Position Announcement
GENERAL DIRECTOR
ANCHORAGE OPERA
Anchorage, Alaska 

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the General Director provides for the overall leadership of this $750,000 to $850,000 company located in Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage.

Anchorage Opera 

As the only fully producing opera company in Alaska, Anchorage Opera (AO) provides high quality operatic experiences to residents and visitors, while also serving as a professional resource for Alaskan artists, administrators, and technical staff, helping them to refine their talent and perfect their craft.

Founded in 1962 Anchorage Opera (AO) was one of the first major performing arts institutions established by Americans in the Circumpolar North. By 1985, AO was selected by the NEA as one of the six most promising US opera companies. AO now stands as one of America’s premier regional opera companies and one of Alaska’s leading producers of the performing arts. In the Aug 2020, SMU/DataArts paper for the Wallace Foundation, “The Alchemy of High-Performing Arts Organizations”, AO was identified and consulted as one of the ten high-performing organizations for the national study. Each year AO serves thousands of adult and youth residents of, and visitors to, the Greater Anchorage area through multiple community and educational partnerships, main-stage performances, and a content rich website. AO also provides seasonal employment to hundreds of creative individuals annually including musicians, performers, artists, and craftspeople. Because we build our own scenery and many costumes, AO productions are “Made in Alaska”. Nineteen of the twenty most diverse schools in America are located in Anchorage, and we are proud to be able to offer their students the opportunity to experience grand opera they would likely never have. Our education program, AO2Go, tours to classrooms in the Anchorage School District as well as rural Alaskan villages with presentations and fully staged children’s operas. AO2Go’s 2015 premiere production of Aklaq & Nayak (Alaska Native Adaptation of Hansel & Gretel), infuses traditions of opera with indigenous Alaskan culture. Each season more than 1700 students attend final dress rehearsals of operas at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts free of charge. Our free “Pre-Opera Talks” offer unique insights into our shows directly before they begin and our popular FLASH MOBpera happenings all around town, are bringing opera to the people of Anchorage in unexpected settings, “when and where you least expect it”! Anchorage Opera has been commended for its collaborative work with other arts and cultural organizations in Alaska including the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Alaska Dance Theater, Anchorage Concert Chorus, and the Alaska Children’s Choir. Other partners include the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, Anchorage Public Library, Anchorage School District, Identity, Inc., Japanese American Citizens League, Alaska Veterans Museum, Alaska Jewish Museum, ACLU, Bridge Builders of Anchorage, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Anchorage Concert Association, TBA Theater and the Perseverance Theater. Anchorage Opera also has a strong relationship with UAA and provides opportunities for aspiring vocal and instrumental students to work alongside professionals. These partnerships with a wide variety of Alaskan organizations, and an ever-expanding list of patrons and supporters, ensure that all of Alaska reaps the benefits of AO’s operations. And, as it was in the beginning, generous individuals, and institutions from all parts of the community and nationally, including the AO Board of Trustees, a dedicated core of volunteers, and many others give of themselves and their resources to ensure that AO’s grand tradition of enriching Alaskan life continues undiminished. 

Typically, Anchorage Opera produces three operas a season with three performances of each in the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, two in the 700 seat Discovery Theatre and one in the 330 seat Sydney Laurence Theatre. Over the past several seasons Anchorage Opera has produced 21st century operas in addition to standard repertoire.

The Position:

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the General Director is both the chief artistic and chief administrative officer of Anchorage Opera, responsible for artistic direction and overall organizational management.

This is a full-time position and requires year-round residence in Anchorage.   

This position works in close collaboration with the Marketing & Development Director, the Director of Operations and the Office Manager, seasonal artistic and production staff, as well as the Board.

Specific responsibilities include the artistic oversight and execution of all artistic matters such as selection of repertoire and assembly of creative teams for the season, oversight of licensing, rentals, casting, venue, IATSE negotiations, etc. In addition, the General Director is the chief administrative officer working with year-round and seasonal staff to oversee fiscal management, fund-raising, marketing, strategic planning, board relations, staff development, DEI initiatives, community engagement, and day to day operations.

Anchorage Opera seeks a new leader who will build on the level of artistic excellence it currently enjoys, while nurturing staff development and developing a multi-year operational plan and budget.  The General Director will be responsible for building and maintaining external relationships with donors and the community at large and enhancing partnerships with other organizations. 

Education and Experience:

Prior experience in opera company leadership, knowledge of the repertoire and opera production, and general knowledge of not-for-profit arts revenue generation (subscription, and single ticket sales, all aspects of fund-raising), strategic and operating planning, budget development, office administration, board relations and governance, information systems, and human resource management. A proven track record in fund-raising and building community relationships is required. The ideal candidate will have excellent communication skills, inspire enthusiasm, and be comfortable in the role as key spokesperson for the company.

Compensation:

Compensation is competitive, and a relocation package will be included.

Starting Date:

May 1, 2024 (some flexibility)

Application Process:

Interested candidates are invited to submit a letter of interest, resume and the names/contact information for four professional references, in confidence to:

aosearchcommittee@anchorageopera.org

For additional information: www.anchorageopera.org

Deadline for Applications: Friday, December 2, 2022 

Anchorage Opera does not discriminate against any person based on race, color, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, age, familial or marital status, veteran status, non-job-related disability or any other basis protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws.