Job Posting

Executive Director


Opera Atelier (OA) is a world leader in the creation of historically-informed productions of opera and ballet. OA productions are always built from the ground up with equal attention given to music, dancing, acting, and design. All of our productions are performed on period instruments.

While our core repertoire extends from Monteverdi to Mozart, we also explore fully-staged productions of later repertoire. In doing so, we set the pace with the finest international ensembles and conductors who are performing concert productions of Beethoven, Massenet and Debussy on period instruments in major venues to great acclaim. We are also committed to commissioning new music for period instruments, and the creation of original works.

For OA, the pivotal aspect of period production lies in the in-depth examination of the original intentions of composers, choreographers and librettists in order to find new ways to challenge ourselves as artists in the 21st century. A period production is not a museum piece; it is a new creation and takes its own place in history.

OA’s productions are performed in partnership with Tafelmusik, Canada’s internationally-acclaimed period-instrument orchestra. Since its inception, OA has promoted an exceptionally diverse group of Canadian artists in its work, and is committed to training the next generation of Canadian singers, dancers, designers, and technicians in the practices of historically-informed production through apprenticeships and extensive dancer/singer workshops.

Led by founding Artistic Directors Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg since 1985 (recipients of the Order of Canada, and recently invested as Officers of the Order of Arts and Letters by the government of France), OA has garnered international acclaim for its performances in major venues and concert halls at home as well as in the United States, Europe and Asia. OA is committed to expanding the company’s audience and to making our productions accessible to a wide and diverse public through touring, community-based education programs and the creative use of media.

OA continues to evolve and takes artistic risks – always striving to reimagine opera and ballet as the ultimate form of storytelling for the 21st century.


Excitement awaits Opera Atelier as the company returns to fully realized productions of live performances for the 2022-23 season. OA seeks an experienced Executive Director (ED) to work with the Founding Co-Artistic Directors Marshall Pynkoski and Jeanentte Lajeunesse Zingg and the creative team in helping them realize their creative vision.

Providing strategic leadership and financial oversight, the Executive Director will be responsible for all aspects of the organization’s operations, with a particular focus on fundraising. The Executive Director is responsible for the administration, and leads marketing, community engagement/outreach, tour development and strategic business planning. Reporting to the Board of Directors and working collaboratively with the Co-Artistic Directors, the ED will provide strategic and financial acumen to sustain the organization’s business and administrative operations. A dynamic and inspirational leader, the ED will work closely with Opera Atelier’s Creative Team, the company’s artists, and the board in helping them realize their ongoing commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism.


Organizational Leadership

  • Establish a strong, complementary, and effective working relationship with the Co-Artistic Directors and their Creative Team - helping them to realize to the fullest extent possible their creative vision.
  • Lead the planning process in partnership with the Co-Artistic Directors and the Board of Directors.
  • Lead fund development and revenue generation strategies ensuring alignment with the artistic vision and the strategic plan.
  • Ensure that the appropriate human, financial, and operational resources are in place to achieve the plan, with a particular focus on fundraising to support the Creative Team’s artistic vision.
  • Along with the Co-Artistic Directors, act as ambassador for OA, working with the board, staff, and other stakeholders to communicate Opera Atelier’s goals, mission, vision and values to local, national and international audiences.
  • Work with Opera Atelier’s Artistic Directors, Resident Artistic Advisor, Opera Atelier’s Creative Team and the Board to help strengthen the company’s ongoing commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. This commitment includes a particular emphasis on the realization of these goals through education and outreach.
  • Mentor team members. Monitor staff engagement and organizational culture.
  • Establish a strong and valuable working relationship with the Board Chair and members of the Board of Directors, including its committees.

Fund Development

  • Secure a robust and diverse support base for OA by establishing, stewarding, and enhancing existing relationships while focusing on building new relationships with key sponsors, donors, government agencies, and foundations. Cultivate new and renewed sources of major gifts, sponsorships and grants.
  • Provide leadership to the staff to create a culture of philanthropy within OA.
  • Provide leadership to the Director of Development in the creation of fundraising strategies that align with the artistic vision and strategic plan, while growing long-term, sustainable revenue.
  • Lead and participate in all aspects of fundraising activity, including grant writing.
  • Responsible for all submissions to and liaison with governmental funding agencies and federal, provincial, and municipal arts councils.

Financial Oversight

  • Develop an overall financial strategy for the organization, in consultation with the Director of Finance and Administration, the Artistic Directors and Creative Team, other senior staff leaders and the Board, that provides funding to advance the strategic plan and the artistic vision, while building an appropriate level of reserves.
  • Oversee a financial planning process that projects company budgets three years forward, and work with the Co-Artistic Directors and Creative Team to develop a sustainable financial framework to support programming, artistic growth and community engagement.
  • In conjunction with the Director of Finance and Administration and the Board Treasurer, prepare appropriate regular financial reporting for Board review.
  • Maintain effective internal controls related to all financial matters, with appropriate checks and balances between departments and with the Board.
  • Regularly review the effectiveness of the organizational structure, policies, system controls, and procedures; and make improvements as required.


