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General Director
SUBMITTED DATE: 7/1/2020

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

General Director
Fort Worth Opera 

Fort Worth Opera Association, Inc. (dba Fort Worth Opera) seeks applications for the position of General Director from individuals with senior experience in opera company administration, nonprofit management, and/or fundraising. We seek a visionary leader who will set an ambitious course for Fort Worth Opera to grow its impact in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and throughout the opera world. 

THE COMPANY: 

Mission: To educate, entertain, and expand the horizons of current and future audiences and artists through variety and artistic integrity.”

Fort Worth Opera is the oldest opera company in Texas, and one of the 14 oldest opera companies in the United States. The organization has received national attention from critics and audiences alike for its artistic excellence, pioneering spirit, and steadfast willingness to take risks. 

Celebrating its 75th year of operation in 2021, the company has not only performed hundreds of operas in Fort Worth featuring some of operas greatest stars; it is also known throughout the operatic world as a champion of new and rarely performed works. Fort Worth Opera has taken a leadership role in engaging audiences beyond the operatic stage, while producing cutting-edge, contemporary works.

With an annual budget of just over $3 million, Fort Worth Opera currently produces an annual spring festival season consisting of three productions (2 traditional mainstage operas and one contemporary opera). The company also produces other performances throughout the year, including concerts and pop-up community outreach performances, bringing the art form to the community in unexpected venues, and acquainting new audiences with the joy of opera. 

Fort Worth Opera also boasts a highly successful opera education program, consisting of The Lesley Resident Artist program and the Childrens Opera Theatre, which brings opera to nearly 40,000 school children each year across the state of Texas. The companys outreach efforts bring an operatic experience to people of every age, ethnic, and social group. Noches de Ópera (Nights of Opera) is a groundbreaking Spanish-language program introducing powerful operas that reflect the unique and diverse cultures of our Fort Worth community. 

COMMUNITY: 

Located just 20 minutes from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Fort Worth is the 13th largest city in the United States, with a population of just under 900,000. Boasting a thriving arts scene, Fort Worth is home to three major art museums—as well as several galleries and seasonal art festivals—the Fort Worth Symphony, the Texas Ballet Theater, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and Cliburn concerts, and of course, the Fort Worth Opera. The city is home to Texas Christian University, a major national university with renowned music and performing arts programs. One of the crown jewels of Fort Worth is its vibrant downtown, home to the breathtaking Bass Performance Hall where Fort Worth Opera performs its mainstage productions. Opened in 1998 and encompassing a full city block, the 2,042-seat performance hall provides an unparalleled experience for performers and audiences alike.

POSITION SUMMARY: 

The General Director will serve as a visionary leader, overseen and supported by the Board of Trustees, with the authority and responsibility to develop and implement a strategic plan to fulfill Fort Worth Operas mission and achieve its operational, artistic, and fundraising goals. 

The General Director is directly responsible for the effective leadership, management, operation, and performance of all Fort Worth Opera programs, services and activities; and is ultimately accountable to the Board of Trustees. All Fort Worth Opera employees (approximately 10 full-time and part-time) report to the General Director. The General Director is responsible for all staffing (conducting searches, hiring, management, and developing staff, including artistic personnel). 

The General Director serves as chief liaison and advocate for the arts community, arts education, and Fort Worth Operas work throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth community by actively pursuing opportunities for partnerships and collaborations with arts, educational, cultural, social, and other key constituent groups. The General Director serves as spokesperson for the Company with print, broadcast, and social media, heightening awareness about Fort Worth Opera throughout the region while raising the profile of the Company nationally. 

The General Director leads the fundraising efforts of Fort Worth Opera and invests considerable time, effort, and energy in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of donors. The General Director provides support and guidance to the fundraising efforts of Board members and volunteers, and will maintain productive working relationships with The Fort Worth Arts Council, Texas Commission on the Arts, Opera America, the National Endowment for the Arts, and major corporate, foundation, and individual benefactors. 

The General Director supports the Board of Trustees in its governance role by helping to identify, cultivate, and recruit talented volunteers to an active and energized Board; provide support and help drive the fundraising efforts of the Board; and communicate frequently and provide timely information to the Board for its decision-making. 

POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES: 

The General Director will have responsibility for and oversight of all aspects of the companys operations. These consist of: 

  • Artistic Operations (In conjunction and collaboration with Artistic Director Joe Illick) 
  • Programming and production management 
  • Financial Management 
  • Budgeting and cost control 
  • Fundraising 
  • Individual, Foundation, Corporate, Government, Special Events 
  • General Administration and Human Resource Management 
  • Staff hiring and oversight 
  • Board development and recruitment 
  • Marketing and Public Relations 
  • Audience understanding and engagement 
  • Social and traditional media 
  • Collaboration with other DFW arts organizations and businesses 
  • Education and Community Outreach 
  • Childrens Opera Theater 
  • Noches de Ópera 


QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS: 

A 4-year accredited college degree required. Masters or other advanced degree preferred. 

Minimum of 5 years (10 years preferred) combined prior experience in either a regionally or nationally recognized opera company or similar nonprofit organization, with responsibility for administration, development, marketing, and board relations. Proven track record as an effective manager and leader. 

Strong business acumen; ability to effectively interpret financial statements and identify areas of improvement, address problems, and develop forecasts. 

An assured public presence and a high comfort level with business and community leaders, trustees, and other stakeholders. 

Action-oriented and adaptable; Utilizes an innovative approach to business and strategic planning; A creative and decisive problem-solver that works well under pressure and tight time constraints. 

A good listener; Comfortable receiving input from various sources; Easily adapts to the audience he is interacting with and a creative and skilled negotiator. 

Strong interpersonal and organizational skills with the proven ability to work independently, meet deadlines, multi-task, problem-solve, and adapt to change. 

Extensive knowledge of fundraising principles, ethics, and best practices; a proven track record of designing and executing a successful fundraising campaign and experience working with Patron Manager and/or other fundraising databases. 

HOW TO APPLY: 

For priority consideration, please send a cover letter, a current resume, and a list of at least three professional references to the Fort Worth Opera General Director search committee at search@fwopera.org. We are accepting applications on a rolling basis.


Questions?
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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