Assistant Manager, Kennedy Center Opera House/ Washington National Opera

Washington DC
Sep 27, 2018
Oct 22, 2018
Full Time

The Assistant Manager for the KCOHO/WNOO assists in the oversight of the 62-member Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra serving ballet, musical theater, concert, variety/industrial and other production services and the 61-member Washington National Opera Orchestra. This position works as a close team with the Orchestra Manager and librarians. This position coordinates the day-to-day activities of the orchestras and serves as a liaison primarily between the orchestra and management but also conductors, Washington National Opera, and Kennedy Center management.

In a rapid-paced environment, this position must be able to meet deadlines and prioritize work. It is important for this position to develop a productive and supportive relationship with the orchestra and organization. This position also has a significant amount of evening and weekend hours.

Duties and Responsibility:

60% Serve as the team lead for full orchestra projects, mainly ballet and opera, Millennium Stage, and reduced orchestra projects not in conflict with the ballet and opera seasons. Hire and complete HR paperwork for all musicians, create playbill rosters, and create contact lists for each show. Manage seating assignments and string rotations in consultation with each section's principal musician(s). Determine if any instruments need to be purchased or rented. Design pit and stage plots for stagehands. Attend all orchestra rehearsals and opening nights for these engagements. Monitor beginning and ending times, breaks, attendance, musicians' use of leave, etc. Verify all doubles and instruments, move-up pay, etc. to allow for accurate completion of payroll. Work with the WNO librarian and KCOHO librarian to provide show coverage. Ensure any outstanding invoices are on the weekly settlement and then paid. Provide service reports to management to keep everyone apprised of events occurring throughout the engagement. Remain on call from early morning through the conclusion of all rehearsals and/or the top of all performances. Update historical documents at the end of each engagement, including the KCOHO instrumentation database, leave tracking, and documenting outstanding incidents.

20% Act as a liaison between orchestra members and management. Ensure timely and clear communication with the orchestra. Send out updates for both the KCOHO and WNOO calendars as changes arise. Serve as the liaison between Human Resources and the orchestra during the open enrollment period for health insurance. Send out Kennedy Center staff-wide emails to the orchestra including ticket offers, construction updates, payroll information, etc. Create memos and emails to the orchestra. Reserve practice rehearsal space for musicians. Maintain accurate contact information for tenured and substitute musicians. Ensure the approval and tracking of all leave for both orchestras, including sick leave, personal leave, leave without pay, sick leave bank balances, and one-year unpaid leaves of absence. Maintain KCOHO/WNOO seniority documentation. Distribute security and post notices. Attend meetings between the orchestra and management and take accurate meeting minutes.

10% Contract substitute musicians to fill in vacancies for musicians on personal or sick leave for opera and ballet at the recommendation of the Principal musicians and Music Director. Work in conjunction with the Orchestra Manager to hire musicians for reduced orchestra projects based on alternative service and the opinions of the Music Director of Musical Theater and Television. Hire and complete HR paperwork for musicians and create playbill rosters for reduced orchestra projects as requested by Orchestra Manager.

5% Ensure enforcement of the AF of M agreement. Keep Music Directors, management, the Union, and conductors apprised of personnel issues or conflicts, as needed. Mediate disputes as needed.

3% Administer and supervise all Orchestra auditions as vacancies occur with the Orchestra Manager. Announce vacancy, place ads, process resumes and maintain database, coordinate screening committee, assemble candidate packets, invite and coordinate candidates, hire and pay audition committee, staff, and accompanists, arrange use of theater and needed spaces, recruit and manage volunteers, coordinate production and instrument logistics, and ensure smooth operations during audition days.

1% Arrange for the rental/purchase of instruments as needed. Maintain and update the percussion inventory database. Oversee the maintenance and calendar of the Kennedy Center harpsichord. Organize yearly harp and timpani maintenance in the summer and oversee percussion repairs.

1% Create and develop plans for improvement projects to boost morale and create efficiencies for management. Oversee any departmental interns or volunteers to ensure they have a fulfilling and productive experience with the orchestra.


  • A bachelor's degree in music, orchestra management, arts management, or a related discipline required.

  • Zero to two years in stage or orchestra management, and knowledge of opera, ballet, musical theater, and symphonic repertoire.Prior experience in artistic operations is highly desirable.

  • Experience working in a union environment and managing a collective bargaining agreement preferred.

Minimum Skills and/or Knowledge Required

  • Must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills and strong supervisory skills.

  • Must exercise good judgment, show initiative, and handle sensitive data in a trustworthy manner.

  • Must be able to juggle many immediate and long-range tasks and priorities and remain calm under pressure.

  • Must be organized and attentive to details.

  • Proficient with email and software programs, including Word, Excel, Outlook, and Access.

  • Ability to deal effectively with professional musicians and music professionals and to work with wide range of personalities, especially artistic temperaments.

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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