Director of Artistic Operations and the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio

Arizona Opera

Phoenix, AZ

Work Location: In-office


  • Full Time
  • Phoenix, AZ (Remote)
  • Mon, May 1, 2023
  • Work Location: In-office
  • Opera
  • $80,000.00
  • $90,000.00

Website Arizona Opera

Arizona Opera is seeking an inspired, passionate, and focused leader to join the Senior Staff team as Director of Artistic Operations and the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio as the company continues to pursue its vision of artistic vitality, delivery of civic value, audience expansion, and institutional strength and sustainability.

Since 1971, Arizona Opera has produced over 200 fully staged operas and concerts. As one of the only companies in the country to perform in two major metropolitan cities, Arizona Opera presents artists of both international stature and emerging talent, and each season balances debut artists and the return of favorite performers. In addition to producing five productions each year in both Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona Opera offers in-school touring productions and numerous outreach events for children and adults of all ages. The 2021/22 Season celebrated the company’s 50th Anniversary.

Now in its 16th year, the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio plays an essential role in AZO’s artistic profile, bridging the gap between academic studies and a professional career. Studio Artists are in residence all season, performing both on our main stage and throughout Arizona, while receiving well-rounded personalized instruction designed to propel each artist to the next level.

Arizona Opera has recently reshaped its strategy around creating the most dynamic artistic program possible, based on a community-centric approach. This strategy shift resulted in the company’s adoption of a new season model beginning in the 2018/19 Season, with the new Arizona Opera McDougall RED Series in the Fall, and the Arizona Opera Main Stage Series in the Winter & Spring, which is comprised of two beloved classics, and one large-scale contemporary opera as part of the Marlu Allan and Scott Stallard Modern Masterworks Series.

Job Title: Director of Artistic Operations and the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Department: Artistic
Reports To: President and General Director
FLSA Status: Not Eligible for OT (Exempt)
Classification: Full time


The Director of Artistic Operations and the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio (“Director”) will be a key member of AZO’s senior management team, working closely with the President and General Director to maximize the company’s artistic vibrancy and excellence, continually increasing AZO’s civic value for the benefit of the communities it serves.

As the Director of Artistic Operations, the Director oversees the Artistic Department’s involvement in all opera productions, workshops, and other programs, including providing support to other departments as needed for their artistic needs. The Director leads an Artistic department budget of $1.5M to $2M, collaborates with the President and General Director on auditions and casting, and manages all relations with artist unions (i.e., AFM and AGMA).

As the Director of the Pullin Opera Studio, the Director collaborates with the President and General Director in the selection of the Studio Artists, working with the Studio’s Principal Coach and Artistic Advisor, if applicable, in order to develop the optimal pathway for artistic and professional growth for each Studio Artist, including casting within each AZO mainstage season.

Essential Functions as Director of Artistic Operations
• Coordinate artistic initiatives with the President and General Director, in alignment with AZO’s strategic direction
• Lead the preparation of the Artistic and Studio budgets, cash flows, and other reporting as needed
• Research ideas for repertoire, directors, conductors, singers etc. as suggested by the President and General Director
• Screen artist materials and identify and recommend potential singers for future productions
• Negotiate artist contracts and extend offers with agents
• Manage and oversee all matters related to travel/housing, as supported by the Associate Artistic Administrator
• Work with the Head of Music to ensure proper musical preparation for all mainstage productions, including the establishment of cuts, editions, and musical changes for each production, and ensure clear communication of such among the Artistic Department, casts, and creatives
• Work with Production to create the master rehearsal calendar and review and approve changes to the schedule
• Create orchestra and chorus schedules in partnership with stage management
• Oversee distribution of rehearsal notes from Maestro in rehearsal room and in the theater
• Participate in mainstage auditions with the President and General Director
• Work in conjunction with outward facing departments, including Community Alliances, Marketing, and Development, to schedule performance opportunities for Studio, Mainstage Artists, Chorus Members or Singers from the community as needed
• Participate as a member of the management team for negotiations with artistic/music unions, including AGMA and AFM
• Coordinate repertoire with principal artists for ancillary events
• Attend events and performances and act as liaison to the artists

Essential Functions as Director of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio

• Lead the direction of the Pullin Opera Studio to ensure the highest quality of mentorship for Studio Artists, working with the Studio’s Principal Coach to maximize the Artists’ career opportunities
• Work with the Principal Studio Coach to ensure the musical and linguistic development of the Studio Artists, including selecting guest faculty and arranging master classes, as well as collaborating with the President and General Director in the selection of Artistic Advisors for the program’s continued growth and strategic direction
• Lead the selection of Studio Artists, including the application process and pre-screening, working with the President and General Director and/or Principal Studio Coach on live audition tours and final artist selection
• Create and maintain the Pullin Opera Studio budget
• Maintain close contact with conductors to ensure highest musical standards for each production, including as it relates to the participation of the Studio Artists
• Speak at ancillary cultivation or performance related events as requested, including all Pullin Opera Studio events
• Support AZO’s Development Department on donor cultivation and events as needed
• Other duties as the company may assign

Supervisory Responsibility: Associate Artistic Administrator, Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artists, Head of Music/Chorus Master/Principal Coach of the Pullin Studio, Orchestra Manager, Orchestra Librarian


• Extensive knowledge of opera and classical repertoire
• 5+ years artistic administrative experience preferred
• Experience with contract negotiations
• Skilled at budget creation and tracking, utilizing Excel, Google Docs, QuickBooks, and/or similar software
• Bachelor’s degree preferred
• Able to multitask and ability to prioritize
• Familiarity with AGMA and AFM, including the Integrated Media Agreement, preferred
• Excellent organizational and leadership skills
• Willingness to work on evenings and weekends, as needed
• Established relationships with Industry insiders (Managers, Singers, Directors, Conductors and Young Artists) who can enable AZO to reach its highest artistic potential


• Energetic, forward thinking and creative individual with high ethical standards and appropriate professional image
• Strategic visionary with sound analytical ability, good judgment, and strong operational focus
• Outstanding oral and written skills, comfortable with public speaking and able to give polished, detailed presentations to audiences of all sizes and from varying backgrounds
• Organized self-directed individual who is a team player
• Intelligent and articulate individual who can relate to people at all levels of an organization and possesses excellent communication skills
• Ability to respond effectively to sensitive human relations matters
• Ability to maintain confidentiality
• Analytical skills and good judgment /decision making
• Excellent written and verbal skills

Additional Skills

• Proficiency Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel & PowerPoint
• Proficiency in ArtsVision, Google docs, and/or similar systems a plus
• Proficiency in web-based research tools, particularly those related to artistic planning (e.g., Operabase)

Physical Demands: Extended periods at workstation, using a keyboard, viewing a computer screen and communicating by telephone and in person. Some special event set up and break down may be required. Must be able to drive a car.

Work Environment: The Arizona Opera office environment is generally quiet but intensifies during periods when the company is in production. Also, see Physical Demands section above re special events.

Travel/Other Requirements:
Reliable transportation required and must be able to travel statewide. Flexible schedule that will require working some nights and weekends to attend events, performances, rehearsals, etc. This position requires air travel.

The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.

The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer and requirements of the position change.

Arizona Opera is an Equal Opportunity employer. The Arizona Opera does not discriminate against an Employee or candidate for employment because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin or nationality, age, disability, veteran status, marital status or any other legally protected status. We prohibit discrimination in all aspects of employment, including recruitment, hiring, compensation, benefits, engagements, assignments, training, discipline, termination, promotions or other conditions of employment or career development. We offer Reasonable Accommodations where necessary to candidates for employment and to our qualified employees with disabilities.

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