The Senior Press Representative for WNO & Classical is responsible for the strategic communications and public relations efforts for Washington National Opera and its constituents and programs, the Renée Fleming VOICES series, Composer in Residence Mason Bates and the KC Jukebox series, and other vocal and/or classical presentations, including Direct Current, the Center’s two-week annual focus on contemporary culture.
In collaboration with WNO’s leadership team of General Director Timothy O’Leary and Artistic Director Francesca Zambello and in support of their artistic vision, the Senior Press Representative serves as a member of WNO’s senior management team, and will lead public relations and communications efforts that are consistent with the short and long term strategic plans for WNO, its profile, and its artists, productions, leadership, and other initiatives, including education, community engagement, and professional development. The person in this role will be expected to offer strategic input and guidance as relates to communications, and to garner local, national, and international coverage in print, broadcast, electronic, and digital media outlets that successfully achieves the goals of raising awareness, appreciation, and profile of WNO and its programs.
In addition, this position also requires similar public relations and communications efforts for the Renee Fleming VOICES series, KC Composer in Residence Mason Bates and the KC Jukebox series, and other vocal and/or classical presentations.
As an integral member of the Kennedy Center PR team, work related to other Kennedy Center events, initiatives, and special projects, such as Kennedy Center Honors, the Mark Twain Prize, the REACH, and other festivals, series, and performances is assigned as needed.
The successful candidate will have at least eight years of public relations experience, including responsibility for high-level strategic communications and messaging; long and short-term PR planning ranging from national to grassroots efforts; creating and executing these plans; and an appreciation and understanding of opera and its inner workings, as well as strong media contacts in both the arts and non-arts. A creative spirit, independent thinker, and collaborative nature will be appreciated.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Design and implement comprehensive communications and PR strategies and plans that support Washington National Opera’s institutional advancement, including support for WNO productions, guest artists, the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, titled leadership, community education and school programs, annual Opera gala, and other initiatives to raise WNO’s profile locally, nationally, and internationally.
Deepen existing relationships with arts journalists and develop new connections to entice new writers and producers to cover WNO. Work to expand feature coverage nationally and globally.
Conceive, commission, write, and edit all content for WNO Playbills. Collect and edit artist biographies to meet WNO Playbill standards and style. Work with dramaturg to plan and create vibrant content for the Playbills. Manage licensing of content by other opera companies.
Partner with WNO’s marketing and social media teams to provide content and copy and to develop communications strategies for WNO productions, artists, programs, and special events. Provide feedback for all WNO marketing materials and e-mail communications.
Collaborate closely with WNO’s development and education departments to support their events and strategic goals.
Maintain archive of WNO photo, video, and other assets related to the company's performance history. Assist other opera companies who need these assets for WNO rental and other productions.
Develop and deepen relationships with local partners such as the Embassy of Italy, the Goethe Institute, and others in Washington’s diplomatic and arts communities.
Design and implement comprehensive communications and PR plans that support the Renee Fleming Voices series; KC Composer in Residence Mason Bates and his series/initiatives; seasonal institutional initiatives, and other presentations in the vocal and classical genres as assigned.
Assist with on-site execution of red carpets and other facets of high-profile events such as Kennedy Center Honors, Mark Twain Prize, and other events as needed.
Manage a variety of needs and requests from media, as well as internal Kennedy Center constituents.
Other duties as assigned.
Night and weekend work as required by rehearsal and performance schedules.
Travel up to 5% may be required.
Minimum Skills and/or Knowledge Required
Minimum of 8 years’ experience in public relations required.
Appreciation of opera repertoire and classical music is essential; knowledge preferred.
Knowledge of foreign language a plus.
Red carpet experience a plus.
Additional Salary Information: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a world premier performing arts organization and our nation’s cultural center. Diversity is a critical component of our mission, vision, and values. Our staff exhibits a wide variety of perspectives and experiences which enable us to foster and strengthen an environment of diversity and inclusion. We offer a comprehensive range of benefits including medical, dental and vision insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, and a 403(b) retirement plan.
About John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, located on 17 acres overlooking the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., is America's living memorial to President Kennedy as well as the nation's busiest arts facility. The Center, which opened on September 8, 1971, continues its efforts to fulfill President Kennedy's vision by producing and presenting an unmatched variety of theater and musicals, dance and ballet, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, world, and folk music, and multimedia performances for all ages.We are the nation’s beacon for the performing arts, engaging artists and audiences around the world to share, inspire, and celebrate the cultural heritage by which a great society is defined and remembered.
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