Seeking Managing Director

Heartbeat Opera invites applications and nominations for the position of Managing Director (part time).

The Organization


From the drama at the core of each work, Heartbeat Opera grows vivid theatrical worlds through revelatory adaptations, radical rearrangements, and ingenious design. Through an inquisitive collaborative process with a diverse community of artists, we break down traditional barriers to reimagine opera for artists and audiences of the twenty-first century.


Founded by Ethan Heard and Louisa Proske, two stage directors and graduates of Yale School of Drama, Heartbeat Opera creates radical adaptations of classic operas in intimate venues for 21st century audiences. In its first four groundbreaking seasons, Heartbeat has established itself as “one of the most agile and dynamic companies on New York's indie opera scene” (Opera News), presenting eight fully-realized, critically-acclaimed productions in Manhattan, four beloved Halloween Drag Extravaganzas in Brooklyn, a special sold-out performance on The High Line, and two staged workshop productions. Praised as “bold and vivid” (The New York Times), “vital and heartbreaking” (The New Yorker), and “ingenious and artful” (The Wall Street Journal), Heartbeat’s work has captured the attention of the opera world in New York and beyond. Heartbeat has also collaborated with organizations such as Atlas DIY and A BroaderWay to bring arts education to underserved students in the New York City area. More info at

Since 2014, Heartbeat’s annual operating budget has grown swiftly from $40k to over $200k. Our 2018 Spring Festival, featuring productions of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Beethoven’s Fidelio running in repertory, involved more than 100 artists, managers, and technicians. Our board consists of four members and is ready to expand. In the 2018-19 season, Heartbeat embarks on its first co-production and its first remountings of past productions.

The Position

The Managing Director of Heartbeat Opera, reporting to the Co-Artistic Directors, will provide vision, strategic leadership, organization, and direction for all business aspects of Heartbeat Opera. S/he will lead financial management activities, human resources, strategic planning, fundraising, and institutional advancement of this cutting-edge, fast-growing company. Specific tasks and responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • manage the financial affairs of Heartbeat Opera with the objective to support the organization’s artistic and programmatic excellence through detailed, balanced annual budgets;

  • deliver organized, thorough income, expense, and cash flow reports;

  • oversee the Director of Marketing in developing and implementing marketing programs to increase and diversify the audiences for Heartbeat’s operatic productions, including community-outreach programs;

  • oversee the Director of Development in developing effective programs to increase contributed income from individual and institutional donors;

  • contract all Heartbeat staff and artists, negotiate contracts with venues, presenters, and co-producers;

  • contract and oversee the organization’s legal, financial, tax, and other outside advisers and consultants;

  • oversee Company Management including arranging housing, travel, comp tickets, reimbursements;

  • oversee Box Office, creating infrastructure when not provided by a venue;

  • support the Co-Artistic Directors and Board in matters relating to planning, fundraising, fiduciary management and oversight;

  • direct all activities relating to the operations and maintenance of Heartbeat’s office space on 20th Street in Manhattan;

  • be a vocal representative and advocate for Heartbeat Opera to the global community of Heartbeat’s audience members, funders, and strategic partners.

In collaboration with the Co-Artistic Directors:

  • build and monitor the organization’s operating and individual production budgets;

  • oversee human resources efforts to recruit, retain, motivate, and evaluate an outstanding team of collaborators.

The Managing Director will report to the Co-Artistic Directors. Reporting to the Managing Director will be the Director of Development and Director of Marketing. The Production Manager will report primarily to the Co-Artistic Directors, but will be accountable to the Managing Director for all matters relating to finances.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will be an ambitious and energetic leader who combines a passion for the performing arts with extensive, relevant experience in managing the operational and financial aspects of a not-for-profit arts organization. To apply, s/he must:

  • have a BA and at least two years of leadership experience, including creating financial structures for an arts organization;

  • have excellent budgeting and bookkeeping skills;

  • possess strong organization, communication and interpersonal skills;

  • delegate effectively and inspire staff to do their best work and achieve successful results;

  • be creative and self-motivated while attentive to the overall vision and direction provided by the Co-Artistic Directors.

The preferred candidate would also:

  • have an MFA and/or at least four years of professional experience in arts management;

  • have experience with co-productions, repertory festivals, national and international touring, company management;

  • have excellent supervisory skills and a track record for mentoring and developing staff;

  • be fluent in Google Suite;

  • love music, theater, and opera.

Heartbeat Opera is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.


Part time. Currently, Heartbeat produces 3 full productions per season (September to June) plus 2-4 special events. The Managing Director must reside in NYC full time and work 20-25 hours over 3 days per week at our Chelsea office. During the production weeks leading up to our shows (3-4 weeks per year) workload may increase to 30-35 hours per week. During less intense periods of the season, to be agreed upon in advance, the Managing Director’s schedule is more flexible, and work may be done from home at times. 5 weeks vacation per year. Start date is September 1, 2018 or as soon as possible.


Annual salary is $25-30k, commensurate with qualifications.


Please prepare a cover letter that states your specific interest in Heartbeat Opera and outlines your qualifications for the position. Submit with a résumé and contact information for three references. Interviews begin July 26. Email