Chautauqua Institution

  • ARTS: Managing Director, Chautauqua Opera

    Job Locations US-NY-Chautauqua
    Posted Date 1 month ago(3/19/2019 1:57 PM)
    # of Openings
    Arts: Opera
  • Overview

    Chautauqua Institution is a ‘not-for-profit’ global convener of dialogue and debate on the most significant issues of the day through engagement across four pillars of arts, education, religion, and recreation. The Chautauqua community is located on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in Southwestern New York State and comes alive each summer with a unique mix of visual and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship/programs, and recreational activities.


    Founded in 1929, The Chautauqua Opera Company is North America's oldest continuously operating summer opera company and 4th oldest opera company after the Metropolitan Opera, Cincinnati Opera and San Francisco Opera. The Chautauqua Opera Company offers more than 30 operatic events each season, including three mainstage productions in Chautauqua Institution's 4000-seat Amphitheater and in the historic 1,300-seat Norton Hall, concerts with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, weekly recitals, opera performances for young audiences, and Opera Invasions.  The Chautauqua Opera Guild serves as an advocacy group in support of the Chautauqua Opera Company.


    Position Summary

    The Managing Director will report to the General & Artistic Director on management of daily operations and administrative functions for Chautauqua Opera Company in support of mission to produce highly captivating opera/music theater, excite audiences of all ages, nurture/develop young singers, attract opera lovers and encourage exploration of opera through multiple encounters within and beyond the gates of Chautauqua Institution.  The Managing Director will collaborate with Performing and Visual Arts (PAVA) to plan and execute administrative and logistical aspects of the opera company’s summer operating season and off-season activities.  


    Duties and Responsibilities

    Daily Operations

    • Manage Chautauqua Opera Administrative Office, including an Administrative Assistant (Seasonal) and (4) Seasonal Support Staff. Maintain effective work processes and systems to maximize individual and collaborative performance.  Participate in a synergistic team environment that consistently delivers positive results. 
    • Provide administrative assistance for the General & Artistic Director and serve as an administrative liaison to interworking departments, such as Production, Costumes, Wigs & Makeup, Music Administration, Performing & Visual Arts (PAVA) and Ticket Office. Act as an information resource for all company members on departmental as well as organization policies/procedures.
    • Use professional communication skills to answer a high volume of phone calls, answer widely variable questions, respond in a timely manner to all inquiries and relay complete messages/information as required. Author routine email correspondence and complete daily mail distribution.  Complete routine surveys for Opera America.   
    • Process payments by verifying vendor numbers, coding invoices, scheduling payments, resolving contract/invoice or payment discrepancies and ensuring monies owed are received as scheduled.  Coordinate invoicing and transfer of funds with Chautauqua Opera Guild.
    • Charge expenses to accounts and cost centers by analyzing invoices and obtaining appropriate approvals and recording entries.
    • Maintain accurate and organized financial records of business transactions as well as detailed of inquiries, complaints, comments, and Review financial records to answer questions, explain information and find a resolution to billing issues.
    • Responsible for petty cash during the off-season in Chautauqua Opera Office.  Distributes petty cash by recording entry and verifying documentation.  Follows established procedures for cash handling and complete/maintain required documentation.

    Auditions, Housing, Travel & Special Events

    • Determine staff housing needs, coordinate rentals/assignments, submit travel/housing allowances for approval within budget, arrange flights/transportation from the airport and prepare housing (including dorms) with support and direction of General & Artistic Director. Use established procedures to procure complimentary season gate passes and parking permits for seasonal staff/guests.  
    • Organize and schedule auditions for Young Artists and Guest Artists, including management of studio rentals in New York City. Contract and coordinate logistics for all audition accompanists and regional hosts for Young Artists.
    • Plan, coordinate logistics and execute company sponsored receptions and parties. 


    • Collaborate with Chautauqua Foundation to research and develop sources for funding, participate in fundraisers and use competencies in grant writing to assist in securing philanthropy.
    • Write grant proposals for National Endowment for the Arts, and other funding sources, in collaboration with Chautauqua Foundation.


    • Work with Director of Facilities and Buildings & Grounds/Housekeeping Departments to arrange pre-season/post season maintenance and cleaning of the Opera Center. Use the electronic Help Desk to submit work orders for ongoing maintenance needs. 
    • Records distribution and collection of building keys to all departments. 