  • Collaborate with the Co-Artistic Directors in support of their vision while meeting the organization’s financial targets within a reasonable risk profile.
  • Ensure that the organization is developing appropriate partnerships, nationally and internationally, with which to deliver upon its creative ambitions.
  • Offer advice, counsel and assistance to the Co-Artistic Directors and Creative Team in the realization of their artistic vision.
  • Maintain knowledge of current trends in the performing arts in general; and keep up-to-speed regarding productions presented by other opera and dance companies.
  • Responsible for managing touring engagements.

Marketing & Communications

  • The imaging of Opera Atelier is an integral part of the Artistic Team’s creative process. The Executive Director will work with the Co-Artistic Directors and Marketing Staff to maintain OA’s branding and to utilize both traditional methods and innovative digital strategies and analytics to reach and engage new and diverse audiences.
  • Ensure communication protocols internally and externally that serve OA’s mandate and work to promote awareness and growth of the organization.
  • Promote OA’s overall strategies for audience development and engagement.
  • Collaborate with marketing staff to develop and implement plans to achieve the goals for subscriptions and single ticket sales using best practices in all areas to maximize the patron experience.


  • Responsible for all aspects of human resources, including supervision of all non-artistic staff, recruitment of staff, recommending to the Board salary levels and other benefits.
  • Support a positive and inclusive workplace where all personnel are valued, supported, and nurtured.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with partners in the community, stakeholders, venues. Maintain an ongoing relationship with Tafelmusik.
  • Oversee all contracting, including venues.
  • Maintain positive relationships with unions and associations; participate in negotiations as required (i.e., CAEA, IATSE 822, TMA, ACTRA).
  • Responsible for relations with governmental agencies such as the City of Toronto; responsible for relations with non-governmental agencies, including Business / Arts, Association for Opera in Canada, Opera America.
  • Responsible for representing OA at meetings, conventions and congresses as required.



  • Experience in progressively senior roles in a performing arts organization or other relevant experience.
  • Proven success in fundraising with individual donors, sponsors, and funders.
  • Demonstrated commitment in co-leadership; able to collaborate with OA’s Co-Artistic Directors to support the development and execution of the organization’s artistic vision and goals.
  • Brings a passion for the art form.
  • Excellent stakeholder management skills with experience reporting to a Board of Directors.
  • Strong financial management skills with experience in creating, presenting, and managing budgets.
  • Proven ability to successfully develop and implement long-term strategic and annual operational plans and assess appropriate key indicators of progress.
  • Track record of deepening involvement and engagement with wider communities.
  • Experience and knowledge in successfully marketing a performing arts organization to increase audiences.
  • Demonstrated understanding of and proven commitment to the values of equity, inclusion, and diversity.
  • Strong interpersonal skills: unquestioned integrity, demonstrable respect for colleagues and stakeholders, and the ability to build trust through consistently open and honest communication across all levels of the company.
  • Strong organizational management skills and business acumen.
  • Knowledge of social media, data analytics and the digital world in building brand and engagement.
  • Outstanding communication, presentation, and diplomatic skills. Able to speak and write persuasively and serve as a spokesperson for OA in public and in the media.
  • Experience building and effectively managing government and community relations.
  • A strong manager who invests in skill building, celebrates success, and is an open and accessible coach and mentor.
  • Relevant undergraduate degree or experiential equivalent.



A competitive compensation package will be offered, complete with salary and benefits.


Please apply by email with your cover letter and resume by no later than August 19, 2022. Send to:

Opera Atelier is an equal-opportunity employer and committed to fair and accessible employment practices. We are committed to building and maintaining an inclusive work environment that reflects the diversity of the audiences we serve.

We encourage applications from all qualified candidates and equity seeking groups, including from racialized persons/persons of colour, Indigenous persons, and persons with disabilities.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those being considered for interviews will be contacted by Searchlight Partners.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, August 19, 2022
Type of Work: 
Full Time
Education Level: 
University (Undergraduate)
Prefered Method(s) of Application: 
By E-Mail

Employer Details

Opera Atelier

Searchlight Partners
157 King St. East
Toronto, ON M5C 1G9

Opera Atelier (OA) is a world leader in the creation of historically-informed productions of opera and ballet. OA productions are always built from the ground up with equal attention given to music, dancing, acting, and design. All of our productions are performed on period instruments.