Opera Saratoga invites applications and recommendations for the position of General Director.
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the General Director provides for the overall leadership of this $1 to $1.6 million company headquartered in beautiful Saratoga Springs, New York.
Opera Saratoga serves the communities of Saratoga Springs, the Lower Adirondack, and New York State Capital areas by providing world-class opera through the production of an annual Summer Festival, as well as year-round activities including extensive educational programs, mentorship of emerging opera artists, and unique opportunities for the public to experience opera in both its home theatre at the Saratoga Spa State Park, and non-traditional venues that leverage and embrace the unique cultural, historic, and natural resources of the area.
Founded in 1962 as the Lake George Opera, Opera Saratoga celebrated its sixtieth anniversary this year. The organization relocated to Saratoga Springs and is home to the second oldest young artist program in the United States.
Having been forced to cancel the 2020 Summer Festival season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Opera Saratoga adapted its programming and launched a virtual education program, as well as a live streamed concert series to amplify the voices of BIPOC singers. A modified season was presented in 2021 which included its first large-scale musical in partnership with the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
Because its home theater was undergoing renovations, the 2022 Festival season saw live performances in Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, Round Lake Village, Lake George Village, Rock City Falls and Albany. The company anticipates returning to their theater for the 2023 season. 2022 productions included THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, SWEENEY TODD, SKY ON SWINGS as well as Young Artist performances of Rossini’s PETITE MESSE SOLENNELLE and several concerts, presented from late May through mid-July.
The annual Opera-to-Go tour during the winter and spring brings live opera into schools in seven counties in upstate New York, reaching almost 20,000 children every year.
A newly reconfigured Guild builds on the tradition of opera support dating back to the Friends of Opera Saratoga in 2001.
Former Artistic and General Director Lawrence Edelson stepped down at the end of this year’s Festival season to assume a new position as Professor of Practice and Artistic Director of The Moores Opera Center at the University of Houston. Under his leadership at Opera Saratoga, the repertoire was enlarged and enhanced, and the commitment to community engagement and educational initiatives was bolstered.
Partnership with Songs by Heart
Opera Saratoga has also been building a new full-time therapeutic music program for those living with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. An extension of the company’s successful “Saratoga Sings for Seniors” initiative, this new program was delayed by the pandemic, but will be launched in partnership with Songs by Heart during the upcoming 20221-2023 season.
Saratoga Springs is in the Capital District of New York State, which includes the cities of Albany, Troy, and Schenectady, as well as Saratoga Springs itself. Saratoga is the home of the oldest active thoroughbred racetrack in the United States, as well as the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, just one of many arts and cultural attractions in the area, and Skidmore College. Saratoga Springs is a safe, vibrant city filled with world class attractions, exquisite restaurants, upscale retail and boutique shopping, 21 mineral springs, excellent schools and a vibrant nightlife. It was named “One of the Nation’s Most Charming Small Cities” by Travel Magazine in 2021. Albany International Airport is located 30 minutes south of Saratoga, and there is daily train service to New York City.
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the General Director is both the chief artistic and chief administrative officer of Opera Saratoga, responsible for artistic direction and overall organizational management.
This is a full-time position and requires year-round residence in the region.
This position works in close collaboration with the Managing Director, the Head of Music Staff/Director of Young Artist Program, the Director of Development, Patron Services/Box Office Manager, seasonal artistic and production staff, and 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 Summer Festival, as well as year-round programs, oversight of licensing, rentals, casting, venue and orchestra contract negotiation, 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.
Opera Saratoga 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. The prolonged period of the pandemic has put some exciting new ventures into a holding pattern.
Education and Experience:
Training in opera and business management would be helpful, as well as 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: $90,000 to $115,000 annually with benefits and a relocation package.
Interested candidates are invited to submit a letter of interest, resume and the names/contact information for four professional references, in confidence to:
Genovese Vanderhoof & Associates
Deadline for Applications: Friday, September 30, 2022
Opera Saratoga 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.