The Santa Fe Opera

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Seasonal Production Positions

2021 Seasonal Production Positions

Our Production Staff is comprised of experienced designers, technicians and craftspeople from regional theatres, opera companies and universities from around the world. Over 60% of our staff are former Santa Fe Opera technical apprentices. Staff compensation varies with responsibilities of the position and experience of the applicant. Staff housing is arranged by the Opera. Housing deductions are based on a percentage that is deducted weekly from your base pay. All staff receive assistance towards the cost of long distance travel to and from Santa Fe.

Alongside our Professional staff are apprentice technicians from colleges and theatre conservatories across the country. The Apprentice Program for Theatre Technicians, established in 1965, is an intermediate to advanced training program. The program offers instruction and practical experience in stage operations, properties, audio/video, costumes, production/music services, wigs and makeup, electrics and scenic art. Apprentices receive an hourly wage with overtime, and assistance with travel to and from Santa Fe, NM. Apprentice Housing is located in Opera owned apartments. Housing deductions are based on a percentage that is deducted weekly from the base pay.

Director and Designer presentations, résumé reviews, master classes, specialty workshops and portfolio reviews by our professional staff and guest designers are offered throughout the season. Once all of the season’s repertory productions have opened, technical apprentices participate in the production of fully staged opera scenes presented in two evening concerts featuring the apprentice artists. We also host a Portfolio Fair in which seasonal employees can share their work with fellow employees, designers and invited guests. This presentation will be scheduled for midseason. Please bring your portfolio fully prepared, for there is very limited time to work on it once you arrive.

The production of The Santa Fe Opera season is rigorous, personally and professionally demanding, and physically taxing. The schedule includes many continuous periods of long work days and nights. Twelve- hour-plus days, and six to seven day workweeks can be the norm. Since we are an outdoor venue, technical rehearsals must begin after sunset, and end well in the post-midnight hours.

Costume Shop

  • Introduction

    9 to 14 weeks of costume construction, paint/dye or crafts. Start dates vary beginning in early May.

  • Draper/Tailor

    The Draper/Tailor is the head of a team of 8-10 technicians, and is responsible for supervising this crew in the production of new costumes and the refurbishment/alteration of existing costumes for a 4-production repertory season. The Draper/Tailor must be prepared to fulfill the following responsibilities throughout the season: Draper/Tailor and pattern costumes according to designers’ renderings and research; accurately measure artists; facilitate the fitting of new and existing costumes; supervise the cutting, construction, finishing work, and alterations on assigned costumes. The Draper/Tailor is expected to time manage the team: anticipating needs for overtime hours or over hire, delivering costumes to wardrobe on time, attending dress rehearsals, monitoring team safety and morale, and maintaining excellence of product. Applicants should have training in costume technology, or comparable professional experience and minimum 5 years draping/tailoring at the professional or academic level. Start date varies beginning in May. The Draper/Tailor position is a mid-level and above staff position with hourly rates beginning at $15.00 per hour with overtime potential.

  • The First Hand/Tailor Assistant

    The First Hand/Tailor Assistant is responsible for assisting the Draper/Tailor in the production of new costumes and refurbishment/alteration of existing costumes for a 4-production repertory season. The First Hand/Tailor Assistant’s responsibilities are: accurately measure artists; assist in fitting new and existing costumes, taking notes for the Draper/Tailor as needed; pattern layout and fabric cutting according to Draper/Tailor direction; prep construction work for Stitchers, Apprentices and volunteers; supervision of Stitchers and apprentices in the construction, finishing work, and alterations on assigned costumes; oversee the labeling of finished costumes; perform final check of costumes before placement on finish rack/delivery to wardrobe; attend dress rehearsals; monitor team safety and morale; and maintain excellence of product. Applicants should have training in costume technology, or comparable professional experience and minimum 2 years assisting at the academic or professional level. Start date varies beginning in May.The First Hand position is a mid-level and above staff position with hourly rates beginning at $15.00 per hour with overtime potential.

  • The Wardrobe Assistant

    The Wardrobe Assistant is responsible for assisting the Wardrobe Supervisor in the organization, maintenance and running of a 4-production repertory season. The Wardrobe Assistant’s responsibilities are: dressing room set-up; assist in labeling costume pieces; costume maintenance including but not limited to cleaning/washing, pressing, and steaming of finished costumes; costume repairs; wardrobe inventory check-in; supervision of apprentices during the tech and run of the shows; assist artists in dressing at top of show and throughout performance; assist in quick changes; nightly laundry collection and show changeovers; assist in creating dressing sheets and show tracking paperwork; and maintain excellence of product. Applicants should have advanced wardrobe experience or similar experience in other theatrical venues. Start date is end of May. The Wardrobe Assistant position is a mid-level and above staff position with hourly rates beginning at $15.00 per hour with overtime potential.

Lighting & Electrics

  • Introduction

    9 weeks of hang, trial focus, practical construction, and technical and dress rehearsals. 4 weeks of daily repertory focus and running shows. Start dates vary from May 25, 2021.

  • Lighting Supervisor

    The Lighting Supervisor assists the Lighting Designers in efficient and accurate implementation of repertory lighting for 2 to 4 operas. They create and maintain accurate paperwork and drawings. They develop paperwork for up to 5 followspots for each opera. They call and supervise daily focuses, and assist designers during all onstage events. Anticipate needs, requirements and requests of the designers, and maintain the artistic vision for each performance. Maintain all documentation necessary for revivals.

    Minimum requirements and experience are a BA in Theatre Production or comparable professional experience or training. Minimum 3 years of assisting professional lighting designers. Experience in repertory lighting and/or outdoor lighting is extremely helpful. Experience with computers, drafting in Vectorworks, Filemaker Pro, MS Word, and MS Excel. Willingness and ability to work within a rigorous time schedule with a variety of personalities and skill levels. The Lighting Supervisor position is a salaried exempt staff position with a hourly equivalent rate starting at $20.00 per hour.

Stage Department

  • Introduction

    10 weeks of technical and dress rehearsals, work notes and repertory changes. 4 additional weeks of repertory running crew.
    Heavy lifting and physical stamina required.

  • Stage Operations Carpenter

    Stage Operations Carpenter (along with the Stage Operations Supervisor) is responsible for training, leading, and supervising the stage crew of 16 apprentices, 2 Show Crew Supervisors, 2 Stage Crew Leads. Duties include (but are not limited to) taking responsibility for the physical stage, wings, roof and trap room and the transitioning of scenery from storage to stage and back again. Facilitate (with the Stage Operations Supervisor and the Stage Crew Leads) changeovers between shows in the repertory. They must know and understand all parts of each scenic unit and be able to troubleshoot and make repairs on the fly. Assist in the planning of the running of the shows and prepare any paperwork related to the run of the stage and equipment. —e.g. fall protection, tools, etc. The Stage Operations Carpenter is also responsible for assessing and repairing scenery during the run of the shows. The Stage Operations Carpenter must be an organized individual with very good people skills who can effectively lead a large crew in a fiercely deadline-driven environment. Previous professional supervisor experience (or equivalent) is necessary. Reports to Stage Operations Supervisor, Technical Director, Assistant Technical Director and Production Director. Start date is May 24, 2021. The Stage Operations Carpenter position is a salaried exempt staff position with hourly equivalent rate starting at $20.00 per hour.

Apply Now

Application deadline is March 15, 2021.

Please submit a cover letter, current resume with references, and link to website or portfolio to prodjobs@santafeopera.org.

Please direct any questions to prodjobs@santafeopera.org.