Vacancy | Head of Planning

Tuesday, 24 January, 2023
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Irish National Opera is seeking a motivated and dynamic individual to join a newly-created role in the company.

Reporting to the Artistic Director, the Head of Planning is a key member of the INO’s team responsible for a range of high-level duties within the company’s artistic department. The role will be of interest to arts professionals that already have high-level experience and who wish to be part of a growing team in one of Ireland’s largest and most dynamic artistic organisations. In addition to working closely with the Artistic Director, the work of the Head of Planning will intersect with the Executive Director and Head of Production as well as the full INO executive team. A number of roles in the company will report directly to the Head of Planning; Artistic Administrator, Orchestra and Chorus Manager and Chorus Liaison.

Head of Planning - Duties

Company Planning

  • Work with the Artistic Director and Executive Director on long-terms plans for Irish National Opera’s programming, ensuring that the agreed programme is aligned to the company’s artistic, audience development and business aims.
  • Take primary responsibility for future budgeting of all aspects of the company’s artistic programming – creative teams, casts, chorus and orchestra.
  • Oversee all aspects of scheduling, ensuring that all schedules are well planned, feasible and that information on schedules is passed to all necessary people at the right time.
  • Ensure that schedules are agreed and updated as necessary with all partner organisations (venues, festivals, international promotors, guest orchestras, others).

Cast and Creative Teams

  • Together with the Artistic Director, agree casting for all of the company’s productions. The Head of Planning will take the lead role in casting – proposing artists, negotiating with agents, managing budgets and planning artist availability.
  • The Head of Planning will work closely with the Artistic Advisor to ensure that the quality of the company’s casting will be as high as possible. Oversee the arrangements of auditions, working sessions, or other ways of engaging with artists as necessary.
  • Develop and maintain a comprehensive database of Irish and International artists that are engaged or could be engaged by Irish National Opera. Keep records of artists updated.
  • Work with the Artistic Director on the engagement of creative teams.
  • Plan for the engagement of all other performing artists that are needed – actors, dancers, supernumeraries, children, others.
  • Oversee the work of the Artistic Administrator to ensure that all artists are contracted in accordance with negotiated terms and that all practical arrangements (travel, accommodation, visas, work permits) are put in place.


  • The Head of Planning will take a lead role in the development of Irish National Opera’s chorus. Working with the Artistic Director and Chorus Director, this will include planning, budgeting and scheduling. The Head of Planning will also develop the most effective means of engaging and retaining high quality singers in the company’s chorus.
  • The Head of Planning will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operation of the chorus through the work of the Orchestra and Chorus Manager, Chorus Liaison or any other staff that are engaged in the administration of the work of the chorus.


  • The Head of Planning will have a key role in the scheduling, planning and budgeting of the INO Orchestra and/or contracting guest orchestras.
  • As line manager of the Orchestra and Chorus manager, the Head of Planning will ensure that the work of the orchestra is managed effectively.
  • Working with the Artistic Director, Orchestra and Chorus Manger and Orchestra Leader, the Head of Planning will devise strategies to ensure an excellent artistic standard is reached and maintained by the INO Orchestra.

INO Policies

  • Irish National Opera has adopted a range of policies designed to ensure that its work is carried out in a professional, safe and progressive way. These policies – which are available on the company’s website – include Child Protection, Gender, Equality and Diversity, Conflict of Interest and Dignity in the Workplace. The Head of Production will have an important role in particular with the company’s Gender, Equality and Diversity policy ensuring that this policy is reflected in all of the company’s artistic planning.


  • Work with INO digital, education and outreach teams as necessary
  • Attend INO rehearsals and performances as necessary
  • Provide support to other areas of INO work as needed, particularly where artistic expertise is required

Person Specification

The ideal candidate will have high level relevant experience, advanced artistic insight with great attention to detail. They will have the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and keep impeccable records. They will show talent and capacity for building and maintaining relationships with artists and key partners.

The candidate will have a track record in working in opera, classical music or related field. They will have a passion for the arts and a desire to contribute to the growth, development and success of Irish National Opera. A knowledge of opera or the willingness to learn about the opera sector is essential.

Experience and Skills:

  • Minimum 5 years experience working in the opera, classical music or related sector
  • High level of artistic insight in relation to singers, instrumentalists and creative teams
  • Knowledge of Irish artists working in opera
  • Good network of national and international contacts within the opera sector
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Attention to details
  • Strong interpersonal and diplomatic skills
  • Commitment to fair treatment and respect for others
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Creative thinking
  • Personal accountability, high level of integrity, ability to work under pressure
  • Focused self-starter with ability to work collaboratively with teams
  • Strategic mindset


Head Of Planning Ino Candidate Information Pack