Position: Production Manager – Lyric Unlimited and Ryan Opera Center

Reports to: Vice President and Technical Director

Status: Full-time, exempt

Lyric Opera of Chicago exists to provide a broad, deep and relevant cultural service to the Chicago region and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form of opera.

The Production Manager leads general administration of productions, concerts, and events generated by Lyric Unlimited and the Ryan Opera Center with a focus on professional courtesy, collaboration, timeliness, innovation, and respect for the creative process and its participants while maintaining the highest standard of excellence throughout all phases of production.

Duties and responsibilities:

General Duties

  • Demonstrate leadership in accordance with Lyric’s mission and vision.

  • Lead general administration of Lyric Unlimited productions, working closely with the creative team, production staff, designers, music staff, and all other related personnel, adhering to contractual obligations and working to deliver productions on budget.

  • Act as a key planning partner to the Vice President, Lyric Unlimited.

  • Oversee annual Opera in the Neighborhoods Tour, liaising with Director, designers, stage manager, crew, and program staff. Hire and supervise part-time OIN Tour Manager and Assistant.

  • Ensure appropriate handling of on-boarding for production personnel and production-related staff hires, distribution of production information, payment distribution.

  • Regularly meet with the LU and ROC teams to be informed about upcoming projects and planning.

  • Advise on all key technical and production related subjects as they impact LU and ROC projects.

  • Be the key point of information sharing between LU, ROC, and the Technical Department.

  • Evaluate the technical/production requirements of proposed projects.

  • As the business evolves, so may this role; these duties may change as Lyric’s leadership identifies the need at any time.


  • With Vice President, Lyric Unlimited, explore and develop options for commissioning, producing and reviving small scale productions. Duties may include financial modelling, travel to see productions, review of archival videos and meetings with co-producing partners.

  • With input from Vice President, Lyric Unlimited, develop comprehensive production budgets, coordinating with Artistic, Operations, and Marketing to fully incorporate all expenses.

  • Manage and monitor production and tech costs budgets in coordination with the Technical Director and Technical Finance Director.

  • Obtain any and all needed production information for rental projects.

  • Create Production Calendar for each LU/ROC project as needed.

  • Coordinate director, designer, and staff production meetings as needed.

  • Steward new LU show design elements through the creation and budgeting phases.

  • Steward ROC concert, workshops, and summer program stage designs.

  • Manage all LU design related digital assets.

  • Coordinate with other Lyric technical staff team members to determine appropriate use of available resources.

  • Manage and control the production budget as set, abiding by the company’s financial systems, and in coordination with Technical Director and Technical Finance Director.

  • Work with Technical Director and Production Design Director during bidding and building processes.

  • Advise on all needed technical and production personnel (Union and Non-Union) needed for each project.

  • Coordinate all needed rental equipment and any other special show specific requirements.

  • Coordinate with all offsite venues regarding production questions, requirements, and logistics as needed.


  • Build and maintain list of rehearsal and performance venues including venue size, rental costs, technical specifications, and other pertinent details.

  • Scout new venues as needed, coordinating with sites to schedule visits.

  • Serve as primary liaison with rental venues, connecting appropriate Lyric contacts to venue staff as needed.

Rehearsals and Performance

  • Ensure that the realization of designs meets designer and director intentions.

  • Work with stage management to coordinate rehearsal room set-up and needs.

  • Work with Lyric technical department team members to fulfill new production requests.

  • Create and disseminate load-in, technical rehearsal, and load-out calendars.

  • Supervise load-in and load-out of all necessary departments.

  • Work with artistic staff and crew to ensure the production values are maintained at the highest level at all times.

  • Archive all pertinent production information and coordinate any tour or rental details if needed.


Knowledge and Skills:

  • Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college/university in theatre preferred and 4-6 years of working experience or equivalent experience.

  • High level of experience with Microsoft Products Suite especially Excel and Word. Comfort and working knowledge of AutoCad/Vectorworks is highly preferred.

  • Outstanding interpersonal skills including the ability to interact with all staff, management, artists, and the public in a professional and tactful manner.

  • Some knowledge of State and Federal safety regulations is helpful.

  • Ability to coordinate many tasks, setting appropriate priorities and completing work on schedule with attention to detail.

  • Ability to work independently, exercise judgment and initiative. Maintain confidentiality and provide excellent customer service.

  • Knowledge of stagecraft, theatre production, scenic and costume construction.

  • Some knowledge of opera repertoire and contemporary music is a plus but not required.

  • Ability to work and think independently, a motivated self-starter who also works well in a larger team.


Work Conditions:

  • The job sometimes requires working weekends and evenings during production periods.

  • Sitting and standing for extended periods of time.

  • Ability to operate a computer keyboard, mouse, and to handle other office equipment.

  • Ability to see clearly in low-light situations such as are common backstage and in the theatre; walk and stand on complex stage settings throughout day-to-day activities.



  • Salary is minimum $50,000+ based on experience

  • Lyric Opera offers benefits including:

    • Medical, dental, and vision insurance.

    • 401(k) with company match and 403(b) access.

    • PTO including sick, vacation, personal days, and holidays, and life/AD&D coverage.

    • Professional development opportunities.

    • Complimentary tickets.

How to Apply

Please forward a resume and cover letter denoting the position of interest to jobs@lyricopera.org or mail to Lyric Opera of Chicago, Attention: Human Resources, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 860, Chicago, IL 60606.

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.