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San Diego State University/San Diego Opera - Joint Opera Director Position

SDSU School of Music and Dance and San Diego Opera

San Diego State University

Joint Opera Director Position

Lecturer: SDSU Director of Opera

San Diego Opera Assistant Director


San Diego State University’s (SDSU) School of Music and Dance and San Diego Opera (SDO) is seeking a joint, full-time opera director to split duties between SDSU and SDO for a two-year appointment. The position requires the candidate to assume full opera production duties at SDSU and serve as an assistant opera director for SDO. Duties for SDSU include producing, directing, teaching, and supervising one opera production annually (in the Fall semester) and Opera Workshop (in the Spring semester), which may include scenes programs, acting classes for singers, stage movement, etc. Duties for SDO will include serving as an Assistant Director for one or more productions during their season. The candidate will be encouraged to contribute to collaborative relationships across the School of Music and Dance, cultivate and maintain active connections with SDO, and participate in the recruitment and retention of outstanding students. Participation in faculty governance is expected.

The following workload is anticipated with this joint appointment.

Fall Assignment



Spring Assignment


SDSU Music 184/384/584 (Full Production)



Music 183/383/583 (Scenes, Acting)


SDO Directing



SDO Directing



Advanced degree in Music is required. Terminal degree in Music is preferred. A demonstrated capacity as an opera director at the university or professional level is required. The successful candidate will possess opera directing skills at the highest level, and demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the complexities of producing a university and professional opera performance. The candidate should possess superior administrative and organizational skills and be able to work with students, faculty, professionals, and staff to develop a cohesive production team.


Appointment will be at a salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.


Review of applications will begin January 15, 2018 and continue until the position is filled. Applicants should email PDF materials to operadirectorsearch@mail.sdsu.edu

Please submit the following required application materials:

  • Cover letter addressed to both: David Bennett, General Director, San Diego Opera and Dr. Charles Friedrichs, Director, School of Music and Dance
  • Curriculum vita
  • Three current letters of recommendation that address the candidate's qualifications for this position
  • Reference list of five individuals familiar with the candidate's professional experience (please include updated contact information)
  • URLs to three to six online video clips (YouTube or Vimeo) of 5–30 minutes each that demonstrate the candidate’s directing and teaching skills

The School of Music and Dance

The School of Music and Dance offers music degrees for undergraduates and graduates in music (BA, BM, MA, MM, Advanced Artist Diploma) and dance (BA, BFA.) The School enrolls over 325 majors and serves thousands of general students each academic year through its general education courses, performing ensemble opportunities and public performances. 16 full-time, 15 part-time, and approximately 30 studio instructors deliver comprehensive professional curricula. The School of Music and Dance is part of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts. Website: musicdance.sdsu.edu

Music and Dance website: www.musicdance.sdsu.edu.


San Diego Opera is an internationally recognized leader in opera. The mission of San Diego Opera is to deliver exceptional vocal performances and exciting, accessible programs to diverse audiences, focusing on community engagement and the transformative power of live performance. San Diego Opera is recognized internationally as a leading example of adaptability, innovation and sustainability in the operatic arts, promoting diversified programming and unique performance venues with world-class and emerging talent. SDO’s educational and partnership with SDSU coupled with relevant programming continues to build the audience of the future.

San Diego Opera Website: https://www.sdopera.org/


The College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts comprises seven professional schools and three departments committed to the pursuit of excellence in academic and artistic endeavors. With over 5,000 majors and approximately 300 faculty, PSFA is recognized for its excellent academic programs that prepare students for professional careers in a wide spectrum of artistic, cultural, educational, social and technical fields. The College views its connection to the local and global community as a “laboratory for learning” and educational opportunities that prepare the student to engage in the worldwide community through creativity, involvement, leadership and innovation are a hallmark of the PSFA experience. The College is home to the campus initiative Arts Alive SDSU that integrates arts events and arts practices into the curriculum and values art as a campus-wide priority on par with other major university strategic goals. The College actively seeks applications from candidates whose professional interests align with SDSU and PSFA’s strategic goals, who will sustain excellence in their research or creative endeavors, promote student success, and continue to advance our commitment to diversity.

PSFA website: www.psfa.sdsu.edu

San Diego State University

SDSU is a large, diverse, urban university and Hispanic-Serving Institution with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence. Our campus community is diverse in many ways, including race, religion, color, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, pregnancy, medical condition, and covered veteran status. We strive to build and sustain a welcoming environment for all. SDSU is seeking applicants with demonstrated experience in and/or commitment to teaching and working effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds and members of underrepresented groups.

SDSU Website: www.sdsu.edu

The person holding this position is considered a "mandated reporter" under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirement set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

SDSU is a Title IX, equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, marital status, age, disability, pregnancy, medical condition, or covered veteran status.

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