Senior Director, Financial Planning & Analysis

About the Lyric Opera of Chicago

The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s vision is to be the great North American opera company for the twenty‐first century, uniquely placed to provide an indispensable cultural service to the city of Chicago and the nation; to be recognized globally for world‐class artistic excellence and innovation, for engaging and inspiring large and diverse audiences, and for the quality and relevance of the enrichment offered to communities throughout the Chicago region; to make a significant and groundbreaking contribution to the development of our art form; and to achieve growth and longevity through fiscal responsibility and increased financial capacity.

The Lyric Opera is internationally renowned for its artistic excellence and financial strength. Founded in 1954, Lyric distinguished itself as one of the world’s great opera companies by presenting the finest international singers, conductors, directors, and designers in classic and less‐familiar operatic repertoire and in world‐premiere productions.

In 2012, the opera launched Lyric Unlimited, a long‐term initiative that provides a relevant cultural service to communities throughout the Chicago area not previously touched by opera. Through collaboration with other cultural organizations, Lyric Unlimited explores ways to make opera as an art form resonate more powerfully and broadly with people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and interests. In her role as Lyric’s first‐ever Creative Consultant, Renee Fleming has engaged the opera in a joint program with several key community music organizations called the Vocal Partnership Program, devoted to finding and nurturing young, talented singers in the Chicago area, and to making Lyric more accessible to the children and young adults involved in all areas of music education.

The Lyric’s permanent home in the 3,563‐seat capacity Civic Opera Building makes it second only to New York’s Metropolitan Opera as the largest opera auditorium in
North America. Over the course of the company’s 60‐year history, Lyric Opera of Chicago has consistently offered its patrons a world‐class roster of singers, conductors, directors, designers, choreographers, and dancers in a wide‐ranging repertoire.


We believe in the lifechanging, transformational, revelatory power of great art and opera. 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.

Key Info

$75 million budget (2017)

111 administrative staff; 700 seasonal performance staff

About This Position

The Senior Director, Financial Planning & Analysis serves as a key partner to the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer (CFAO) and a principal liaison to the Board of Directors, particularly the Finance Committee. In cooperation with the CFAO, the Senior Director, Financial Planning & Analysis is responsible for developing long‐ and short‐term financial plans for the Lyric Opera, conducting variance analyses and maintaining quarterly forecasts on year‐end results.

The Senior Director will work closely with department heads across the administrative staff to develop, maintain and revise budgets as needed. A priority project for this role will be to assess and streamline usage of budgeting software across the organization, with the eventual goal of being able to automate processes where appropriate to improve efficiency. S/he must bring the ability to balance big picture vision and financial analysis with line‐item oversight of a complex budgeting operation.


The Senior Director, Financial Planning & Analysis will have the following primary responsibilities:
  • Demonstrate leadership in financial planning and management.
  • Partner with the CFAO to develop standardized and rigorous budgeting, tracking and year‐end forecasting processes.
  • Create and update rolling three‐year detailed budgets, including subsidiary revenue forecasts (marketing, development, rentals and co‐production revenue) and line‐item cost detail.
  • Work with department heads to create and update detailed annual budgets (i.e., heads of Marketing, Development, Finance, Production, Lyric Unlimited, artistic, ROC); meet proactively with department heads to understand changes in plans, current expense issues, and expected outcome at year‐end – all at line‐item detail level.
  • Update current budget status and expected yearend outcome on a frequent basis (as often as once a day when required); provide related materials for Finance and Executive Committee meetings.
  • Develop detailed budgets for special projects, working with relevant staff to develop expense budgets and forecasted revenue.
  • Create and maintain capital budgets; preparing rent/lease vs. buy analyses.
  • Complete cost reduction analyses as requested; working with department heads to understand operational implications of required reductions.
  • Review detailed rehearsal schedules and analyze costs related to key union agreements (AGMA, CFM, IATSE) as needed.

Major Objectives

Within the first 12 to 18 months, the Senior Director, Financial Planning & Analysis will achieve the following major objectives:
  • Gain a thorough understanding of the Lyric Opera business model including both cost and revenue drivers.
  • Assess the Prophix Budgeting Tool and make necessary adaptations to speed up usage and utilization.
  • Complete the FY2020 budget for Finance Committee approval in January 2020.
  • Develop quarterly dashboard and variance analysis reports for use by management and the Finance Committee.


The ideal candidate will possess most of the following qualifications:
  • More than five years of accounting or financial experience with three years of budgeting experience.
  • Advanced knowledge of Excel (including management of linked spreadsheets), with some basic knowledge of non‐profit financial statements.
  • Collaborative and diplomatic team player, with excellent interpersonal skills, but also able to work independently.
  • Meticulous attention to detail; the ability to juggle multiple priorities simultaneously with a passion for “getting it right.” The ability to maintain strict confidence regarding financial information.
  • Knowledge of performing arts a plus, but not required.
  • Working knowledge of and comfort working with:
    • Microsoft Suite of products
    • CRM expertise (Tessitura a strong plus)
    • Mid‐range financial accounting software (Great Plains, Navision, etc.)
    • Budgeting software tools (Adaptive Insights, Prophix, etc.)
  • Outstanding communication skills.
  • Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university in business, accounting, engineering (any kind), quantitative economics, physics or mathematics.


To be considered for this opportunity, please send a letter of interest and resume to:
Colleen Rogers
Consultant, Executive Search
(312) 896‐8906 direct
Campbell & Company
One East Wacker Drive, Suite 2100
Chicago, IL 60601