ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

Artistic Director – Boston Lyric Opera


The Artistic Director is an eminent creative in the field, possessing a wealth of knowledge, experience, and professional connections to draw upon in leading the artistic vision of BLO. Their chief duty is to manage and direct the organization’s performance and artistic programming wing. The Artistic Director reports to the General Director & CEO and partners with the Music Director. The Artistic Director’s planning and decision-making will be informed by 1) Company strategic and artistic priorities; 2) Company equity and inclusion principles; 3) Feedback from team members, including artistic/production, development, and marketing; 4) Performance venue size, acoustics, and other properties; 5) Budget parameters.

Designing the Company’s performance season is a pivotal part of the job. It involves leading the decision-making process for selecting repertoire and artists and stewarding the commissioning process for new works. They direct the artistic planning process for mainstage, digital, and ancillary programming and partner with our education and public programming teams to support Company goals. In all of BLO’s artistic work, the Artistic Director will commit to a programming model that centers a diverse experience and invest in opera as a multiracial and multicultural art form that invites everyone to see themselves in our repertoire choices and on our stages and screens. The Artistic Director is responsible for cultivating relationships with artistic personnel in the field and identifying artists and collaborations, such as co-productions. They contribute dramaturgical and musical insight to productions and creative teams. This person will be the communication bridge between the artistic development process and marketing, public engagement, and development needs.

The Artistic Director will continue BLO’s tradition of presenting a well-balanced offering of repertoire each season, bringing Boston a full spectrum of opera experiences that contribute to the City’s rich cultural landscape. BLO has a unique artistic planning cycle. Performances are produced in a wide variety of spaces, from The Colonial Theatre to a basketball court, and the venues confirm dates in January of each year for the upcoming season. A typical season includes four mainstage titles that are a mix of classic titles and new works presented as standard proscenium productions and site-specific installations. The Artistic Director is a creative problem solver who has the opportunity to build season programming in a variety of performance spaces. The General Director & CEO leads the venue planning for the Company and partners with the Artistic Director, Music Director, and Senior Leadership in the annual space needs and long-range venue planning.

The Artistic Director resides in the Greater Boston area and spends a meaningful amount of their time each year in Boston, participating in the rehearsal process, attending performances, and engaging with BLO staff, supporters, and the Boston community. They establish an active presence in the Boston community and the international opera community through participation in civic activities, discourse, panels, and advocacy and in dialogue with BLO’s community to recognize the needs of the community. Along with the General Director & CEO, the Artistic Director is a spokesperson for BLO, which means they need to have excellent public speaking and communication skills for various internal and public presentations and interviews. They must be ready to represent the artistic vision and programs of the organization persuasively and articulately. In addition, they contribute to fundraising efforts and participate in the cultivation and stewardship of Board members, donors, and other funders.

The Artistic Director may be selected to produce work or perform in some BLO productions each season. They are also encouraged to engage in other artistic opportunities and performances outside BLO, whether in Boston or other cities, to continue their own creative work and to be an ambassador for BLO in other communities, promoting BLO and identifying artists and partner companies.

This individual will have responsibilities for relationship management with artists, artist managers/agencies, and community partners.


Interview Process:

  1. BLO has engaged P&C Consulting to manage the search and hiring process. Resumes should be submitted via the job posting instructions or sent directly to Amy Allen at
  2. All resumes will be reviewed by Amy Allen.
  3. Qualified candidates will be contacted to schedule a preliminary zoom meeting with Amy Allen to ensure the qualifications and interests of the candidate are in alignment with the BLO.
  4. After the zoom screen, qualified candidates will be scheduled for an initial virtual interview with the General Director & CEO. Other members of the Artistic Leadership may join this session.
  5. After the initial virtual interview with General Director & CEO, qualified candidates will interview in person with the General Director & CEO and other members of the Search Committee. BLO will pay for out-of-town travel and housing expenses for this round.
  6. After the Search Committee interviews, identified finalists will have the opportunity to meet and greet with BLO’s community, including Board Members, Artists, Staff, and Community Members, in person in a setting to be determined (town hall and/or cocktail reception). BLO will pay for out-of-town travel and housing expenses for this round.
  7. The hiring decision will be made by the General Director & CEO with input from the Search Committee and all participants, and the job offer will be extended.
  8. The start date will be determined in partnership with the finalist.

Salary Information:

We anticipate the Artistic Director’s compensation package to be in the highest tier of the Company. We have strategically and intentionally left the salary range for this position fluid because several factors will go into the compensation package, including year-round responsibilities, the number of full-time work weeks in Boston and part-time work weeks while pursuing non-BLO artistic opportunities, and, if applicable, BLO performance/production assignments on union or non-union agreements based on their discipline. We will have deliberate salary conversations with all candidates in the first zoom screen meeting in order to fully understand each candidate’s needs. Our interest is to be fair and equitable but also to ensure that we don’t have candidates self-select out of the process based on salary alone, as some research suggests. Additionally, P&C Consulting, our third-party HR consultants, conducted a compensation analysis of current market ranges for each full-time position in the Company. At a minimum, BLO is committed to paying every full-time employee in the 25th percentile of the market. We invite you to discuss this commitment with Amy Allen. If this position and our organization fit with your experience, skills, core values, and passion, then please send us your resume!


This posting is a summary of the full job description. To request the complete job packet, which includes detailed duties, qualifications, and organizational background, or to submit an inquiry or nomination, please contact Amy Allen at


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