LA Opera (LAO) is a mission-driven, non-profit organization that plays a significant role in the cultural life of Southern California. Hundreds of LAO employees and artists help bring to life world-class opera that preserves, promotes and advances the art form while embodying the diversity, pioneering spirit and artistic sensibility unique to Los Angeles. Our productions are experienced by more than 100,000 audience members each year at our home at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles. We reach many more through our community and school programs, Off Grand performances in venues across Los Angeles, and On Now digital content.  

About the opportunityWe have an opening for our Associate Director, Special Events, who manages all aspects of planning and executing dozens of events each season that advance the company’s fundraising goals and other strategic aims.

This position executes top-notch events that foster and enhance attendees’ engagement and connection with LA Opera; ensures donors, company leadership, and other key stakeholders receive outstanding service and communication related to events; and delivers events within budgetary and logistical parameters.

This is a full-time, exempt position, based in Downtown LA. The starting salary range for this position is $74,000 to $80,000. Benefits include medical, dental, vision, life, and long-term disability insurance; a 403(b) retirement savings plan with a company match; a Flexible Spending Account program; an Employee Assistance program; parking/commuter benefits; and a cell phone allowance.

Key responsibilities:

  • In collaboration with Director of Development Operations and other Development leadership, develops the strategy for and oversees the execution of the company’s special events, including an annual gala, opening night dinners, cast suppers, and multiple donor benefit events at The Music Center, private residences, and other venues throughout the Los Angeles area.
  • Develops concepts, aesthetics, and formats for events that align with the company’s brand and strategic goals.
  • Develops and manages the company’s special events calendar.
  • Manages, motivates, and evaluates Special Events staff.
  • Negotiates contracts and manages relationships with vendors.
  • Develops and maintains accurate special events budgets, monitoring and ensuring projects are within budget. Collaborates with Artistic colleagues to facilitate artist participation in events.
  • Collaborates with production, technical and union-represented colleagues at the company and The Music Center on event operations, including set-up and load-out.
  • Drafts strategic briefs and remarks for leadership.
  • Manages event supply and in-kind wine inventory.
  • Maintains comprehensive and accurate documentation of special events standard operating procedures.
  • Manages approval process for invitations, public remarks, and other event-related communications and collateral.
  • Provides logistical support for meetings and other events of the Board of Directors

Who we are looking forWe are seeking candidates with at least three years of experience in non-profit events management, preferably in an environment with union-represented personnel. Experience supervising employees is preferred.

Successful candidates also will have:

  • Demonstrated ability to provide exceptional customer service and a high level of professionalism.
  • Experience working with community leaders, boards of directors and/or executives.
  • Strong emotional intelligence and interpersonal savvy when dealing with a variety of personalities.
  • Ability to work collegially with departments across the organization.
  • Exceptional organization skills and prior experience successfully managing multiple projects/events at a time.
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging.
  • Ability to handle confidential information sensitively and discreetly. 
  • Ability to remain poised in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.
  • Excellent writing and oral communication skills.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, project management tools, and other common workplace applications.
  • Availability for frequent evening and weekend work.

To apply
Please complete a brief job application and submit your resume and cover letter here. Applications received by Monday, March 13, will receive full consideration.

Individuals of identities underrepresented in arts administration are particularly encouraged to apply.

Please note that LA Opera has a Covid vaccination requirement for employees, and more details will be provided during the interview process.  

LA Opera is an equal opportunity employer, and we do not discriminate against applicants on the basis of any legally protected categories.