    Human Resources

    • Partner with General & Artistic Director (Chautauqua Opera Company), Human Resources and PAVA Administrative Support Staff to direct the hiring process in iCIMS Recruitment/Onboarding Software, including the review of applications, conducting interviews and completing corresponding electronic onboarding processes (including verification procedures for Form I-9 using I-9 Advantage/E-Verify). Write and circulate contracts to for union members, including Guest Artists and Young Artists.
    • Serve as a ‘first point of contact’ for employee performance/concerns and problem resolution in accordance with established Coaching & Corrective Action Procedure at Chautauqua Institution and in partnership with Human Resources/General & Artistic Director (Chautauqua Opera Company).
    • Monitor and/or complete timely authorization of hours worked for payroll processing in UltiPro HRIS System. Audit areas of responsibility to guarantee compliance with Federal and New York State Labor Laws, Company Policies/Procedures, Standard Operating Procedures, and Guest Service Standards.
    • Support procedures for Public Health/Safety, including but not limited to Occupational Health & Safety Act (OSHA) Regulations, Fire/Evacuation Procedures, Employee/Guest Injury Documentation, and Worker’s Compensation.


    Formal Education Requirements

    • Minimum Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Music, Theatre Studies or closely related field is required. Candidates with an equivalent combination of education/work experience will also be considered.

    Formal Experience Requirements

    • Minimum 3-years prior supervisory or management experience in a professional non-profit performing arts organization with direct responsibility for the business function is required.

    Skills and Abilities

    • Experience building successful relationships with board members, volunteers, artistic professionals, community members, donors, and prospective donors and with community organization leaders. 
    • Excellent interpersonal and professional communication skills (written/verbal) to interact with internal management and staff at all levels, as well as patrons and donors.
    • Exceptional attention to detail coupled with the ability to make quick strategic decisions, take initiative and prioritize multiple tasks in a fast paced, high demand environment. 
    • Proficiency in various computer applications, including Microsoft Suite, SharePoint/One Drive, and HRIS Solutions. 
    • Ability to professionally manage paid staff, volunteers and interns to collaboratively accomplish a wide variety of administrative and production support tasks.  

    Working Conditions and Environmental Hazards

    • Normal levels of office noise from conversation, computers, and systems. Risk of eye strain due to heavy computer usage. The employee should seek to change visual focus every twenty minutes to alleviate potential discomfort.

    Physical Requirements

    • Primarily light work with approximately 85% of work performed sitting at a desk and using substantial/repetitive motion of fingers, wrists, and hands (including grasping).   
    • Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body.
    • Stooping, kneeling, crouching, reaching and when organizing the office, filing paperwork and managing daily administrative tasks using resources at floor/desk/overhead levels.
    • Standing, walking, pushing, pulling and lifting to travel to work events and assist with the transportation of materials and/or event set up.
    • Visual acuity to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal and extensive reading.
    • Talking by expressing ideas and conveying instructions as well as hearing to perceive sound with or without corrections.  Ability to receive detailed information through oral communication.



    • Vice President of Performing and Visual Arts, Chautauqua Institution
    • General & Artistic Director, Chautauqua Opera Company
    • Music Administrator/Chorus Master, Chautauqua Opera Company
    • Director of Production, Chautauqua Opera Company
    • Director of Marketing, Chautauqua Opera Company
    • Production Staff, Music Staff, Guest Instructors, and Costume Design
    • Human Resources Director and Payroll Manager, Chautauqua Institution
    • Executive, Senior and Management Teams at Chautauqua Institution


    • Artistic Professionals (Visiting and ‘In Residence’)
    • Chautauqua Guild Board of Directors
    • Donors and Prospective Donors
    • Chautauqua Community Members
    • Guests and Visitors to Chautauqua Institution
    • Broader Chautauqua and Western New York Communities

    Hours of Work

    • The work schedule requires a part-time commitment of an average of 30-hours/week with flexibility to work evenings, weekends and holidays as required and a willingness to flex up in scheduled work hours (based on business need) – particularly during summer seasonal operations.

    Supervision & Guidance

    • Assistant Company Manager
    • Company Scheduler


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