General Director, Opera San Jose

Opera San Jose
San Jose, California
Type of Position: 
Application Deadline: 
Friday, September 10, 2021


Cultural Management Consultants


Position Announcement



San Jose, California


Opera San José (OSJ) invites applications and recommendations for the position of General Director.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the General Director provides for the overall leadership of this $5 million company, 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.


Opera San José:

Located in the cultural, financial, and political center of the Silicon Valley, Opera San José’s mission has always been to develop and support artists, keeping the Artist at the very heart of the organization’s creative and administrative life.  OSJ is dedicated to nurturing both emerging and established artists, specializing in role debuts as one of North America’s leading operatic incubators. The company stages large-scale professional main stage productions, maintains extensive educational and community outreach programs, and is in the vanguard of creating digital productions in the United States.


In the Spring of 2020 OSJ initiated its Heiman Digital Media Studio, a fully equipped media lab that allows the company to produce and design works specifically for digital capture. The company is committed to adapting and expanding new models of producing opera to welcome a new generation of audience members.  One major achievement was a virtual production of Jake Heggie’s “Three Decembers,” with Susan Graham, Efrain Solis, and Maya Kherani.     


OSJ was founded by legendary mezzo-soprano Irene Dalis who served as general director for thirty years.  In 2004 the company moved its main season to the California Theatre, a beautifully renovated 1927 historic venue (1122 seats).  Khori Dastoor assumed the position of General Director in the Fall of 2019, having previously served as Director of Artistic Planning.   


OSJ has produced a number of world and West Coast premieres, presenting more than 150 opera productions overall.    


Opera San José is financially stable: has never incurred debt and has an endowment fund.  It owns two 24,000 sq. ft operations facilities, and two apartment buildings used for artist housing.


It has received on-going four-star ratings from Charity Navigator for its record of responsible fiscal management.  The OSJ Board is engaged and financially supportive and there is a hard-working volunteer group, the Friends of Opera San José.


The Position:

The General Director is the Chief Executive Officer of Opera San José, reporting to the Board of Directors, responsible for artistic direction and overall organizational management.  Specific responsibilities include the oversight of fund-raising, strategic planning, opera production, digital initiatives, fiscal stewardship, diversity/equity/inclusion commitments and community relations.


The General Director partners with Music Director and Principal Conductor Joseph Marcheso and with highly dedicated and motivated artistic and management teams. Maestro Marcheso’s musical leadership has been an essential element in elevating OSJ to a nationally recognized company. 


We seek a dynamic, charismatic 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 diversity, equity, and inclusion, and 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 San José. 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 and business management would be helpful, as well as prior experience in opera company leadership, 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 in the role as key spokesperson for the company.    


Application Process:

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


 Margaret Genovese

Senior Partner

Genovese Vanderhoof & Associates



For additional information:;



Deadline for Applications: Friday, September 10, 2021



Opera San José 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.

Compensation and Benefits: 

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