Executive Director Position

Eugene Opera welcomes applications for the position of Executive Director.


For 40 seasons, Eugene Opera has presented professional opera in western Oregon, staging many of the world’s best-known operas and some of the best new operatic works. Productions regularly feature both nationally-known artists and Pacific Northwest artists. Favorable notices include recent Opera News reviews of Dead Man Walking (2013) and The Turn of the Screw (2015). The company produces two to four productions annually. It is a resident company of the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, which can seat over 2400. Eugene Opera also emphasizes its educational mission and is an essential educational resource for the students, teachers, and music lovers of the greater Eugene/Springfield community.

Eugene Opera is currently re-inventing itself after financial difficulties led to the cancellation of the second half of its 2016-17 season. The company has successfully appealed to the community for support and made excellent progress financially. It is now entirely debt free and has an exceptionally high level of pledges for the 2017-18 season. The company is transitioning from its past management model with a part-time non-resident General Director, and will instead have a full-time resident Executive Director as well as a part-time non-resident Artistic Director.


The Executive Director is a full-time position, requiring residence in the greater Eugene area. The position reports to the Board of Directors, and works closely with the Artistic Director on strategic planning to continue Eugene Opera’s reputation for artistic excellence both locally and nationally, while maintaining financial stability. The Executive Director will play a significant role in shaping the organization as the company completes its turn-around.

The successful candidate will have demonstrated successes and substantial experience in fundraising and donor relations, audience development, and organizational management; and will have a deep knowledge of both the business of opera and the general operatic repertoire. The successful candidate will be a passionate advocate for the art form and an excellent communicator, with the ability to represent the company in private donor meetings, public events and a myriad of other situations.

RESPONSIBILITIES include, but are not limited to:

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP / OPERATIONS / FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT: Take overall responsibility for: strategic planning; day-to-day operations and management of administrative staff; financial oversight; communication; contracting; coordination with other organizations. Oversee all marketing activities. Work closely with Artistic Director to create future seasons and to develop and maintain company calendar of all activities including productions.

DEVELOPMENT / INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT: Take primary responsibility for meeting or exceeding fund-raising targets. Create and execute fund-raising strategies and activities; oversee donor database and donor communications; plan and coordinate grant submissions. Collaborate with Board and Artistic Director as appropriate on planning and execution.

AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT / EDUCATION: Create strategies to cultivate new audiences and performance opportunities. Work closely with Artistic Director and Eugene Opera Education Committee to manage educational activities. Expand Eugene Opera’s relationships with local universities and colleges.

BOARD RELATIONS: Ensure that the Board has essential information to perform its functions. Coordinate with officers, committees, and directors as appropriate to facilitate Board operations.

More details on responsibilities


  • Accountability and Honesty
  • Strategic and analytic thinking
  • Effective and articulate communication, both orally and in writing
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Problem solving / decision making
  • Negotiation
  • Delegation


  • Degree in Arts Administration or equivalent 5+ years’ professional experience.
  • Demonstrated experience in fund-raising/institutional development, audience development, financial management, and project and/or organizational management.
  • Understanding of not-for-profit finance and accounting.
  • Knowledge of opera and industry practices.
  • Knowledge of Donor Perfect is preferred.


Submit a cover letter that describes your interest, a resume, the names of three professional references, and salary history or requirements to searchcommittee@eugeneopera.com. Electronic submissions are required; no phone calls please.

For first consideration, submit your application by June 26, 2017. Applications received after that date may be considered, but consideration is not guaranteed.

Eugene Opera, a registered 501(c) 3 organization, is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages individuals of all backgrounds and cultures to consider this leadership position. The company’s commitment to inclusivity encompasses, but is not limited to, diversity in nationality, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disability.