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Florida Grand Opera (FGO), America’s seventh oldest opera company, has served the communities of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties since its founding nearly 77 years ago by Dr. Arturo di Filippi, a voice teacher at the University of Miami. The very first production was Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, performed in English, at Miami Senior High School, with Dr. di Filippi in the lead role. In 1965, FGO’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor featured Dame Joan Sutherland and an unknown tenor making his American debut—Luciano Pavarotti. The world’s leading operatic artists have regularly appeared with FGO. Birgit Nilsson, Anna Moffo, Plácido Domingo, Renata Scotto, and Beverly Sills sang at FGO in the prime of their careers. This tradition of presenting exceptional artists with established careers still continues.


Today, under the leadership of General Director and CEO Susan T. Danis, FGO is one of the Southeast’s most vibrant performing arts organizations, presenting a mainstage season of inspiring artistic depth and breadth. The 2017-2018 season includes Donizetti’s Lucia Di Lammermoor, Richard Strauss’s Salome, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, and Daniel Catán’s contemporary work Florencia en el Amazonas. Serving two substantial regional patron bases, FGO performs at major theaters in both locations: at the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami and at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. Over the past year, FGO has received outstanding reviews from Opera News, Opera, Opera Canada, and a myriad of other opera publications. 


FGO’s reinvigorated repertory is enhanced by programs that allow the company to connect with audiences in new and meaningful ways. FGO’s Studio Artists are featured in the SongFest Recital Series, which explores music written by the contemporaries, teachers, and pupils of the mainstage season’s opera composers. The Studio Artists can also be heard in the Opera Cabaret and Opera Concert Series, hit-filled programs performed at some of South Florida’s leading concert venues. Additionally, FGO offers an array of education and outreach programs that serve families and young people from Pre-K through high school. These include Read Along, Sing A Song, an interactive early learning literacy program; Opera Dress Rehearsal, which provides free tickets and transportation to more than 5,000 Miami-Dade and Broward students to experience the magic of live opera at four final mainstage dress rehearsals; and Opera Teens, a national initiative that empowers high schoolers to pursue their interests in opera, share opera learning with others, and leverage the power of opera to serve local communities. In 2016, FGO embarked on a new, impactful partnership with the Miami Dade Juvenile Court System to create Cadenza, an arts intervention program targeted toward young girls who were victims of sex or human trafficking. Like a cadenza—the most challenging and beautiful moment of an opera aria—the goal of this program is to embrace and guide these young women through a challenging moment of their lives by offering support, a future, and a home in the arts.


FGO is governed by a 21-member board of directors, led by Chairman David Treitel. The staff is comprised of approximately 20 full- and part-time permanent employees. For large productions, this number can expand to more than 200 seasonal employees. The company’s financial position has strengthened significantly in recent years, following the economic downturn of 2009. For the 2017-2018 fiscal year, FGO operates on a budget of approximately $9.6 million, which includes a contributed income goal of $6.5 million. With its commitment to producing great art stronger than ever, FGO is examining how and where it presents opera and is poised at the threshold of potential new opportunities.



Located on the mainland of Florida’s southernmost Atlantic coast, Miami is a cosmopolitan city with a distinctly Latin character. The city combines urban amenities with outstanding beaches, a subtropical climate, and breath-taking natural beauty. Miami is the hub of fast-growing Miami-Dade County. In 2016, the US Census estimated a population of more than 2.6 million countywide residents and more than 453,000 citywide residents, of which an estimated 67 percent identify as Hispanic. The multicultural aspect and newness of Miami’s population presents both opportunities and challenges in terms of philanthropic support.

Miami has a rich history as a trendsetting arts center, from the world-famous nightclubs of the 1950s to the dynamic cultural life of today's modern South Beach. Miami’s entertainment, production, and arts communities are stronger than ever, making the city a major international cultural destination. Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, the 2016 economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry conducted by Americans for the Arts, placed Miami-Dade County in the top ranks of comparable American cities, along with Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia. The county’s arts and cultural sector annually generates an impressive $1.4 billion in local economic activity. Overall, Miami’s economy continues to grow, with trade, transportation, utilities, education, and health services leading in job growth in 2017.


Set in the heart of downtown Miami and designed by world-renowned architect César Pelli, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is one of the world’s leading performing arts venues. The Arsht Center is home to FGO, Miami City Ballet, and New World Symphony. Additionally, the Arsht Center presents approximately 300 performances annually, ranging from Broadway theater to classical masterworks. The visual arts play a stellar role in Miami and are represented by the world-class Pérez Art Museum Miami, Institute of Contemporary Art, the Bass Museum of Art, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, numerous galleries, and the international exposition Art Basel in Miami Beach. The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is an additional major attraction.

With sunny skies year-round, outdoor activities abound in and near Miami. The beautiful Biscayne Bay, Bayfront Park, Everglades, Florida Keys, and numerous recreational activities are all within easy reach. Miami’s nightlife is unsurpassed, with countless clubs, bars, and restaurants. Several major professional sports teams are also represented in Miami, including the NBA Miami Heat, NFL Miami Dolphins, MLB Miami Marlins, and NHL Florida Panthers.

