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Technical Director

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.

The Arizona Opera Scenic Studio is a 25,000 square foot building that houses a scenery and paint shop, office space and scenery storage.



The Technical Director works closely with and is responsible for managing projects from conception through completion with the design and creative teams for each production. Key to the success of those projects, the Technical Director, in conjunction with the Director of Production, will take an active role in facilitating communication with scenic, props, electrics, projections, sound, scene shop personnel, and Arizona Opera leadership to ensure all departments are informed about designs, changes, and technical planning for each production. The Technical Director will have the primary responsibility to oversee the research and development, engineering, construction, installation, maintenance, and transfer of scenery (built, purchased, rented, or otherwise) for all productions produced and presented by Arizona Opera including main stage productions, RED Series productions, site-specific productions, galas, special events, and community programs (referred to throughout this document as “productions”), under the direction of the company’s Director of Production. The Technical Director performs a leadership role to help create and support a working and producing environment that is artistically satisfying, professional, and safe in alignment with the company’s mission and vision.

Reports To: 
Director of Production
Job Category: 



  • Guide and facilitate communication between the production department and guest designers.
  • In a timely manner, prepare detailed ground plans, sections, and construction drawings of designer drawings, rigging and technical drawings, and any other such drawings pertinent to the scenery, stages, or other performance locations, in AutoCAD, Vectorworks and PDF formats for use by scene shop staff, stage management and other production department staff.
  • Collaborates with the Scene Shop Supervisor in scheduling, layout, and execution of the construction of all scenery for new productions and modifications to existing productions by providing and executing detailed information.
  • Responsible for reading rehearsal and performance reports, daily schedules and weekly calendars. Follow-up on applicable details/notes and communicate information to supervisors and staff as appropriate.
  • Create and maintain a safe working environment in all Arizona Opera facilities related to production and in the context of the production designs, including, but not limited to: the design and implementation of overhead rigging systems, automation, structural design of staging; the enforcing of applicable fall protection policies; managing scene shop hours to prevent exhaustion; etc. Oversee and ensure safety during load-ins, technical rehearsals, performances, and strikes. Perform hazard assessments for scene shop, warehouse, and productions as needed.
  • Establish and maintain knowledge of vendors and materials in an effort to perform the due diligence to ensure that cost comparisons are yielding the most economical products for purchase.
  • Arrange and manage all local, domestic, and international trucking and shipping of production materials.
  • Manage acquisition planning, maintenance and upkeep of all production equipment and the Arizona Opera Scenic Studio.
  • Supervise maintenance/repair and facility inspections in consultation with the Director of Production.
  • Disbursement and reporting of expenses connected with the Production Department.
  • Manage and oversee all aspects of local drayage and over the road trucking for the Production/Technical Department:
  • Obtain permits, insurance, traffic control, trailer rental, and coordinate container requirements.
  • Prepare carnet paperwork as necessary.
  • Advise the Director of Production on budgeting and fiscal management for current and future seasons.
  • Supervise the Arizona Opera Set/Costume Rental program. Including travel with rentals for Load-In & Load-Out of productions owned by Arizona Opera.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Provide technical and production support for development/marketing events as required.
  • Acquire technical production information for incoming rental productions.
  • Other related duties as assigned.



  • Supervise and assist in scheduling, accounting, purchasing and planning for productions and scene shop and warehouse operations.
  • Scheduling of and presence at all load-ins, load-outs, production calls, technical rehearsals at all sites for productions produced or presented by Arizona Opera.
  • Attend all staff meetings, production head meetings, and production meetings as required by the Director of Production.
  • In collaboration with the Scene Shop Supervisor devise a long-term plan for layout, workflow and capital improvement of the Scene Shop.
  • Acknowledge and work within the procedures and policies of the collective bargaining agreement between Arizona Opera and I.A.T.S.E Locals 336 (Phoenix) and 415 (Tucson).



  • Work in conjunction with the Director of Production in the development of annual budgets.
  • Prepare detailed costing estimates for designs based on designer drawings and adjust and present options to the designers to assist in the budget process.
  • Estimate and track labor and material costs for productions and advise Director of Production of the potential financial consequences of any proposed changes or other alterations to technical plans.



