Director of Artistic Planning and Operations

Washington DC
Jul 11, 2018
Aug 24, 2018
Entertainment, Other
Full Time

The Director of Artistic Planning and Operations is responsible for planning and executing the artistic activities of Washington National Opera (WNO) in collaboration with the artistic vision and business goals established by the General Director and Artistic Director. Activities includes casting and season planning, collaborating on the WNO annual budget with responsibility for the Artistic Operations budget, finance and labor issues, and oversight of all functions of the Artistic Operations Department including: artistic administration, contract administration, rehearsal planning and artistic services, stage management, assistant directors and production staff, music staff and librarian, orchestra, chorus and studio manager.

Duties and Responsibilities:

10% Work with General Director and Artistic Director to plan, coordinate, and execute all artistic activities of WNO.

10% Lead the process of future season planning. Create, modify and maintain the WNO season schedule while considering theater availability, artistic and financial goals, artist availability, and other considerations.

15% Principal responsibility for casting of singers and recommendations of key artistic personnel (i.e. conductors, directors, and designers) in collaboration with Artistic Director; travel to performances and hold auditions (regionally and abroad) to search for artists to invite to WNO.

5% Work with Technical Director, Costume Director and Director of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program on all future seasons and company-wide budgeting and planning.

20% Manage Artistic Operations department. Direct reports include: Operations Director, Artistic Administrator, Manager of Rehearsal Planning and Artist Services, and Studio-Manager and Artistic Operations Coordinator. Areas of responsibility include artistic administration, contract administration, rehearsal planning and artistic services, stage management, assistant directors and production staff, music staff and librarian, orchestra, chorus and studio management.

10% Oversee Artistic Administrator and Operations Director in the negotiation of contracts for all principal artists who come to WNO, including conductors, directors, designers, choreographers, and solo singers. Oversee hiring and contracting of music staff, dancers and chorus.

5% Oversee and manage the Artistic Operations budget, ensuring that both financial and artistic goals are achieved.

4% Act as liaison to artists, especially when Artistic Director is absent

2% Attend Board of Trustees meetings, as required. Host pre-performance lectures and post-performance Q&A sessions and be available for development and audience engagement events.

5% Participate in labor negotiations and liaise with unions, as necessary

2% Review and assess new scores and libretti that have been submitted to WNO, as required, in conjunction with Young Artist Program Director.

12% Through leadership of staff responsible for these functions, ensure the success of the following:

2% All contracts for rentals, royalties, new and co-productions, and commission agreements for new works (Operations Director, YA Program Director)

2% Production of recitals, concerts, and special events (Music Staff, et al)

2% Maintenance of artistic databases to reflect current schedules and plans and to ensure flow of information throughout the company (Rehearsal dept, Operations Director)

3% Rehearsal Studio maintenance (Studio Manager)

3% Communication with Marketing, Development, Education, and other Kennedy Center Departments in order to advance WNO goals


  • 8 - 10 years' experience in opera artistic management.
  • Bachelor's degree in Arts Management or related field.
  • Advanced degree preferred.

Minimum Skills and/or Knowledge Required

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Must exercise good judgment, show initiative, handle sensitive data in a trustworthy manner.
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to work independently as well as in a team environment.
  • Discretion, maturity, and composure, especially under pressure.
  • Ability to establish priorities and juggle numerous assignments at one time.
  • High standards and strong sense of responsibility.
  • Deep knowledge of opera, voices, music, and the performing arts.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a world premier performing arts organization and our nation's cultural center. Diversity is a critical component of our mission, vision, and values. Our staff exhibits a wide variety of perspectives and experiences which enable us to foster and strengthen an environment of diversity and inclusion. We offer a comprehensive range of benefits including medical, dental and vision insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, and a 403(b) retirement plan.

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