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Head of Music Staff/Chorus Master

Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri

Open Position Announcement

Head of Music Staff/Chorus Master

Lyric Opera of Kansas City was founded in 1958 and is one of the nation’s premier regional opera companies. Now celebrating its 60th Season, Lyric Opera brings high quality live operatic performances to the people of the Kansas City area and a five-state region. The Company mounts productions that enrich the community it serves, as well as reflect the highest artistic standards of the profession. Lyric Opera offers innovative and award-winning programs designed to further music and arts education both in schools and in the community and serves more than 18,000 students and educators each year.

Lyric Opera is proud to present its main stage productions at the state-of-the-art Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in the Muriel Kauffman Theater.

Inaugurated in the 2016-2017 season, the Resident Artist Program launched Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s first true Resident Company. Artists are chosen following a series of local and national auditions and are overseen and mentored by Vinson Cole , UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance faculty member and one of the leading artists of his generation.

During their Residency, in addition to appearing in main stage roles, the Resident Artists will work with visiting guest artists’ conductors and directors, participate in master classes, career coaching, study leading roles, make musical appearances in the community, and appear in Lyric Opera’s Explorations Series performances, which will focus on intimate gems of the vocal music repertoire. The Resident Artists will have a full time 8-month contract for one or two years and receive artistic training via master classes with guest artists, acting, movement and stage combat and professional career development. The artists have completed their post-graduate education and may have some professional experience.

The Explorations Series was a new initiative of Lyric Opera of Kansas City in the 2016-2017 season. For the 2017-18 season the series includes four performances and features an array of works to be performed in the Lyric Opera’s Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building in the Crossroads District and Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral in downtown Kansas City, MO. Our Explorations Series features eclectic programs in intimate spaces, with programming that crosses musical borders and experiments with a wide range of lyrical expression.

The City:

Located in the heart of the Midwest, Kansas City, Missouri combines the charms of Midwestern life and the advantages of living in a large metropolitan area with ease. Kansas City is home to world-class museums, theaters, great sports teams, restaurants and shops, all of which have helped make Kansas City an emerging metropolitan area, commonly ranked as one of the “coolest” or “hippest” cities in the U.S. by Huffington Post and The New York Times.

The Position:

The Head of Music Staff is a new position that will undertake various musical aspects of the organization. S/he will serve as chorus master and play principal main stage musical rehearsals, keyboards in performances as needed, and conduct offstage banda and chorus selections. Duties range from mentoring the Resident Artist Coach-Accompanist to curating musical programs for the Resident Artists, the Explorations Series, and Education and Outreach Departments. S/he will also be instrumental in planning schedules for the Resident Artists, and making music staff assignments, as well as playing Company auditions. S/he may also be called upon to create and/or host Company lectures, presentations and musical events.

Essential Functions of the Position:

Main Stage Productions

· Serves as chorus master for rehearsals, and participate in the chorus audition process

· Principal main stage production accompanist.

· Conducts banda/offstage chorus/and plays keyboards or continuo when called for by the score.

· Assists guest conductors by taking orchestra and artist notes as well as balance notes.

  • Music staff assignments as needed

Explorations Series

· Helps to research and curate appropriate works and programs for the Explorations Series.

Resident/Apprentice Artist Programs

· Serves as primary mentor for Resident Artist Coach-Accompanist.

· Assists in repertoire selections and in creating musical programs for the Resident Artists.

  • Plan schedules as needed

Overall Organization

· Creates, hosts and serves as a representative of the Company for public education/outreach performances and events.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands: Some of the work is of a sedentary nature, sitting at a desk (or piano), using a computer, phone and other office equipment. Work will also require standing and directing chorus during rehearsal periods. Must be able to move and lift items up to 50 pounds. While most of work occurs in relation to a long-term plan, will be required to be flexible to changing priorities and additional projects that can require overtime and must have the ability to manage short term deadlines.

Position Type and Expected Hours of Work: This position is full-time, exempt, regular (nine months of the year, typically occurring from mid-August to mid-May), in which residency in the Kansas City metro area is required. Regular office hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Rehearsals, performances, and other Company events are often held during evenings, weekends, and holidays, as well as during the regular work day. Work will take place during each of these times. Work will require attendance at performances and other Company events.

Performance Measures:

The following are key items that will be utilized to evaluate performance of the work:

· Quality of musical performance at rehearsals and mainstage productions and in role as chorus master

· Ability to contribute to our team in a timely manner with well-researched and considered plans

· Ability to research and curate high quality programming for Explorations and Resident Artists

  • Successful mentoring of Resident Artist Coach-Accompanist

· Ability to be an effective representative of the Company for public events.

Required Education, Professional Skills and Abilities:

· Master’s degree in collaborative piano, piano, with experience in choral conducting.

· Three to five years of experience in a professional opera setting, including choral conducting.

· Excellent pianist required with previous coaching experience

  • Experience coordinating musical programs.

· Ability to collaborate with staff, professional colleagues, and supporters.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

· Proficiency in Microsoft Office (including; Word, Excel, Outlook, and Power Point)

· Residency in Kansas City required during Nine-Month period


Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. Lyric Opera offers a rich and varied benefits package.

Application Process:

Interested candidates are invited to submit a cover letter and resume with a list of references and salary requirements in confidence to hr@kcopera.org. Candidates must pass a background screening. Lyric Opera of Kansas City is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

For additional information visit our website: www.kcopera.org

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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