Position: General Manager
Report to: Deputy General Director and Chief Operating Officer
Status: Full-time, exempt

Through artistic excellence coupled with innovative, relevant programming; initiatives to connect with and grow new audiences; engagement with communities to ignite creativity across Chicago; and a modernized Opera House that is the setting for truly great experiences, Lyric is leading the advancement of opera. This collaborative vision will deliver ever more exciting, thought-provoking and inclusive audience and community experiences – while increasing the gravitational pull of our art form, our company, and our city.


Duties and responosbilities:

General Facilities Management

  • Develop short- and long-term plans for the upkeep and improvement of Lyric’s physical plant assets (including Civic Opera Building and remote storage components); implement procedures for monitoring and evaluation of changing conditions that may affect the priority of needs. Initiate and manage capital improvement projects to address required issues in a timely, effective, and cost-efficient manner.
  • Oversee all physical plant operations including programmed maintenance and repairs. This includes competitive bidding for sub-contracted services, contract editing/approval, insurance certificate issuance and work scheduling consistent with permissible timings. Solicit bids, evaluate/select, and coordinate work activities of building services contractors, as needed.
  • Oversee special capital projects including, but not limited to, the re-seating of the theater in 2020. This project will include collaborating with the general contractor and coordinating installation parameters and dates as feasible.
  • Provide supervision and guidance to the Director of Facility Operations in the management of all ongoing aspects of the facility’s operations, including janitorial, utility/HVAC systems, grounds, and building/workspace security.
  • Provide supervision and guidance to the Director of Front of House Operations in the management of front-of-house and stage door operations to ensure safe and efficient utilization of the facility and optimal patron and/or employee service conditions.
  • Provide overall guidance to the Director of Facility Operations and Chief Engineer in the maintenance and renovation of Lyric’s administrative offices.
  • Establish policies and procedures for fire, health safety, disability access, and emergency evacuation that comply with applicable regulatory codes/standards. Conduct periodic inspections to detect existing or potential hazards and recommend preventative or corrective actions. Liaise with applicable enforcement agencies and interest groups to proactively address potential issues.
  • Conduct insurance tours as they relate to policy renewals, safety inspections, and policy claims. Represent the departments on the Safety Committee in quarterly meetings. Consult with insurance policy representatives to protect Lyric property and staff at all times.
  • Administer the Easement & Operating agreement with the co-owner of the property. Facilitate the execution of the agreement to insure the accurate accounting of expenses and services on behalf of Lyric. Approve the annual estimated expense budget as it relates to contracted services and the subsequent annual true-up of actual expenses, in addition to the monthly invoices. Take added steps as the contract allows for conflict resolution.
  • In collaboration with the Chief Engineer, administer capital plan consistent with approved 30-year needs. Update capital plan on an annual basis to reflect actual project work, impacting futures year spends and timing. Facilitate capital projects including scope definition, RFP development, contractor selection & management, interviewing and building the project team including architects and other consultants as the projects require, facilitating public-financing where possible and the efficient/timely project completion.
  • Develop and administer dining format for The Sarah & Peer Pedersen Room and the Florian Opera Bistro including Lyric staff working along-side an outsourced caterer. Responsibilities include: contracting with the outsourced caterer, menu development & wine list selection consistent with the established dining format’s, establish supplier relationships, maintain licensing of the spaces, maintaining service standards all while ensuring margins are consistent with profitability projections and caterer relationship.
  • Collaborate with the Office of Boards and Events Management in the oversight of the Graham Room private dining operations.

