Chief Executive (maternity cover)

We are seeking to appoint an exceptional individual for the position of Chief Executive (provisional term 12 months), to cover our Artistic Director / Chief Executive’s maternity leave. This is the senior leadership role within the organisation, responsible for leading and implementing OperaUpClose’s strategic vision and ensuring our long-term financial sustainability.

Working from offices in East London, you’ll lead a small team dedicated to touring high-quality opera, participation and audience development programmes across the UK and beyond. The Chief Executive will work closely with the Producer to deliver our productions to growing, diverse audiences across the UK; with the Development Officer to shape and deliver our fundraising strategy, raising at least £250k per year from grants, individual giving and sponsorship; and with the Company Manager to oversee contracting and financial management. The Chief Executive is supported by our active and committed Board of Trustees and works closely with them to ensure that OperaUpClose delivers its charitable objectives to the highest possible standards.

OperaUpClose is an ambitious, inclusive, Olivier Award-winning touring opera company. We produce high quality, innovatively staged, unintimidating and affordable English language productions. We commission composers to write new orchestrations, and librettists to write new English versions of classic large-scale operas, working with exciting directors to create productions that challenge and excite and, where necessary, confront some of the sexist, racist or other outdated baggage which hampers otherwise great works of art. We produce operas for children, and learning and participation opportunities for people of all ages. We regularly co-produce with the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry and have done so with Malmö Opera, Kings Place and Kiln Theatre. Our productions visited over 50 venues last year, including CAST Doncaster, Derby Theatre, Harrogate Theatre, Nuffield Southampton and Oxford Playhouse.

Our mission is to show that opera is a vibrant, living artform that everyone can enjoy and be inspired by. There is a place for people of all genders, ethnicities, backgrounds and economic means as part of the audience; as performers; and behind the scenes, at our productions. We encourage people who are unfamiliar with opera to try it by strategically breaking down barriers that prevent them from doing so. We provide opportunities for existing opera audiences to engage with classic operas in new ways and discover new music and artists. We want to diversify the audience and makers of opera, which in turn will result in the most exciting, resilient and relevant artform for the future.

In 2019, we will be producing a new production of Maria Stuarda, touring to historic venues including Charterhouse and Glastonbury Abbey; Peace At Last, a new opera for 3-5 year olds based on Jill Murphy’s classic picture book; and a revival of our Olivier Award-winning production of La Bohème to celebrate our ten year anniversary. In 2020 we will premiere a new version of Puccini’s Madam Butterfly, with a new orchestration featuring Japanese instruments by Ruth Chan.

If you have the arts management skills we are looking for and are passionate about breaking down the barriers which prevent people from experiencing and participating in this amazing artform, we would love to hear from you.  

We welcome applications from candidates from diverse backgrounds.

Salary: £35,000 – 38,000 p.a. (pro rata, four days per week)
Deadline for applications: 10am on Monday 3 December 2018

Please download the full job description and person specification for details on how to apply, by clicking on the button below.