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Chief Development Officer

Detroit Opera
Michigan, United States
$150,000.00 - $175,000.00
Closing date
Dec 12, 2023

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Position Type
Fundraising, Fundraising Administration
Employment Type
Full Time

Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with Detroit Opera in the search for a Chief Development Officer.

Reporting to the President & CEO, the Chief Development Officer will be responsible for all contributed revenue for Detroit Opera. Through a positive and progressive leadership approach, guided by the artistic mission of the organization, the Chief Development Officer will provide the direction necessary to ensure Detroit Opera’s contributed revenue goals are met, ensuring mission focus and financial strength in the short and long term. The Chief Development Officer will have oversight of and play an active role in leading annual, capital, and endowment fundraising strategies and activities as well as special campaigns for monies raised from individual, corporate, foundation, and government sources.

Detroit Opera is in an exciting period of transition that began with the appointment of Yuval Sharon as the Gary L. Wasserman Artistic Director in 2020. His vision is to transform Detroit Opera’s programming model toward more self-produced and original productions. Under his artistic direction, recent highlights include 2020’s Twilight: Gods, a drive-through experience of Richard Wagner’s opera Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods), staged in the Detroit Opera’s Parking Center. This was followed in 2021 by a new staging of Ragnar Kjartansson’s performance piece BLISS and the world premiere in 2022 of a new co-production of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, the first revival of Anthony Davis and Thulani Davis’s opera since its 1986 premiere.

Under Sharon’s leadership, Detroit Opera has attracted an extraordinary artistic team including the appointment of world-renowned soprano Christine Goerke as its Associate Artistic Director in 2021 and Mexican American conductor Roberto Kalb as its Music Director in 2022. They join Artistic Advisor for Dance Jon H. Teeuwissen in leading Detroit Opera as the foremost producer and presenter of opera, music theater, and dance in the Great Lakes Region. The organization engages artists of national and international stature for mainstage and community performances and provides cultural-enrichment programs for a broad range of audiences and communities. It is one of Detroit’s leading arts and culture organizations.

Detroit Opera is committed to bringing music to all people of Detroit. Opera in the Parks are free, outdoor performances that take place during the summer and feature members of the company’s Touring Ensemble. There are also summer programs for young people that allow students to gain experience in not only performing, but also creating their own compositions and dances. Detroit Opera also works closely with area schools to ensure that all children can experience opera, music theater, and dance throughout the school year, offering trips to the Detroit Opera House for backstage tours as well as the opportunity to experience dress rehearsals. Detroit Opera Touring Ensemble brings performances to area schools that are suitable for all audiences. For teens interested in opera, Detroit Opera is part of “Opera Teens,” a national movement that empowers teenagers to pursue their interests in opera, share opera with others, and leverage the power of the art form to serve local communities. Teens in the program attend performances, explore careers in opera, and connect with peers and professionals nationwide.

A bachelor's degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required for this position as is at least seven years of senior management experience. Although direct experience of opera is not required, the successful candidate must have a passion for the performing arts. Detroit Opera will consider a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. Candidates returning to work after a gap in employment, simply looking to transition, or taking the next step in their career path are encouraged to apply. All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and resume. Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of Detroit Opera as well as the responsibilities and qualifications stated in the position prospectus. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the successful candidate has been selected.

The salary range for this position is $150,000 to $175,000 annually.

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