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Technical Director

The nationally acclaimed Arizona Opera in Phoenix, AZ seeks an experienced, self-motivated and detail-oriented individual for the position of Technical Director. The ideal candidate is someone with 7 or more years of professional experience as a Technical Director at regional or nationally-known theatre and/or opera companies, supervising at least 20-30 IATSE stagehands, navigating complex collective bargaining agreements and managing complex season schedules and budgets. The TD manages all aspects of scenery construction and the coordination of technical elements, supervises scene shop personnel, oversees backstage operations, maintains department equipment, and manages the physical spaces of the scene shop, black box theatre, and support areas.  The TD should be able to manage time, stress and personalities successfully and with maturity and pragmatism. The successful candidate will need to handle the responsibilities proactively and with forethought regarding personnel needs, time limits, logistics, and budget constraints.  The TD oversees the 25,000 sq. ft. Arizona Opera Scenic Studio and warehouse. The Arizona Opera produces two operas in the fall and three operas in the winter that are performed in both Phoenix (3) and Tucson (2).  Arizona Opera is committed to equality and diversity in its workforce and encourages all interested parties to apply. An enjoyment or appreciation of opera as a vibrant art form is a definite plus. An enjoyment or appreciation of opera as a vibrant art form is a definite plus.


Job Title: Technical Director

Department: Production

FLSA Status: Not Eligible for OT (Exempt)

Classification: Full time

Reports To: 
Director of Production
Job Category: 
Full Time


Essential Functions:

  • Supervise and coordinate, in conjunction with design teams and IATSE crew heads, all aspects of the layout, scheduling, installation, and running of Arizona Opera shows and events in performance theatres, rehearsal hall and other venues used by the company
  • Hire and supervise full time as well as seasonal staff,
  • Collaborate with creative teams as well as other departments.
  • Advise the Director of Production on scheduling, staffing and construction cost savings.
  • Research, develop and advise on all materials and special products.
  • Write bid and construction specifications for productions.
  • Manage acquisition planning, maintenance and upkeep of all Arizona Opera equipment and facilities of the Arizona Opera Production Department.
  • Acquire technical production information for incoming rental productions.
  • Advise Director of Production on all construction and rigging engineering.
  • Be responsible for the monitoring, disbursement and reporting of expenses (including petty cash, per diem, mileage and company credit card) connected with the Production Department.
  • Manage and oversee all aspects of local and out of town drayage for the Production/Technical Department:
  • Obtain permits, insurance, traffic control, trailer rental, and coordinate container requirements.
  • Serve as principal contact for production shipping agents.
  • Prepare carnet paperwork as necessary.
  • Coordinate Arizona Opera Scenic Studio activity.
  • Oversee Technical Department security needs.
  • Establish and maintain archival records for Arizona Opera productions.
  • Assist with setting up and striking company events on and off-site.
  • Advise and assist Director of Production on budgeting and fiscal management for current and future seasons.
  • Provide technical and production support for development/marketing events as required.
  • Supervise the Arizona Opera Set/Costume Rental program.
  • Lead proactively on all safety matters within the Arizona Opera workplace.
  • Coordinate production activities with the Director of Production, Stage Managers, Music Director and Director of Education.
  • Coordinate the technical requirements and preparatory activities of Arizona Opera during the off-season, including the development of a technical schedule, transport of scenery, communicating with set designers from design submission through build process - preparing and drafting this season’s set designs into Arizona Opera performance venues and for bidding and supervising the set construction for the season’s scenic designs
  • Supervise maintenance/repair and facility inspections in consultation with the Director of Production.

Non-Essential Functions:

  • Approve and track all vendor invoices related to Technical Department expenditures.
  • Arrange for seasonal trucking needs by receiving and evaluating bids, contracting and communicating with vendor(s) and Arizona Opera personnel regarding schedules and reconcile bills.
  • Generate all required technical drawings.
  • Attend all performances.
  • Other related duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibility:

  • Assistant Technical Director
  • IATSE Department Heads and crews
  • Scenic Studio Personnel i.e. carpenters, metal workers, painters, riggers, etc.
  • Warehouse Personnel i.e. truck loaders, stagehands, etc.


  • Bachelor’s degree in theatre technology or seven years professional experience as a technical director or technician. Drivers License.


  • Experience supervising union crews and applying union contracts.
  • Possess excellent project management and people skills.
  • Effective organizational, analytical, problem-solving, writing and interpersonal skills
  • Experience in theatrical construction, rigging, cabling a must.
  • Creating, reading and understanding technical drawings.

Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, and the ability to present in public

Creative, detail oriented, excellent organizational and self-management skills, and ability to multi-task, adapt, and work in a fast-paced work environment

Computer Skills:

Proficient in Vectorworks or AutoCAD, Microsoft Office Suite, Calendar Creator, Lightwright. Knowledge of and/or experience with Watchout and/or Isadora a plus.


Physical Demands:

Extended periods at workstation, using a keyboard, viewing a computer screen and communicating by telephone and in person. Ability to perform duties in a rigorous schedule, climb ladders and stairs and carry 50 pounds.

Work Environment:

Work environment is generally quiet, and in an office-like setting but it can be in much more challenging settings including warehouse, scene shop floor and theatres. (see Physical Demands section above).

Travel/Other Requirements:

Must travel to Tucson on performance weeks.

This position requires air travel.

Availability for evening and weekend work required.

The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.


The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer and requirements of the position change.

The Arizona Opera is an Equal Opportunity employer. Please submit resume and cover letter to hr@azopera.org


About Arizona Opera

Arizona Opera, originally the Tucson Opera Company, was founded in 1971 by a dedicated group of opera enthusiasts. Its inaugural season featured two performances of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in Tucson and by the 1976 – 1977 season Arizona Opera was performing complete seasons in both Tucson and Phoenix.

Since its inaugural year, Arizona Opera has produced over 170 fully-staged operas and concerts. The company’s artistic history is rich with a blend of opera’s traditional repertoire featuring baroque, bel canto, and verismo works, turn-of-the-century masterpieces, operettas, and American operas. Arizona Opera has also presented Wagner’s complete Ring Cycle twice, a feat that has only been accomplished in North America by four other companies.

On stage, Arizona Opera presents artists of both international stature and emerging talent, and each season balances debut artists and the return of favorite performers. Arizona’s musical talent is showcased in its acclaimed orchestra and chorus. The Arizona Opera Orchestra, established in 2000, consists of members of symphony orchestras from Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tucson, as well as faculty from local universities, and the chorus is comprised of Phoenix and Tucson community members and students from local universities.

In addition to producing five grand operas each year in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona Opera offers in-school touring productions and numerous outreach events for children and adults of all ages.


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