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Director of Facility Operations

POSITION: Director of Facility Operations

REPORTS TO: Vice President & General Manager, Presentations and Events

STATUS: Full-time, exempt

Lyric Opera of Chicago exists to provide a broad, deep and relevant cultural service to the Chicago region and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form of opera.


We are searching for a Director of Facility Operations to be responsible for Front of House Operations as well as the facility. This includes the supervision of various FOH departments (House Manager, Usher Supervisor, Ushers, Security, Elevator, Front Door, Stage Door) as well as the physical facility: 7 floors of theatre space, 12 floors of Back of House space, and 3 floors of office space.


Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Director of Facility Operations is ultimately responsible for the safety and satisfaction of Lyric Opera patrons and employees.



·         Demonstrate leadership in accordance with Lyric’s mission and vision.

·         Oversee front-of-house staffing (ushers, security, elevator, front door) and facility operations for performances in the theatre, to assure efficient and cost-effective provision of consistent and high-quality patron services. 

·         Supervise security services for the facility, including front-of/back-of-house staffing and operations to provide a safe environment for internal staff/external customers of the facility. 

·         Facilitate communication/coordination with building co-owner’s security staff.

·         Insure any non-traditional planned uses are consistent with PPA and occupancy standards and forward to CFD as needed.     

·         Facilitate the interviewing and hiring of qualified personnel for staff positions; assist in determining staffing complement; monitor issuance of necessary performance/attendance-based reprimands, and provide input on retention/rehire of individual personnel; facilitate accurate payroll processing for staff, and timely resolution of related issues. 

·         Develop and administer access policies for Lyric facilities. This includes key management, key-card access control and the stage door guest management system.

·         Assist with departmental annual budget preparation including front-of-house staff, custodial services and capital expenditures. Track assigned expenditures against budget and phasing, and monitor accuracy of G/L entries for facility-related invoices and make necessary adjustments.

·         Pro-actively manage 3rd party services contracts including custodial services company and pest control company.

·         Train staff on Lyric’s emergency action plan and its CPR/AED program ensuring facility safety and staff readiness.

·         Coordinate FOH personnel for rental events with Events & Sales Manager, and co-supervise staff participation at rental events as needed.

·         Coordinate activities related to required physical plant maintenance and repairs, as necessary; communicate with internal/external personnel to facilitate efficient follow-through and minimize disruption to ongoing utilization of theatre facilities, and interface with janitorial services to ensure service quality.

·         Develop and maintain a working relationship with emergency services from the City of Chicago (CPD/CFD), as well as local professional associations as needed.

·         Issue custodial charge outs to Lyric departments on a regular basis.

·         Arrange and supervise porters for furniture/equipment moves.  Interact with janitorial service and building engineers regarding cleaning and repairing requirements and resolution of issues related to service quality.

·         Maintain records on all state and city licenses/fees, and renew as required.  Research new city taxes to determine theatre liability.  Assure timely renewal of fee waivers for theatre and warehouse.

·         Provide area garages, taxi companies and restaurants with season and special events schedule.

·         Improve experience for patrons with disabilities, including (but not limited to): blind/low vision, deaf or hard of hearing, mobility impaired.

·         Respond to patron compliments and complaints regarding their opera experience.

·         As the business evolves, so may this role.  These duties may change as Lyric’s leadership identifies the need at any time.



·         Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university in performing arts management or equivalent experience

·         More than 5 years of related experience with 2 years of managerial experience.

·         Working knowledge of and comfort working with:

o    Microsoft suite of products

o    CRM expertise (Tessitura a strong plus)

·         Outstanding communication, organizational, and time-management abilities are necessary

·         Solid background in theatre management, including: broad working knowledge of the details associated with front-of-house and/or security operations for a large theatre facility, experience in manpower planning/administration, and implementation of physical plant maintenance and patron-service requirements is essential. 

·         Demonstrated skills in general bookkeeping and budget preparation desirable, as is experience in supervision of part-time/seasonal staff

·         Ability to work and think independently, a motivated self-starter who also works well in a larger team.



·         Ability to oversee evening or weekend functions, deployments or performances.

·         Available 24/7/365 for emergency facility needs

·         Ability to operate a computer keyboard, mouse, and to handle other office equipment.

·         Ability to climb stairs, work in dark places, lift and carry items < 15 lbs

Interested applicants may send their resume and cover letter to jobs@lyricopera.org denoting position of interest.

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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All OPERA America facilities are handicapped accessible. The National Opera Center features ground-level entry with elevators to the venue. All spaces are wheelchair accessible, and modular seating can be arranged to accommodate wheelchair users for all programs and performances. Handicapped accessible restrooms are available on all floors.
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