Edited Sources: census.gov; miamidadearts.gov; arshtcenter.org; miamiandbeaches.com



An accomplished fundraiser and exemplary leader, the Director of Development (DoD) will manage all fundraising programs for FGO, creating and executing plans for maximizing contributed revenue. The DoD reports to and partners with the General Director and works closely with the board development committee to increase philanthropic support. As an integral member of the senior management team, the DoD will play an active role as a thought-partner in planning for the organization’s overall advancement and future campaigns.


The DoD will be required to take a leadership role both within the organization and externally, interacting frequently with all segments of the Miami and Broward County communities to establish relationships. Demonstrating a high degree of versatility and personal accountability, the DoD will focus intensely on achieving fundraising goals while leading and mentoring a four-member development team that includes a Senior Individual Giving Officer, Individual Giving Officer, Foundation & Grants Officer, and Development Associate.

Roles and Responsibilities



  • Collaborate with the General Director, staff, and board to develop and implement long- and short-term fundraising strategies to meet and/or exceed FGO’s annual fundraising goals.


  • Proactively support the General Director and board to drive fundraising activity and personal engagement with top prospects.


  • Maintain a personal portfolio of donors and actively seek out and initiate contact with current, lapsed, and potential donors, including individuals, foundations, and corporate partners.


  • Assume the lead role in prospect identification and management, including the creation of strategies for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship, with an eye to the evolving demographics of the region.


  • Represent FGO at donor events, social obligations, and community events as requested by the General Director.


    Departmental Management and Operational Effectiveness


  • Oversee the development department’s programs, including individual, foundation, corporate, and government grant activities, special events, donor trips, and receptions.


  • Organize a departmental plan of work to achieve annual operating and future campaign goals.


  • Supervise and mentor the development staff by setting clear expectations, motivating the team, assisting in their professional development, and maintaining the highest levels of professionalism.


  • Oversee the production of all development collateral, including copy and design of donor materials, and work closely with the marketing team to ensure consistent branding and messaging.


Administration and Oversight


  • Prepare and monitor revenue and expense budgets, provide accurate reporting and analysis, and oversee the proper maintenance of donor and prospect records.


  • Lead and mentor the staff in utilizing available data to analyze fundraising results and potential opportunities.


  • Assess and refine current development practices to ensure maximum efficiency and results.


  • Develop relationships with all key colleagues and personnel to support annual giving programs, sponsorships, and special events and to create donor stewardship and recognition opportunities.


  • Serve as an advisor and liaison to board committees as designated by the General Director.


  • Collaborate with the General Director and other staff on projects that support ticket sales, visibility, audience development, special events, public relations, volunteers, and marketing.

  Traits and Characteristics

The successful DoD will be a proactive and collaborative leader, skilled fundraiser, and experienced manager with the ability to pursue FGO’s goals with creativity and determination. An excellent communicator, the DoD should enjoy working collaboratively with colleagues, the board, and volunteers. This self-directed leader will have a drive for excellence and be motivated by a desire to learn and implement best practices to achieve ambitious fundraising goals. The ideal candidate will bring an appreciation for opera, a passion to positively impact the organization’s success, and a desire and willingness to provide continuity of leadership through a lasting commitment to the organization.


Other key competencies include:


  • Self-Management – Manages time and priorities independently while effectively guiding other team members.


  • Diplomacy and Tact – Maintains the ability to treat others fairly, regardless of personal biases or beliefs.


  • Interpersonal Skills and Customer/Donor Focus – Displays superior interpersonal and communication skills and can articulate strong and compelling messages to generate enthusiasm and financial support among a wide array of stakeholders.


  • Goal Achievement – Establishes relevant, realistic, and attainable goals and initiates without delay.


Qualified applicants will have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, a minimum of five years of development experience with increasing responsibility, and demonstrated success in a nonprofit senior fundraising role. A strong track record in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of individual and institutional donors is necessary. Previous experience working with an arts organization is ideal. Campaign experience and/or experience raising funds in diverse communities is a plus. Superior written and verbal communication skills that can reach a broad range of individuals and organizations are required. Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), and familiarity with donor database programs are necessary. Experience using Tessitura is desired.


Compensation and Benefits

FGO offers a competitive salary and paid time off; medical, dental, and long-term disability insurance; self-funded 401(K); complimentary opera tickets; free parking at work and at performance venues; and the opportunity to work and live in one of the Southeast’s most colorful, diverse, and attractive cities.

Applications and Inquiries

Please submit a letter and resume (electronic submissions preferred) with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments to:


Ms. Ellen Kulik, Senior Advisor

Arts Consulting Group
503 East Jackson Street, Suite 337

Tampa, Florida 33602-4904
Tel       (888) 234.4236 Ext. 208

Email    FGO@ArtsConsulting.com

Questions about Membership or this application? Please contact Vincent Covatto, organizational membership manager, at VCovatto@operaamerica.org or by calling 646.699.5237.
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