Special Events/Development Manager

Position Description: Reporting to the Chief Development Officer, the Special Events/Development Manager handles the planning, coordination, and execution of all Special Events for San Diego Opera including fundraisers, donor benefit, stewardship and cultivation events, and pre- and post- performance events. Oversees the volunteer program; and serves in a support for position for the development team. The position serves as a key member of the team and is critical to overall fundraising success of San Diego Opera.

Responsibilities include:

  • Works closely with the Chief Development Officer to successfully plan and execute all revenue generating special events, including opening weekend celebrations, opening night dinner and galas.
  • Serves as primary project manager for all other events including donor benefits and stewardship dinners, General Director Dinner, Guild events, cast and company parties, affinity night events and numerous cultivation events throughout the year.
  • Coordinates with team members on such activities as procuring host homes for events. Overseeing décor and programming, creation of print materials, on-line invitations as well as managing social media invitations and campaigns.
  • Coordinates volunteer ushers for San Diego Opera’s Student Night program. This position works closely with the Group Sales Coordinator who oversees all ticketing for the Student Night program.
  • Coordinates additional staff and/or volunteer support for all Community Engagement events as well as for all Development events when needed.
  • Identifies and recruits, screens, interviews and trains new volunteers from the community, especially local colleges and universities
  • Maintains and updates volunteer roster
  • Works closely with other development team members on their specific events.
  • Manages all aspects of record keeping, reporting and list extractions from the Tessitura database.
  • Manages invoicing, record keeping and budget preparation and tracking for all events as required.
  • Maintains the annual events calendar
  • Works collaboratively with the Development and Marketing teams at large to support organizational goals, including supporting other special projects
  • Attends and works all special events (may include many late nights and weekends).
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Undergraduate degree and 5 years corporate community experience and/or fundraising experience
  • Microsoft Office Suite is essential and working knowledge of Tessitura is preferred
  • Must be able to work flexible hours, including frequent evening, weekend and holiday hours as well as irregular hours on show and event days.
  • Exceptional organizational skills with a strong attention to detail
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to initiate and complete projects and assignments with minimal guidance
  • Ability to recognize customer relation / PR issues and to handle them appropriately or manage upward
  • Affinity for opera/music/theater/performing arts a plus
  • Must have own transportation as events occur throughout the county

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications. This is an exempt position. Full benefits including paid vacation, PTO, medical, dental, vision, FSA and 403b matching.

Please email cover letter and resume to Jobs@sdopera.org. No phone calls please.

Female Actor Needed — for Maria de Buenos Aires (a tango operetta)

Auditions for the role of El Duende, a speaking but non-singing, lead role will be held on Thursday, September 21st at 3:00p.

Role description and requirements:
El Duende: An androgynous creature with a strong and versatile voice who appears in both male and female guises. El Duende is manipulative and dangerous, but also alluring and irresistible. The performer will need to be a strong mover (not necessarily a trained dancer) and have excellent memorization and interpretive skills with dialogue. Spanish as a first language is required.

Rehearsal start date: January 9, 2018.
Performances: January 26, 27(x2), 28, 2018.

This will be a local AGMA (paid per performance) contract.

If you are interested in auditioning, please send resume and photo to Mary.Peters@sdopera.org.


If you are interested in being onstage as a volunteer supernumerary, we would love to hear from you. To be considered and added to our active list, call the Super-hotline (619)533-7073 and leave a clear message with your name, address, email address, and phone number (and age if you are under 18) or email our Super Captain at Bob.Borntrager@sdopera.com. Let us know if you have any special skills. Supernumerary information packets will be mailed in the late fall.