Location: Baltimore, Maryland
  • September 16, 2015

The Patricia & Arthur Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric invites applications and referrals for the position of Executive Director.   We seek an industry professional who will be an articulate champion for the Lyric, a dynamic and entrepreneurial leader with a thorough grounding in performing arts facility management and a strong track record in change management, strategic thinking, diversified programming, community partnerships,  branding, and fiscal responsibility.  Some knowledge of opera production would be helpful.  


The Position of Executive Director:

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for general operations, budget development, strategic planning, general administration, revenue generation, and community partnerships, overseeing staff working in such areas as marketing, fund-raising, programming, box office, front of house, technical and artistic operations, building maintenance, and finance.

We seek a strategic and visionary leader who will:

  • Raise awareness for the Lyric brand, including its cultural value and historical importance to the region and its diverse programming;
  • Maintain and develop programming vision and philosophy, growing a comprehensive set of programs focused on presenting, rentals, and arts education;
  • Build relationships with local and regional constituencies, including local universities such as the University of Baltimore and Johns Hopkins, local school district leadership, City and County officials, etc.;
  • Guide the operation of the Lyric, supporting existing and developing new operating policies and procedures and building administrative infrastructure.


The Lyric:

The Lyric is an historic 2,564 seat theatre/opera house located in downtown Baltimore which offers a wide range of performing arts programming to a highly diverse community.  Its gala opening in 1894 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and famed soprano Nellie Melba was the beginning of its many years of service to the community: concerts, opera productions, recitals, lectures, ballets, even a boxing match.  The auditorium, rehearsal rooms, and lobbies are also rented for corporate meetings, civic gatherings, performances, and community programs. The auditorium is on the National Register.   The Lyric was modeled after the Leipzig Neues Gewandhaus and is known for its glorious acoustics

Extensive capital improvement programs in recent years have enhanced both backstage and front of house areas and kept the auditorium in top condition.  These projects also included the construction of new stage-level dressing rooms, a rehearsal hall, a new box office, and administrative offices.

The Lyric’s annual activities include a presenting season (Broadway, popular music, comedians, family shows, and so forth), co-presentations/rentals with both commercial and not for profit users, educational programs, event rentals, a summer camp, and university uses.

The annual budget is in the $6.5 to 7 million range.  There is a need for annual contributed revenue of approximately $400,000 for operating support and building maintenance, as well as additional funding for opera productions.   


Opera Production at the Lyric: 

When the Baltimore Opera Company ceased operations in 2009, the Lyric decided to fill the lack of full-scale opera in the community by producing opera itself.  This ambitious contribution to the cultural life of Maryland has had its successes but has also created some financial issues for annual operations.

While there is certainly civic and donor support for operatic activity, the ideal balance between artistic integrity and fiscal integrity has not yet been fully realized.

A mandate for the new Executive Director will be to facilitate the process of re-evaluating the opportunities and risks involved with a performing arts center producing opera; working with opera  professionals to look again at alternative producing/artistic models, shared resources, pro forma budgets, collaborations, contributed and earned revenue potentials.



The largest city in Maryland, Baltimore has a population of approximately 625,000 and a growing metropolitan area.  With a rich history, major universities, and a vibrant cultural sector, the city has been dubbed “Charm City.”  It is also known for its health and science sectors.

Baltimore is a highly competitive market from a cultural standpoint with a major orchestra, multiple performance venues, museums and art galleries, and theatre companies. As well as being in close proximity to Washington DC, and Philadelphia, the city is home to Baltimore’s major league sports teams, the Orioles and the Ravens.



The ideal candidate will have previous senior experience in leading a performing arts venue or organization, a minimum of seven years of not for profit arts management, and a university degree  in arts and/or business management or equivalent experience in facility/arts management and administration.

The new Executive Director will have excellent analytical, financial and organizational skills.  Other necessary characteristics would include political savvy and diplomacy, good oral and written communication skills, a track record in community participation and partnership, experience in human resource management, and knowledge of ancillary businesses such as catering, ticketing, corporate rentals, and the like.

We seek an arts professional who is a strong manager of people/staff, a good listener and synthesizer. In addition a strong knowledge of the presenting business (both commercial and not for profit); experience with Ticketmaster, IATSE, AGMA, and the American Federation of Musicians; and board development would be required.  A portfolio of opera connections or knowledge of opera production might be helpful.

The Executive Director is ultimately responsible for the organization’s ability to create and administer a dynamic program schedule that drives the Lyric’s earned revenue.  In addition the Executive Director must be able to work effectively with development staff and the Lyric Board to raise money.

The Executive Director represents the Lyric to the public, the media and the performing arts industry at large as a spokesman for the organization.


Other Information and Application Process:

Salary commensurate with experience.  Interested candidates are invited to submit a letter of interest, resume, and list of references by Friday, October 16th, 2015 in confidence to:

 Margaret Genovese

Senior Partner


77 Carlton Street, Suite 1103

Toronto, ON

 Canada M5B 2J7




For additional information:  www.genovesevanderhoof.comwww.lyricoperahouse.com