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Artistic Operations Manager

The Artistic Operations Manager works closely with the Director of Artistic and Production Operations to carry out objectives for the Artistic Operations department.


Under the oversight of the Director of Artistic and Production Operations, the Artistic Operations Manager serves as the point person for the WNO Production Staff (Production Stage Manager, Stage Management and Assistant Directors) and WNO Music Staff (WNO Chorus Master, WNO Head of Music Staff, WNO Music Administrator, and the WNO Orchestra Librarian). This includes contract negotiation, timesheet collection, payroll processing, and day to day needs.   The Artistic Operations Manager also supervises the Artistic Operations Coordinator.


The Artistic Operations Manager serves as a member of artistic planning sessions to facilitate achieving financial goals in current and future seasons.  In collaboration with the General Director, Artistic Director, Director of Artistic and Production Operations, and Director of Artistic Planning, this position is also responsible for negotiation of production rental contracts, co-production agreements, grand rights agreements, the commissioning and re-orchestration of compositions, union media negotiations, and all WNO director and designer contract negotiations.


The Artistic Operations Manager manages the Artistic Budget in collaboration with the Directors of Artistic and Production Operations and Artistic Planning, and under the oversight of the Director of Artistic and Production Operations.  This position coordinates with the General Director and Finance Manager to develop budget strategies for the integrated WNO Company budget. 



Duties and Responsibilities:

50%                Manage personnel/operations/administration.  The Artistic Operations Manager will have direct oversight of and responsibility for the work of the WNO Artistic Operations Coordinator, who is responsible for drafting, executing, tracking and processing payment for all WNO artistic contracts. The Artistic Operations Manager will also serve as the point person for contracts and payroll for the WNO Music Staff and WNO Production Staff, under the oversight of the Director of Artistic and Production Operations.


25%                Contract negotiations (union, rental, co-production, Grand Rights, media).  In coordination with Director of Artistic and Production Operations, negotiate contract packages with directors, designers and other members of the production team for upcoming Washington National Opera productions. This includes finalizing financial terms and also involves the rights to use designs in future rentals, revivals and sales, crediting, copyright protections, travel and housing arrangements, payment schedules, etc. 


20%                Budget planning. Responsible for the maintenance of the current season’s Artistic budget, as well as creating drafts of future season budgets in collaboration with the Directors of Artistic and Production Operations and Artistic Planning.


5%                  Other duties as assigned.


N/A                 Responds to the needs and requests of Kennedy Center management and staff in a professional and expedient manner.


N/A                 Adheres to all employer policies and procedures




  • At least 5 years of experience in production/administration within a performing arts organization, with budgeting experience encouraged.
  • Familiarity with opera preferred.
  • Experience with union contracts a strong plus.
  • Expertise in Microsoft Excel for budgeting.
  • Bachelor’s degree.


Minimum Skills and/or Knowledge Required

The successful applicant will have the ability to interact with artists possessing a wide range of personalities and will be able to demonstrate:

  • Ability to establish priorities. Multitask. Strong organizational skills and the ability to work independently as well as in a team environment.
  • Knowledge of computerized information systems and their application, including Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Office, knowledge of ArtsVision a strong plus.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills along with discretion, maturity, and composure, especially under pressure.




Physical Demands

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to communicate in person and on the telephone. The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel in order to operate computer keyboard, office equipment, and other essential tasks. The employee is frequently required to sit, stand, walk, bend, stoop, crouch, and reach with hands and arms. This position infrequently lifts, carries, or otherwise moves and positions objects weighing up to 25 pounds.



Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


The noise level in the work environment is consistent with an opera environment including frequent exposure to elevated levels of sound from instrumentalists and vocalists.


Must have the ability to work flexible hours, including extended hours, evenings and weekends.


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.

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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