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Development and Patron Services Manager

At Opera Saratoga, creating magical, memorable experiences through opera is what we do. If you love making those experiences possible by building meaningful relationships and securing support from diverse sources – we want to meet you!

Opera Saratoga is located in Saratoga Springs, and serves a seven county region in upstate New York. In addition to two vibrant educational programs (Opera to Go for elementary school students, and the recently introduced Discover!Opera program for high school students), Opera Saratoga is one of the only opera companies in the country with a program dedicated to serving senior members of the community with physical and cognitive issues. Our Young Artist Program is the second oldest program of its kind in the country, and each summer, our full time staff of four grows to over 100 people to produce an internationally acclaimed festival that features three fully staged operas, alongside concerts, educational symposia, and community engagement events.  

Opera Saratoga’s budget is $1.2m, 70% of which comes from philanthropic sources.  The Development and Patron Services Manager partners with the Artistic and General Director and Board of Directors to optimize revenue from individual, foundation, corporate, and government sources.

We are looking for someone who loves sharing their passion for opera, and who wants to play an integral role in enhancing life in our community. You are proactive and creative, have excellent verbal and written communication skills, and take pride in both your attention to detail and the quality of the relationships you foster. You enjoy both the analytical and the personal sides of fundraising. You think of databases as your ally, not a monster to be tamed. You think of trustees as partners, not simply wallets to be tapped when needed. You know that patrons are our best advocates and allies, and that relationships deserve attention throughout the year – not just when we need money. You enjoy being on the front lines of an organization that makes a real difference in the community it serves. If this sounds like you, we should talk!


In partnership with the General Director and Board of Directors, the Development and Patron Services Manager leads Opera Saratoga’s development initiatives to successfully achieve its annual contributed revenue goals with an emphasis on stewarding existing relationships and identifying, cultivating, and securing new gifts. The core responsibilities of the position include:

  • Managing an accurate and up-to-date portfolio of institutional and individual donors through all phases of the moves management cycle 
  • Researching foundation and government grant opportunities, and writing grants in collaboration with the Artistic and General Director
  • Providing highly personalized service to donors and cultivating major donor relationships
  • Working with the Board of Directors and Volunteer Committee on special events planning, including the company’s Annual Gala
  • Managing the donor acknowledgement process, including oversight of mailings, reports, and program book listings
  • Maintaining accurate and up-to-date records of donor contacts and ongoing communications with current donors and prospects
  • Liaising with Marketing Manager on coordination of promotional activities
  • Overseeing the donor lounge and patron table front of house at performances
  • Engaging with trustees to maximize their participation in Opera Saratoga and their contribution toward its success and growth
  • Serving as a spokesperson to the public in articulating and advocating for the vision, mission and impact of Opera Saratoga

Saratoga Springs, New York is located 3 hours north of New York City and 3 hours south of Montreal, with direct train service both south and north, and a great airport in Albany, just 30 minutes away. If you need to live in a big city, Saratoga Springs is probably not the place for you. But if you love living in a beautiful community surrounded by nature that has the cultural richness, amenities and attractions of a big city - all with a lower cost of living - you will love Saratoga Springs.  

Located in the southernmost foothills of the Adirondack Region in Upstate New York, Saratoga is rich not only in cultural offerings, but also in natural beauty and attractions of national historic significance including the Saratoga Race Track (the oldest thoroughbred racetrack in the country), and the mineral springs for which the city is named. Saratoga’s downtown is consistently rated one of the most scenic in the country, and can be best described as Victorian charm merged with upscale ambiance. Don’t worry… we have a Starbucks… but we don’t have one on every other corner! Instead, you’ll find many independent coffee shops, cafés, gourmet restaurants, art galleries, and unique shops alongside national brands you would find across the country. 

The performing arts play an integral role in Saratoga’s economy, as the region is increasingly becoming known as a destination for cultural tourism. Opera Saratoga is located in Spa State Park, where we are side by side with the historic mineral springs, miles of gorgeous trails, and Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), the summer home to New York City Ballet, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Lincoln Center Chamber Music. Also located in the Park is the National Museum of Dance, a farmer’s market, a naturalist center, a championship golf course and two swimming pools. It is truly an amazing place to work.


This role is ideal for someone who has been working in fundraising at an opera company or other performing arts organization, is ready to take on a leadership role, and is looking for a position with room for growth and professional development opportunities. We heartily embrace experienced artists transitioning into the administrative side of opera, so if you have a performance background but also have the skills and personal qualities we are looking for, we would love to hear from you. The requirements listed below are representative of the background and skills desired:

  • Relevant post-secondary education or an equivalent combination of education and experience: at least two years of fundraising experience for an opera company or performing arts organization, or other relevant experience in the field with related transferable skills.
  • Excellent computer software skills, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Experience with donor database systems highly preferred, but as long as you are a quick learner and confident with computers, all necessary software can be taught.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills. Ability to assume professional

    responsibilities and work independently with minimal supervision – we don’t like to micromanage!

  • Effective and courteous interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills - this is non-negotiable.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects in various stages of progress, each with a unique timeline, maintaining attention to detail.
  • Creative approach to communications, willing to explore new and non-traditional strategies for patron engagement.
  • Genuine interest in opera!


Salary commensurate with experience; plus relocation, a benefits package including paid holiday, vacation, and sick days; medical, and dental insurance plans; and a retirement plan. 


Send letter and resume specifying verifiable professional accomplishments and references to: Lawrence Edelson, Artistic and General Director at myvoice@operasaratoga.org

No calls please. Opera Saratoga is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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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