Job Center > Director of Opera (Asst/Assoc Prof) - Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University

Director of Opera (Asst/Assoc Prof) - Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University

This is a Permanent, Full-time position.

Category: College/University
State/Province: Winchester, VA
Position: Director of Opera (Asst/Assoc Prof)
Deadline: March 15, 2021
Posted: February 9, 2021

Job Description / Duties

Shenandoah Conservatory invites applications for a bold artist excited by changes in the opera/music drama industry, and passionate about preparing classical singers to thrive in the changing 21st century marketplace to join the Conservatory’s Vocal/Choral Division faculty as the next Director of Opera. This full-time position, with rank dependent upon qualifications, begins in August of 2021.

The Position and Responsibilities:

The chosen candidate will be excited to join a distinguished faculty and one of the country’s premier collaborative arts communities. They will have industry-informed vision for what classical music vocal performance training should look like in the 2020s and beyond, and be excited to champion innovative opera-related training within vocal performance degrees (BM, MM, DMA), aligning that training with leading-edge industry trends. Importantly, they will be energized by opportunities to collaborate with faculty across the Conservatory, advancing the Conservatory’s reputation as an inclusive and premier place of study where artists from diverse backgrounds actively engage around innovative and collaborative work.

Teaching and general responsibilities will likely include the below:
Direct fall and spring opera/music drama productions;
Work with Voice, Theatre and Instrumental faculty (including the Orchestra Director and the Director of Musical Theatre) on season planning and programming;
Teach acting and movement to both undergraduate and graduate voice performance students, and other courses as appropriate;
Actively engage in recruiting voice students for the Conservatory;
Oversee community outreach initiatives that involve vocal performance students, and lead those outreach efforts in surrounding communities;
Working with fellow Vocal/Choral faculty, actively engage in curriculum work with an eye to innovation and ensuring voice students are well prepared for a changing 21st century workplace;
Build connections between the Conservatory and the profession and stay up-to-date with current trends in education and performance through active participation in opera advocacy groups such as NATS, the National Opera Association and Opera America, of which Shenandoah is an Educational Producing Affiliate member;
Mentor TDP students who are interested in opera careers; and
Support and help advance the Conservatory’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Contributions to program development and recruitment, Conservatory-wide collaboration, and support for Shenandoah University business and faculty work is expected.

Qualifications / Required Skills

Required Skills

Exceptional experience around innovative productions in opera;
Clear orientation to mentorship, with successful collegiate teaching experience;
Readiness to join and advance bold conversations regarding vocal performance training and curriculum;
Demonstrated passion for collaborative work and commitment to artistic excellence;
Exhibited commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion;
Eligibility to work in the United States; and
An earned terminal degree, or equivalent professional experience.
How to Apply:

Application submissions should include a letter of intent (in which candidates also identify how they might advance the Conservatory’s commitment to diversity and inclusion), a curriculum vitae and contact information for three professional references. The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a qualified candidate is selected. Shenandoah University is committed to enriching its educational experience and culture through the diversity of its faculty, administration, and staff. All candidates are strongly encouraged to include a statement in their cover letters addressing ways in which they may be able to contribute to that commitment.

Shenandoah University values the unique and diverse perspectives of individuals and communities locally and globally and seeks to foster mutual understanding in an inviting community where individuals are welcome and respected. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran’s status or on any other basis protected under applicable law.

Additional Information

About the Vocal/Choral Division:

Led by 9 full-time and 8 part-time faculty, the Conservatory’s Vocal/Choral Division oversees an exceptional array of programs. The Conservatory’s Choral Program includes a Grammy®-award winning choir with extensive international touring experience and work with premier conductors. The Conservatory’s efforts around Opera Training is currently most notable for its attention to innovative productions within intimate spaces. Its annual Opera Up Close production presents students in a black box venue with chamber accompaniment. The season has also traditionally included one mainstage production per season as well as residencies by major opera directors and master clinicians. Shenandoah Conservatory has a distinguished and leading association with voice pedagogy and was the country’s first institution to offer a master of music in Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) Voice Pedagogy. The summer CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute has attracted more than 1,500 voice teachers over the past eighteen years, making the Conservatory the go-to center for CCM training both nationally and worldwide. Finally, Voice-Science Research is a central part of the Conservatory’s 21st century outlook, and is fostered by its Voice Research Center that enables the Conservatory to contribute vital data about the voice to peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals worldwide.

RELATED THEATRE DIVISION PROGRAMS: Ranked among the best in the nation, the Conservatory’s Musical Theatre program (Theatre Division) is anchored in a robust partnership between the Vocal/Choral and the Theatre and Dance divisions. Shenandoah Conservatory also includes a resident professional summer stock theatre, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre (SSMT). As one of the country’s largest campus-based summer musical theatre seasons, SSMT produces three major musicals each summer, employs student and professional actors in the company, and welcomes over 20,000 patrons annually.

Salary: Negotiable

Contact Information

Employer Profile

About Shenandoah Conservatory:

Shenandoah Conservatory was founded in 1875 and has an extraordinary legacy of shaping music and the performing arts in Virginia and beyond. Located at the head of the historic Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, VA, 70 miles west of Washington, DC, the Conservatory is now home to over 640 award-winning students from across the nation and globe enrolled in baccalaureate, masters and doctoral curricula in the areas of music, theater, and dance, and includes a distinguished faculty of over 125, half of whom are full-time.

Beyond being a comprehensive performing arts school, Shenandoah Conservatory is home to exceptional artists and scholars who are unusually oriented towards collaboration and innovative approaches to the career preparation of students. The Conservatory’s ShenCoLAB (formerly titled Student Performance Week) is but one example of the Conservatory’s nation-leading embrace of innovation and collaboration: a (first-in-the country) week-long stoppage of all classes and rehearsals across all programs with the school turned over to students for student-led (and faculty-mentored) collaborative projects. The Conservatory’s proximity to Washington, DC, and Dulles Airport, ensures easy access to and regular interaction with professionals from around the country and world.

Shenandoah University is a diverse institution of approximately 3,600 students enrolled in baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral curricula in business, arts and sciences, health professions, and performing arts. Shenandoah University is an independent, coeducational institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Please visit for more information.