  • Catalogue and package all drawings and supporting documentation for archival and remount purposes.
  • Modify drawings as necessary taking into consideration Co-Producer and/or Renter venue needs.
  • Prepare and review technical riders for the advancement of all productions.
  • Maintain warehouse facility and all items stored within the warehouse.
  • Update and organize inventory of all production equipment, scenic and properties materials, and safety supplies.



  • Bachelor’s degree in theatre technology or four years professional experience as a technical director or technician.
  • Drivers License. Must have reliable transportation.
  • Significant professional experience in scenery construction techniques including but not limited to advanced metal and woodworking, theatrical rigging, mechanical design, and AutoCAD and Vectorworks drafting.
  • Basic knowledge of lighting, sound, and video equipment.



  • Approach and carry out duties, as designated above, with a positive attitude.
  • Function in a professional and collegial manner when collaborating with all opera personnel, professional creative teams, staff, management and other guest artists.
  • Represent Arizona Opera and build positive relationships on its behalf within the profession and with others as appropriate.
  • Continue professional development by staying up to date with the latest technologies and best practices within the industry.
  • Follow procedures and policies of the Arizona Opera as written in the employee handbook.
  • Give support and show appreciation to the Board of Directors, patrons, and other volunteers and supporters of Arizona Opera.
  • Maintain complete knowledge of Arizona Opera’s Safety, Health, and Emergency Action Handbook, including procedures for accidents and injuries.



  • Frequent interaction with Director of Production, Production Stage Manager.
  • Frequent interaction with and supervision of Scene Shop Staff, Lighting and Video Coordinator, Properties Master, Production Carpenter, Lead Carpenter, Show Carpenter, Charge Artists and Painters.
  • Regular interaction with Production Department Heads and Staff, Stage Management, Facilities Manager.
  • Intermittent interaction with President and General Director, Artistic Administrator.
  • Intermittent interaction with non-production opera staff, Board Members, and the company’s community at large.



  • Frequent interaction with Phoenix Symphony Hall, Herberger Theater Center, Tucson Music Hall and Tucson Temple of Music and Art Production Departments and I.A.T.S.E Crews.
  • Regular interaction with directors, designers, vendors, and distributors.
  • Regular interaction with I.A.T.S.E. Local 336 and 415 and I.A.T.S.E. overhire personnel.
  • Intermittent interaction with technical direction departments and show supervisors of other opera companies and partner organizations.



  • Demonstrated leadership skills in a scene shop environment.
  • Significant professional experience in scenery construction techniques including but not limited to advanced metal and woodworking, theatrical rigging, mechanical design, and AutoCAD and Vectorworks drafting.
  • Basic knowledge of lighting, sound, and video equipment.
  • Excellent judgment and analytical abilities.
  • Experience in I.A.T.S.E. collective bargaining negotiations.
  • Working knowledge with the Microsoft Office 365 Suite of products.
  • Outstanding communication skills with the ability to collaborate with a variety of colleagues from performers to management.
  • Ability to work and think independently, a motivated self-starter who also works well in a larger team.



  • Ability to work a flexible schedule outside of scene shop hours.
  • Valid driver’s license and the ability to drive scene shop pick up fully loaded along with ability to drive a minimum 26-foot box truck.
  • Ability to utilize and troubleshoot scene shop tools and equipment.
  • 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.
  • Creative, detail oriented, excellent organizational and self-management skills, and ability to multi-task, adapt, and work in a fast-paced work environment



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



  • Must travel to Tucson for 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. The Arizona Opera does not discriminate against an employee or candidate for employment because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin or nationality, age, disability, veteran status, marital status or any other legally protected status. We prohibit discrimination in all aspects of employment, including recruitment, hiring, compensation, benefits, engagements, assignments, training, discipline, termination, promotions or other conditions of employment or career development. We offer Reasonable Accommodations where necessary to candidates for employment and to our qualified employees with disabilities.


Interested candidates should send a letter of interest with subject TD20, resume, and references by email to No Phone Calls, Please.