Charlottesville Opera General Director Search

GENOVESE VANDERHOOF & ASSOCIATES Cultural Management Consultants


CHARLOTTESVILLE OPERA Charlottesville, Virginia General Director

Charlottesville Opera invites applications and referrals for the position of General Director.

The Organization:

For 40 years Charlottesville Opera has produced opera, music theatre, and other musical performances. Originally the company produced its performances at Ash Lawn-Highland, the home of President James Monroe. In 2009 the season was relocated to the historic Paramount Theatre on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall (seating capacity: 1041). In 2017, the company changed its name from Ash Lawn Opera to Charlottesville Opera. The annual budget is approximately $800,000.

Its mission is to produce high quality opera and musicals at affordable prices; to provide training opportunities and experience for young artists, apprentice singers, and interns; to provide educational nourishment for all sectors of the community; and to enrich the cultural vitality and quality of life in Virginia and the mid-Atlantic region.

Charlottesville Opera has a deep and long-standing commitment to providing free year-round educational opportunities for students and adults in its community. These programs have reached more than 15,000 people since 1994 and range from in-school activities for underserved youth to internships for fledging arts administrators to performance opportunities for young singers. Other projects include an Artist-in-Residence program, KidsFest in the summer, Library activities, pre-performance lectures, informal discussions with the design team, and the opening up of student dress rehearsals to young people.

Charlottesville Opera produces an annual summer season of two productions (one opera and one musical) as well as occasional winter and spring performances, bringing in more than 100 singers, orchestra musicians, directors, designers, and technical staff. There is a long-time, committed core group of musicians and other opera professionals who return every year: a continued artistic surplus for the company.

The company partners with a variety of local arts groups including Wilson School of Dance, Virginia Consort, Charlottesville Ballet, Virginia Festival of the Book, and the Oratorio Society of Virginia. It has a deeply committed, active, and financially supportive board of 28 community members.

Position Summary and Candidate Profile:

The General Director will have overall accountability for all aspects of Charlottesville Opera, both artistically and administratively.

The ideal candidate will have senior management experience in the opera/cultural field, a proven record of success in fundraising with both annual fund and major gifts, and the ability to work cooperatively with staff and volunteers, including the Board of Directors. Training in opera/music and/or arts management is required, as well as a good contact network throughout the opera industry. Experience with a festival operation would be desirable.

Key responsibilities include the oversight of:

Artistic Operations: Programming, Production Management Financial Management, including budgeting and expense control Fund-raising (individuals, corporations, foundations, and special events) General Administration, including staff hiring and management Marketing and Public Relations Education and Community Outreach.

Other required skills include experience in the planning and budgeting of opera seasons, the development and management of budgets, knowledge of fund- raising, marketing, opera repertoire and production, and competence in strategic problem solving.

The Board of Directors is seeking someone who inspires enthusiasm, a professional interested in growing the company over a number of years. The new General Director will partner with the Board to develop and execute an artistic vision and long-term fiscally-responsible operational strategy for the company.

This is a full-time position reporting to the Board of Directors. The new General Director would be expected to reside in the Charlottesville area.

Salary commensurate with experience. Benefits package.


The City of Charlottesville is located in west Central Virginia, approximately 100 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. and 70 miles northwest of Richmond, Virginia. It serves as the region’s economic, cultural, and educational center. In 2014 the Census Bureau estimated the City’s population to be approximately 46,000 and the Charlottesville SMSA population to be over 200,000.

Known for its architectural and historical significance and its natural beauty, Albermarle County was the home of two American presidents, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. The University of Virginia and Jefferson’s house Monticello are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Downtown Charlottesville is home to one of the longest outdoor pedestrian malls in the United States with stores, restaurants, and civic attractions, as well as the Virginia Discovery Museum and the 3,500-seat outdoor amphitheatre, the Sprint Pavilion.

Visitors come to the area for vineyard and brewery tours, ballooning, hiking, and world-class entertainment such as Charlottesville Opera. The city is the center of a sizable indie music scene and has an active theatre community, as well as museums

How to Apply:

Please send resume and cover letter with salary requirements and a list of references by Friday, November 9, 2018 to:

Margaret Genovese Senior Partner Genovese, Vanderhoof & Associates

77 Carlton Street, Suite 1103 Toronto, ON Canada M5B 2J7.

For additional information:,