The Vienna State Opera & Vienna Volksoper are searching for an ARTISTIC DIRECTOR TO HEAD THE VIENNA STATE BALLET
The position will be based in Vienna and will be for a period of five years from 1 September 2025.
Planning and preparation will start well in advance and are not tied to Vienna.
PROFILE OF THE VIENNA STATE BALLET
The Vienna State Ballet has been an independent joint venture of the Vienna State Opera and Vienna Volksoper since 1 September 2005 with an artistic and financial management. The company’s 101 dancers from 31 countries perform in at least 80 ballet evenings a year (50 at the Vienna State Opera and 30 at the Volksoper) as well as dance numbers in new and existing productions (operas, operettas and musicals) at the two houses. The season generally involves four premieres (two in each house), an end-of-season gala at the Vienna State Opera and up to 10 repertoire productions. The Vienna State Ballet also offers numerous special events such as introductory matinees, ballet workshops, introductions to specific works, panel discussions on dance, and open classes. The ensemble performs internationally at selected venues, including the annual appearances at the Vienna Opera Ball and the New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic. The Vienna State Ballet has always worked to preserve significant traditions – for example, the ballet classics choreographed by Rudolf Nureyev – while also presenting a broad and diverse repertoire with a balance of classical, neoclassical, and contemporary choreography, in order to reach the broadest possible audience. The programmes include both triple bills with works by different choreographers, ranging from George Balanchine’s neoclassical ballets through American modern dance to world premieres, and full-length productions. Ballets d’action, such as Onegin and the great ballet classics Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and Giselle are as popular as ever with Vienna audiences. The Volksoper attaches great importance to collaborating with the Vienna State Ballet on joint development of the hybrid genres of operetta, musical and music theatre, productions which cross genre lines, and productions suitable for the whole family. In recent years – apart from the pandemic – the Vienna State Ballet has had a total audience of around 140,000 a season for some 90 ballet evenings at the two opera houses. Live streaming added another 78,000 viewers. Current seat occupancy for ballet in the 2022/2023 season is 99% at the Vienna State Opera and 79% at the Vienna Volksoper. The Circle of Friends of the Vienna State Ballet, which currently has around 200 donors, also offers numerous programmes and a unique opportunity to see world-class ballet at close range.
PROFILE OF THE VIENNA STATE OPERA BALLET ACADEMY
The Ballet Academy is a training institution of the Vienna State Opera, and ranks as Austria’s leading ballet training institute. It offers a comprehensive practical and theoretical education in theatrical dance, with particular attention to the students’ physical and emotional wellbeing. The Ballet Academy takes students aged 10-18 from Austria and abroad, and trains them in the following disciplines: ballet, pointe work, pas de deux, classical repertoire, character dance, modern and contemporary dance, historical dance, and dance & health. There is also a preparatory course for children aged 8 and over. Each season, the Vienna State Opera Youth Ballet Company offers 12 students aged 17-21 the opportunity to prepare for the daily professional life of a dancer. The Ballet Academy has a total of 137 students in the 2022/2023 academic year. An important aspect of the training is gaining stage experience through student participation in ballet and opera performances by the Vienna State Opera and Vienna Volksoper, the opening of the Vienna Opera Ball, and an annual Ballet Academy matinee at the Vienna State Opera. The goal of the Ballet Academy is to provide a positive learning environment for every talent, regardless of their origin and prior knowledge, through internationally-oriented, modern, and professional training. Respect and recognition enable students to develop their full potential and grow into self-confident artists. After completing their training, the aim is to offer graduates of the Ballet Academy a contract with the Vienna State Ballet. However, graduates are also dancing today in many other leading companies worldwide.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE BALLET DIRECTOR
→ Overall artistic and organizational responsibility for the Vienna State Ballet joint venture as well as for the Vienna State Opera Ballet Academy, as authorized by the general managers of the Vienna State Opera and Vienna Volksoper
→ National and international positioning of the Vienna State Ballet, by ensuring a level of artistic excellence befitting to the status of the two theatres
→ Planning and implementing an ambitious artistic programme with a balance between classical repertoire and contemporary ballet, and with a view to the further development of the company
→ Development and maintenance of high-quality ballet and dance numbers in music theatre productions at Vienna State Opera and Vienna Volksoper
→ Attracting established and emerging choreographers and dancers to work with the company
→ Being in charge of the production and rehearsal process of performances at the two opera houses
→ Managing a company of dancers, the Vienna State Opera Ballet Academy and organizational staff with around 165 employees
→ Recruiting, promoting, and retaining highly-qualified dancers and supporting their wellbeing with the help of a medical-therapeutic team
→ Complying with public regulations under the Federal Theatres Organization Act
→ Identifying opportunities for national and international cooperation (guest appearances and joint productions)
→ Overall artistic responsibility for planning and operating the Vienna State Opera Ballet Academy
→ Active audience development of new generations of ballet lovers
→ Attracting new sponsors and donors, and proactive maintenance of existing relationships, particularly with the Circle of Friends of the Vienna State Ballet.
REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICANTS
→ Experience in managing a ballet company
→ Internationally recognized artist or artistic director with classical ballet training
→ Expert knowledge of the ballet market and relevant ballet literature
→ Management responsibility for new dance productions, including recruiting and heading the leading teams
→ Outstanding organizational management qualities with the ability to assume and delegate management responsibilities, to maintain the collegial culture of the two houses
→ Experience in managing and working with employees and guest artists, with a high level of collaborative, communicative, and integrative competence
→ Ability to set artistic and commercial goals and effectiveness in achieving them
→ Ability to promote talent in dancers and choreographers and to lead a training institution in accordance with child welfare guidelines
→ Comprehensive knowledge of dance education (curriculum and style), curriculum development and supervisory experience
→ Awareness of the importance of both the mental and physical health support of dancers
→ Experience in marketing, PR work, sponsoring and fund raising and audience development
→ Excellent oral and written communication and negotiation skills.
To apply, submit a c/v and concept with a clear artistic vision and concrete programme planning for a sample season for the Vienna State Opera and Vienna Volksoper. Attach a list of choreographers and dancers you would like to work with.
Send your application to → email@example.com
The closing date for applications is Monday, 31 July 2023.
Interviews will be held in Vienna at the start of September 2023.