About LA Opera
Created in 1986 by a team of visionaries, LA Opera has become a leader in artistic innovation, while honoring the great historical legacy of opera. Our Mission is to serve the public by producing 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 Vision is of an engaged and enlightened community in which all members have the opportunity to collectively enjoy the rich aesthetic, emotional, intellectual, and cultural experience of opera.
Since LA Opera was founded 35 years ago it has been committed to reflecting the vibrant culture of our diverse and creative city through: inventive productions that reinvigorate and preserve the classic operatic repertoire; electrifying new works that feature the composers of our time; performances that star world class singers, emerging artists, and our renowned orchestra and chorus; and education and community programs that partner with neighborhood organizations and engage diverse community artists and performers. The company continues to be led by Christopher Koelsch, President & CEO and James Conlon, Music Director. LA Opera has now staged 272 productions with over 1,684 performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (DCP) and on stages across the county through the contemporary Off Grand series.
About LA Opera Connects
LA Opera Connects celebrates Los Angeles’s diversity and myriad of cultures reaching over 150,000+ community members in a traditional season through over 30 free arts programs at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and in community venues across the county. Education programs include student matinees, school residencies, and professional development for teachers. Community programs provide interactive seminars about opera, community recitals, opportunities for community members to perform in opera, and family programs.
LA Opera Connects stewards community partnerships toward the civic betterment of Los Angeles. Annually, LAO Connects organizes more than 30 events to engage 150,000+ people across the county, including under-served students, senior citizens, veterans, and hospital patients. Staff are trained to serve as ardent defenders of access in the arts who work tirelessly to dismantle barriers imposed by race, class, age, gender, and other factors. Overall, our team has developed a civic practice that is both deeply immersed in the cultural milieu of Los Angeles and explicitly reciprocal with its partners.
About the opportunity
In support of LA Opera's vision in which all community members are reflected and have access to opera, the Vice President for LA Opera Connects leads all aspects of community engagement and learning programs and productions that annually serve 150,000+ people. Reporting to the President and CEO and Board of Directors, the Vice President represents the company in all civic impact initiatives and community partnerships. They develop thoughtful and sustainable public scholarship initiatives that engage students and community members in cultural practice and inquiry and lead a team of arts administrators, teachers, artists, and technicians to carry out more than 30 sustained programs, serving hundreds of diverse community partner organizations, including hospitals and veterans, libraries, colleges, and other cultural organizations. Legacy programs include an annual season of six-ten annual productions, in-school residencies, large community opera commissions, recital tours, youth development and career preparedness, large Festival production, the creation and implementation of exhibits, accredited seminars, and educational materials. Additionally, they will explore ways to continually expand LA Opera Connects reach throughout Los Angeles county's racially and ethnically diverse communities, through sustained partnerships and programs that create operatic traditions for all Angelenos, and demonstrate the necessity of opera and cultural engagement.
The Vice President of LA Opera Connects will have a close working partnership with the President and CEO in setting a creative vision and strategy for the department that integrates with the entire company and achieves the highest artistic and programmatic standards. The Vice President will serve as a key member of LA Opera’s executive leadership team and will collaborate closely with the leaders of the mainstage opera activities, development, marketing and PR, IT, and finance departments. They will supervise a current team of 10 staff and a larger group of 100+ teaching artists, musicians, affiliated scholars and technicians, and another 100+ volunteers.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Lead and manage a strong team to ensure excellent operational results; identify and secure professional development opportunities; create a work environment and space in which all team members feel respected and able to do their best work in support of the mission.
- Represent LA Opera and LA Opera Connects with integrity and authority within the company and beyond.
- Manage Board committee, and community advisory groups including College Advisory, Teachers Advisory and Teen Ambassadors.
- Provide artistic vision and rationale, and guide strategy and implementation for LA Opera Connects programs that occur in the opera house and in community.
- Refine and adapt legacy programs as appropriate to further LA Opera's mission and vision, and to reflect and meet the needs of the community, especially in a post-COVID world.
- Create sustainable relevant and bold programming to complement mainstage, Off Grand, and On Now presentations, helping to welcome new and returning audiences and enrich their engagement with the art form.
Partnership and Fundraising
- Expand established strategic relationships with key community partners and identify new opportunities to collaborate with community organizations; LA Opera Connects should be seen and valued as an essential community partner to others.
- In partnership with LA Opera's development team, assist in seeking program support including but not limited to donor cultivation, stewardship, grant management and reporting.
Operations and Budget Management
- Manage the fiscal integrity of the LA Opera Connects department and programs; direct an annual department budget of $1.5 million, and additional special budgets of $500K-$1 million.
- Ensure maximum resource utilization and coordinate the scheduling and implementation of projects.
- Work as a strategic partner to the President/CEO and Chief Financial Officer to develop both short and long-term financial goals and plans for the department, including a proposed annual budget and monthly updates; follow and enhance established processes for forecasting, monitoring, and reporting.
- Ensure the acquisition, utilization, maintenance and appropriate control and accountability of all funds, physical assets, and other properties.
- Negotiate and execute business contracts, notes, agreements, and other instruments made and entered into and on behalf of the organization.
The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:
- A passion for the performing arts, ideally but not exclusively opera and/or classical music, as well as community engagement and education.
- A minimum of ten years of experience in programming and community engagement, coupled with strategic planning and execution, ideally within a performing arts or arts and culture organization.
- Demonstrated expertise in developing and producing shows and programs with overlapping schedules; ability to manage artists, teaching artists and administrators.
- Deep experience and demonstrated success in designing standards-based educational programming for diverse populations, and working with school and district administrations.
- The confidence to advocate for creative, original programming coupled with the resilience to lead and build a department that is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of the community.
- A strong understanding and appreciation of how to work within a large nonprofit structure, including marketing sensibility, awareness of philanthropic partners and processes; prior experience collaborating on fundraising and promotion activities is preferred.
- A collaborative, positive and flexible team player who can work closely with company leaders, Board members, artists, and other internal and external constituencies; the ability to be decisive and align others around strategic decisions.
- Exceptional interpersonal skills and compelling professional presence to build strong relationships and adapt to the needs of diverse groups of individuals at all levels of the organization.
- Strong management and human resources skills with demonstrated success in team building, engagement, and leadership.
- A degree in the arts or arts administration is preferred.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:
Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.
QUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS, PLEASE APPLY:
LA Opera has implemented a mandatory COVID vaccination policy, which requires employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID to perform work for the company beginning August 9, 2021. Within 24 hours of accepting an offer of employment with LA Opera, individuals must either submit proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID or submit to the human resources department a medical or religious exemption from the vaccination policy. If proof of vaccination is not provided and a request for an exemption is either not submitted or not granted, the offer of employment will be withdrawn. Individuals receiving an offer of employment from LA Opera will be provided the full text of the vaccination policy.
Individuals of identities that are underrepresented in arts administration are especially encouraged to apply. LA Opera is an equal opportunity employer, and we do not discriminate against applicants on the basis of any legally protected categories.