experience that provide the required skills and knowledge for successful performance would be qualifying.
Typical qualifications would be equivalent to:
- Proven successful experience in opera company leadership;
- Thorough knowledge of the Wagnerian repertoire;
- Outstanding operatic knowledge, taste, reputation and professional network;
- Outstanding management skills and track record; and
- Knowledge of all aspects of opera production: repertoire, artists and other artistic/technical personnel, not-for-profit arts revenue generation including subscription and single ticket sales, all aspects of fund-raising, strategic and operating planning, budget development, general not-for-profit administration, board relations and governance, information systems, and human resource management.
The ideal candidate will have demonstrated the ability to produce opera at the highest international quality, as well as experience in organizational leadership, fund-raising, board development, and excellent communication skills.
Interested candidates are invited to submit a letter of interest, resume and references, in confidence to:
Mr. Dory Vanderhoof/Ms Margaret Genovese
Genovese Vanderhoof & Associates
77 Carlton Street, Suite 1103
Canada M5B 2J7
For additional information: www.seattleopera.org
Deadline for Applications: Friday, December 14, 2012.