Artistic Director

Portland Opera is looking for an innovative Artistic Director who believes that the performing arts play a major role in bringing communities together; a leader who wants to uplift the Portland Opera community at a time when many citizens feel a need for healing as a result of effects from the pandemic, civil unrest, and social isolation. The ideal Artistic Director candidate will complement and contrast the current leadership team’s professional experience and cultural background and join the executive team of Portland Opera to lead the company in strategic growth and fiscal sustainability. BIPOC candidates and women strongly encouraged to apply.

Who you are:
  • An innovative, enthusiastic opera lover who wants to share their passion with the Portland Opera community.

  • An inspiring leader who can articulate an artistic vision and excite various constituents around a common goal.

  • A bold curator of artistic programs that invite community engagement and conversations, not afraid to tackle important current issues, while finding ways to reenergize and contextualize traditional operatic works.

  • An inclusive trailblazer who understands that empowering others is part of achieving our best work.

  • A mindful collaborator who believes in Portland Opera’s values, fosters an inclusive workspace and treats everybody with respect. Egos need not apply!

What you bring:
  • An artistic vision to add to Portland Opera’s future—with a proven track record of artistic and production collaboration in the meeting space, rehearsal room, and theatre.

  • A solid knowledge of operatic repertoire, including canonic and current works from a broad range of creators.

  • A commitment to looking at story telling through a diverse and equitable lens with a desire to amplify a variety of voices to help inspire our audiences and community.

  • A curiosity to expand your network and create new cross-disciplinary collaborations locally and nationally.

  • A strong sense of artist training and vocal development, with a desire to empower the next generation of artists.

  • An ability to negotiate a variety of contracts fairly yet steadfastly with the best outcome for all in mind.

  • A sensitivity to anticipating what people may need, where concerns may arise, and how to solve challenges with emotional intelligence and empathy.

Essential Functions
 Artistic Planning & Casting
  • Plan repertoire in collaboration with General Director, Artistic Advisors, and Producing Director.

  • Make creative team and casting decisions for all productions and programs together with General Director and Artistic Advisors.

  • Attend and organize national and local auditions as well as performances to scout and evaluate talent and productions.

  • Negotiate guest artist and artistic project contracts with artist managers, and other external artistic organizations.

  • Participate in/lead AGMA, AFM, IATSE union conversations and negotiations with General Director and Producing Director.

Portland Opera Resident Artist Program (PORA)
  • Direct and oversee all activities of the Portland Opera Resident Artist Program (PORA), including mainstage participation, recital planning, development department activities, community engagement activities, etc.

  • Establish curriculum for PORA in collaboration with Artistic Advisors and Producing Director.

Department Administration
  • Establish multi-year artistic and PORA plans and budgets in collaboration with Producing Director and others, and ensure budgets are adhered to.

  • Oversee artistic department staff in processing of all contracts and procedures.

  • Oversee logistics for visiting guest artists and PORA participants.

(Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.)

Other Duties

Please note, this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

  • Expertise in operatic repertoire, programming, company creation, casting, etc.
  • Understanding of AFM and AGMA unions
  • Personal commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion practices
  • Personnel management and diplomatic conflict resolution skills
  • Understanding of young artist vocal and artistic development
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Public speaking facility
Highly Desirable
  • Experience producing commissions and/or premieres
  • Knowledge of other languages (It, Fr, Ge, Sp in particular)
  • Hiring and personnel management
Job Conditions

This job requires creating and maintaining paper and computer files, as well as communicating using e-mail and telephone. Roughly 75% of the workday is spent working at a computer workstation. The workstation is lit with a combination of fluorescent and task lighting, as well as natural light.

Equipment Used

In addition to computer workstation and telephone, the Artistic Director uses reproduction devices and office tools typical of an office environment.

Physical Demands

Position requires extended periods of sitting. Some concentrated data entry using computer keyboard and mouse is required. Phone work is intermittent and usually not for prolonged periods of the workday. Occasional lifting tasks are required and are limited to 40 pounds or less without assistance. The Artistic Director’s desk, computer and seating are not shared and can be adjusted to make them more ergonomically comfortable.

More Information & How To Apply

Salary is competitive, based on experience. Benefit package available. Immediate opening until filled

Qualified candidates should forward a cover letter, including a paragraph about why you seek this position specifically in the Portland, OR market, as well as an outline of your “dream” season programming. Please also include your resume or C/V, and three references. Application materials should be submitted directly to Sue Dixon, General Director,

No phone calls please.

About Portland Opera

We gather and inspire audiences, artists, and collaborators to share opera experiences that enliven and connect us all, enhancing the cultural landscape of the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Learn about our vision, mission, and values.

Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

At Portland Opera, we are committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace and we are an equal opportunity employer.  Portland Opera Association will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment based on race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, protected veteran status, or other characteristics protected by law. We are committed to eliminating barriers to access and equity and see a diverse workforce as a key step toward this goal. We invite you to join us on our journey.

Portland Opera is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization and an Equal Opportunity Employer.