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Contract Type:Permanent
Salary or training bursary: £45,000 per annum
Company:Northern Ireland Opera
Open to all
Apply by:28/08/2020 - 12:00

Artistic Director

Do you have exceptional knowledge of the operatic repertoire and experience in the field? If so, apply now to join an award-winning opera company...

Founded in 2010, Northern Ireland Opera is Northern Ireland’s award-winning national opera company, and widely acclaimed as one of the most exciting operatic start-ups in UK and Irish history. With a philosophy of artistic excellence and risk-taking, underpinned by a bold and imaginative approach to programming and productions, Northern Ireland Opera is committed to the idea of opera as a uniquely enriching ‘total’ art form and one which should be open to everyone; through a modern but accessible production style, an emphasis on local participation and young people, and inexpensive ticket prices. The company has broadened the audience for opera in a region where there has been historic under-provision for the art form – and where the arts are uniquely placed to foster relations between communities. In only ten years, the company’s energy, ideas and high artistic standards have led to both national critical acclaim as well as an international profile.

Northern Ireland Opera is looking for a leader to take the company forward. This is a unique opportunity to lead Northern Ireland’s award-winning national opera company as the role includes both artistic and executive responsibilities. The successful candidate will be experienced in working at a senior level of an opera company. 


Artistic responsibilities

  • Plan and deliver the programme of existing and future artistic work, ensuring the company thrives artistically and is a vital source of energy within the local community
  • Continue to nurture the company’s unique identity within the context of a varied programme of work
  • Realise the company’s business plan and overall direction within the context of the Arts Council for Northern Ireland’s arts strategy
  • Maintain the highest standards of artistic excellence
  • Take forward the company’s championing of young Northern Irish and Irish operatic talent (singers, composers, conductors, designers, directors)
  • Develop existing and future links with artists and opera companies in Ireland, the UK and beyond (with a particular emphasis on co-productions)
  • Develop existing and future partnerships with orchestras, venues and collaborators in Northern Ireland and beyond
  • Provide artistic support to visiting artists and production personnel
  • Lead and develop the company’s Studio programme and facilitate appropriate opportunities for members and Studio Associates
  • Extend its outreach and community work especially to those who ordinarily do not have access to the arts

Executive responsibilities

  • Be an ambassador and advocate for the company and the art form in Northern Ireland and beyond
  • Manage all permanent and freelance staff
  • Oversee recruitment for all members of staff
  • Oversee the company’s marketing and audience development plans
  • Manage relationships with existing and future partners, funding agencies, donors and collaborators, including the Ulster Orchestra, the Grand Opera House and the Lyric Theatre
  • Manage all planning schedules
  • Regularly review the strategy and performance of staff and company

Financial responsibilities

  • Oversee the planning and oversight of annual company budgets and all production budgets
  • Ensure best practice in all areas of company budgeting
  • Ensure the best financial outcome in all negotiations with partners and collaborators
  • Oversee the development of the company’s fundraising strategy



  • At least 3 years’ recent, relevant experience of working at the senior level of an opera company
  • At least 5 years’ recent experience working as a proven, professional practitioner in the opera world, e.g. as stage director
  • Demonstrable experience of setting and managing production budgets and schedules
  • Demonstrable experience of managing and motivating people
  • Demonstrable experience of strategic planning in an arts environment
  • Exceptional knowledge of the operatic repertoire and the contemporary arts scene
  • Experience of fundraising and building effective relationships with public funders
  • Proven commitment to the development of young singers
  • Proven commitment to the broadening of the traditional audience for opera
  • Experience of media appearances (e.g. radio, print media)


  • Excellent contacts in the UK, Irish and European opera scenes
  • Excellent understanding of opera singing and voices
  • Some knowledge of at least one of the major opera languages (e.g. Italian, German, French)
  • Experience of touring
  • Third-level education or equivalent experience

Please note that the company reserves the right to withdraw this listing prior to the official closing date, therefore we recommend getting your applications in early.

This opportunity is open to all candidates

In order to apply for this opportunity, follow the steps below
Step 1: Complete the form below

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