Presentations and Events Management

  • Coordinate and lead relationship management between Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Joffrey Ballet with responsibility for $2 million in annual net revenue to Lyric. Act as primary liaison on all matters related to the rental agreement, and provide exemplary service on all matters, routine or extra-ordinary. This includes, but is not limited to, contract management, move-in days management, weekly settlement, and other servicing and support.
  • Provide supervision and guidance to the Director, Presentations & Events in all related activities including solicitations, marketing of spaces and services, calendaring, estimating, contracting, insurance certificate receipt and verification, performance marketing, production coordination, event-day execution and final settlement for all public and private events. Insure the accurate application of amusement tax and relative exemption where applicable. Advocate for and facilitate corrections with the City Department of Revenue as needed. This includes presentations, co-presentations and rental activities. Facilitate relationships with all regional promoters and potential partners. Book of business of approximately $300k per year.
  • Negotiate contracts with rental customers; budget and manage rental events, and interface/contract with caterers and other third-party vendors, as needed, to provide desired services. Coordinate planning with other Lyric managers to minimize the impact of conflict/interruption on other business operations. Act as primary liaison with office tower partner on shared/overlapping responsibilities at the Civic Opera Building, including expense sharing/pass-through, and communication relating to capital projects, building maintenance/services, and security.

Legal and Government

  • Consult with legal counsel on behalf of Lyric on all matters concerning real estate, property tax, and amusement tax, as needed.
  • Establish all licensing for property with State and City including Business, PPA, Liquor, Health, Flame. Anticipate and facilitate adjustments as the business model changes to insure adherence to ordinances and laws.
  • Ensure that all applicable operating permits/licenses are obtained and kept up-to-date and that rental insurance requirements are appropriately covered.

Customer Service and Front of House

  • Oversee all FOH operations including: box office, security and safety, ushering, all food and beverage amenities, merchandising and janitorial. This includes policy development and execution, personnel training and counselling, product offerings and pricing and sub-contractor administration.
  • Oversee all customer service policies and initiatives to insure the best customer experience for Lyric guests. Develop and modify customer service policies as needed. Train and inform all FOH staff on policies.
  • Oversee hiring, training, and supervision of Facilities department staff, including full-time and seasonal (House Management, Ushers, Concessions, FOH/BOH Security, Box Office) personnel.

Budget Development and Management

  • Responsible for the approximately $6 million annual facilities operating expenses budget. In collaboration with the Director of Facility Operations, prepare annual budgets and financial operating reports; exercise significant financial control by monitoring monthly financial results against budget and managing staff and third-party service contracts; monitor purchasing and vendor contracts to ensure cost-effectiveness and anticipated service delivery.
  • In collaboration with the Director of Facility Operations, oversee the preparation and adherence for FAC, CONC, REST, RENT, STOR and MERCH. This includes all departments expenses and revenue.
  • Approve and code all accounts payable to insure the timely and accurate payment (according to contracted terms) of invoices as well as the accurate general ledger coding to insure budget adherence.
  • Oversee all payroll activities for employees in FAC, CONC, REST, RENT and STOR to insure accuracy and budget adherence.

Labor Relations

  • Negotiate and administer collective bargaining agreements for House, Engineering, and Box Office; coordinate all relationships with relative business agents with respect to interpretation and conflict resolution.

Administrative Management

  • Provide direct supervision to four functions: Facilities Management, Front of House Management, Presentations and Events Management, and Engineering.
  • Represent all department activities to the Executive Leadership Team.


Knowledge and Skills:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Business or a related management discipline, and 8-10+ years’ experience managing performing arts venues or other commercial real estate properties to include demonstrated success in:
  • planning and execution of capital projects involving multiple/overlapping deadlines;
  • budgeting and financial analysis;
  • negotiation of contracts and vendor/supplier management;
  • hiring and supervision of staff (full-time, temporary/seasonal, and contract employees preferred);
  • delivery of customer service excellence in a “high-profile” environment;
  • Chicago market knowledge strongly preferred;
  • strong oral/written communication skills;
  • CPM (or equivalent) professional designation and collective bargaining experience desirable.


Work Conditions:

  • Ability to occasionally oversee evening or weekend functions, meetings, appointments, or performances.
  • Standing for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to operate a computer keyboard, mouse, and to handle other office equipment.
  • Moving/lifting objects, boxes, and furniture as needed/allowed.


Lyric Opera of Chicago is committed to enhancing our diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Lyric does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, parental status, veteran status, or any other protected status under applicable laws. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply.