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General Director

Chicago Opera Theater
General Director
Position announcement

Chicago Opera Theater welcomes applications and nominations for the position of General Director, available in the Spring of 2023.

The General Director (GD) is the chief executive officer having full responsibility for all operations of the Company, including artistic planning and implementation and the management of all administrative and financial activities. All department heads report to the GD. The GD reports to the Board of Directors and is the liaison between staff and board.

Chicago Opera Theater

Chicago Opera Theater (COT), founded in 1973, recently launched its 50th Anniversary celebration with the presentation of Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring. In 1979, COT presented the Chicago premiere of that work.

COT is a company laser-focused on living its values: expanding the tradition of opera as a living art form, producing high-quality works new to Chicago audiences, identifying top-tier casts and creative talent at the beginning of grand operatic careers, and following through on commitments to equity and access – behind the scenes, on the stage, and in the audience. The company has a particularly strong education program. Since its founding, COT has grown into a national leader in an increasingly vibrant diverse, and forward-looking art form. COT has staged over 150 operas, including 78 Chicago premieres and 45 operas by American composers. COT’s Elizabeth Morse and Genius music director Lidiya Yankovskaya is one of only two women to hold the title of music director at a multi-million dollar opera company in the United States.

The Opportunity

The General Director provides the vision for the Company, consistent with the mission statement: “Chicago Opera Theater expands the tradition of opera as a living art form by engaging lovers of music and storytelling through innovative experiences predominantly of new and rarely performed works.”

The GD provides the leadership to realize the mission of the Company both internally and externally.

The GD creates a working environment that is respectful of and safe for the staff and artists of Chicago Opera Theater and that inspires creativity and productivity.

The GD plays a leadership role in the company’s strong commitment to the principles of DEI.

The GD encourages the role of the Company in the training and development of young artists and administrators in opera production and management; and

The GD represents and is the principal spokesperson for the Company.

The GD works in partnership with the Music Director to select repertoire and engage artistic personnel.

The GD, in cooperation with the Board of Directors and working with the Music Director and staff department heads, develops and manages the Company’s annual budget.

The GD works in close partnership with the Director of Development to ensure the attainment of fundraising goals and oversees marketing and PR efforts to maximize earned revenue.

Candidate Profile

The successful candidate will be an energetic leader with a thorough knowledge of the art form, and the drive, creativity, and skills needed to develop an enthusiastic audience and donor base. The successful candidate will be a collaborator, both within the organization and throughout the community, connecting with community leaders. The successful candidate will also maintain and enhance COT’s visibility nationally and internationally.

Salary range for this role is $105k - $120k annually, commensurate with experience. COT offers health insurance benefits, generous paid holidays, paid time off, retirement account access, and other competitive benefits.

Please send materials to The position will remain open until filled, but the Search Committee will begin reviewing applications on March 6, 2023.

Contact Info:
Search Committee
Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL