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General Director – Fargo-Moorhead Opera

Cultural Management Consultants

Position Announcement

Fargo, North Dakota

Fargo-Moorhead Opera (FM Opera) invites applications and recommendations for the full-time position of General Director.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the General Director provides for the overall leadership of this company (annual budget: $500,000) with ultimate responsibility for all creative and operational aspects of administration and production. The General Director is the primary leader in artistic planning, fund-raising, building relationships with individuals and organizations in the community, and fulfilling the mission of the company.

FM Opera:

The mission of FM Opera is to ignite enthusiasm for opera through brilliant singing and powerful storytelling. It seeks to welcome and nurture new and established audiences and to showcase professional artists.

Founded in 1968, FM Opera is the only OPERA America company between Minneapolis and Montana, and Omaha and Winnipeg. During its 55-year history, FM Opera has staged more than 140 productions. It is part of the Decameron Opera Coalition: nine American opera companies coming together to create unique on-line opera experiences during the pandemic, winning many awards and inclusion in the Library of Congress’s Performing Arts COVID-19 Response Collection.

Season programming includes two larger main stage productions and two to three productions in the North of Normal Chamber Opera Series. The latter has featured multiple 2lst-century works, the company’s first Baroque opera, and concerts in a variety of non-traditional performance venues.

FM Opera is deeply committed to educational programming. Since 2013 its Gate City Bank Young Artists Program has offered valuable opportunity for emerging singers to train and gain stage experience. The Gate City Bank YAP is the cornerstone of its community outreach activities, activities which also include radio broadcasts, on-line streaming, and touring.

General Director David Hamilton joined FM Opera in 1999 and has been responsible for the company’s growth and development, both artistically and administratively. Prior to joining FM Opera, he was a full-time performing musician. As an opera singer, he has sung with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, Vancouver Opera, and Opera Nice, as well as many engagements with major symphony orchestras such as Baltimore, Minnesota, Indianapolis, Madrid, RTE Ireland, and the Israel Philharmonic. He is retiring at the end of the 22/23 season.

The Community:

Located approximately 250 miles northwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul on the Minnesota-North Dakota border, Fargo-Moorhead is located in the Red River Valley. It is a regional center for cultural, educational, transportation, financial, retail, and medical services. A vibrant community with a metropolitan population of 240,000, including a student population of over 25,000 that attends one of the four local institutions of higher education. Fargo-Moorhead has been named an “All-American City,” in recognition of its strong educational opportunities, premier health care facilities, progressive business environment, and rich arts and cultural climate.

The Position:

The General Director combines the roles of an artistic director and an executive director, reporting to a 12-to-15-member Board of Directors. and is responsible for artistic direction and overall organizational management. Artistic direction responsibilities include choosing repertoire, casting, and the hiring of production staff and orchestra. Managerial responsibilities include the oversight of fund-raising, strategic planning, digital initiatives, fiscal stewardship, diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments and community relations.

The staff team includes a relationship director and an office manager.

We seek an energetic leader who will build on the company’s solid foundation and reputation while attracting ever greater public support. The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated commitment to emerging artists, excellent artistic standards, and digital creation. The successful candidate will have a proven track record of effective leadership, fiscal responsibility, and fund-raising, with a strong commitment to community/educational partnerships.

The General Director is expected to maintain a profile as a leader of the opera industry and should foster a strong presence in Fargo-Moorhead. The position requires the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with artists, board members, community leaders, administrative and artistic staff, foundations, artists’ managers, corporate and individual donors, the operatic community, the media, and the audience. A strong contact network throughout the opera industry is vital.

Education and Experience:

Training in opera along with some background in business/non-profit management would be helpful, as well as prior experience in opera company administration, knowledge of the repertoire, and general knowledge of not-for-profit arts revenue generation (subscription and single ticket sales, all aspects of fund-raising), strategic and operating planning, budget development, office administration, board relations and governance, information systems, and human resource management.

The ideal candidate will have excellent communication skills, inspire enthusiasm, and be comfortable as the “public face” for the company. Applications from qualified Canadians would be welcomed.

Compensation: This is a full-time position; the successful candidate is expected to relocate to the Fargo-Moorhead area. The salary range is $65,000 to $80,000, with some benefits and help with relocation costs.

Application Process:

Interested candidates are invited to submit a letter of interest, resume and list of references, in confidence to:

Margaret Genovese
Senior Partner
Genovese Vanderhoof & Associates

For additional information: http://www.fmopera.org

Deadline for Applications: Friday, 31 March 2023

Fargo-Moorhead Opera does not discriminate against any person based on race, color, gender identify or expression, sexual orientation, religion, age, familial or marital status, veteran status, non-job related disability or any other basis protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws.


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