Chorus Master

Company overview

Established in 1999 as a non-profit performing arts company, Cape Town Opera is based at the Artscape Theatre Centre in the Foreshore area of Cape Town and is currently the only permanently active opera company on the African continent and one of the largest performing arts institutions in South Africa. The recipient of two International Opera Awards, annual activities include fully staged opera productions in Cape Town, national music education programs for primary and secondary school learners, and national and international touring of operas and concerts. The company has a current staff complement of 4 soloists, 19 chorus members, 10 young artists and 24 artistic, administrative and production staff, overseen by an eight-member Board of Directors. Cape Town Opera serves as a shining example of the best that South Africa has to offer, dedicating itself to excellence, inclusivity, and employment within the arts.

Position Overview

The Chorus Master is a key member of the artistic team and is responsible for preparing the Cape Town Opera Chorus for all productions and concerts. The ideal candidate will demonstrate a deep knowledge of all aspects of managing and maintaining the Cape Town Opera Chorus to meet the highest level at each step of the production process. As a collaborator, the Chorus Master will be an individual who can easily transition from the needs of the artists to the administrative functions of the role, providing leadership and support as required.

Applicant requirements

Hard Skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree in music, preferably with a specialisation in conducting, vocal coaching, or related field.
  • Proven experience in chorus or choir direction, especially in an opera setting.
  • Extensive knowledge of opera and choral repertoire.
  • Proficiency in multiple languages (Italian, French, German, and English preferred).
  • Strong conducting, coaching, and piano accompaniment skills.

Soft Skills:

  • Exceptional organisational skills, with the ability to prioritise projects and adapt to changing priorities.
  • Outstanding leadership qualities, capable of motivating and developing singers of various skill levels.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with a calm demeanour.
  • High personal standards, including punctuality, reliability, and a professional appearance.

Additional Requirements:

  • Flexibility to work long hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays.
  • Valid SA driver’s license and own transportation.
  • Clear criminal and credit record.
  • Legal eligibility to work in South Africa. 

Job Responsibilities

  • Planning and conducting Chorus rehearsals and performances, ensuring the Chorus members are well-prepared.
  • Work closely with directors, conductors, and soloists to ensure a cohesive and high-quality performance.
  • Providing vocal coaching focusing on technique, diction, and musical style.
  • In conjunction with the Artistic Director and Production Manager, plan music, orchestral, production and stage rehearsal schedules.
  • In consultation with the Artistic Director and other stakeholders/partners, curate performance programmes for various types of events.
  • Assist the artistic team with casting.
  • Conduct the Chorus during performances and assist with on-stage positioning and movements, as well as backstage conducting, as required.
  • Accompany the Chorus for rehearsals and performances, as required.
  • Assist in the auditioning, selection, training and annual assessment of Chorus members.
  • Manage Chorus-related administrative duties, including attendance tracking and communication with Chorus members.
  • Oversee and supervise any staff reporting to the Chorus Master position.
  • Manage the ordering, preparation, distribution and storage of vocal scores.
  • Attend all rehearsals and performances where the Chorus is called.
  • Lead Chorus warm ups before performances.
  • Provide artistic guidance regarding repertoire and casting, as required.
  • Attend meetings, as scheduled.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Application procedure

The position is full time and is based at the Artscape Theatre Centre, Foreshore, Cape Town, South Africa.

The deadline for applications is Friday, 30 April 2024. 

Please submit:

  1. A motivational letter detailing your specific interest in and skills applicable to the position.
  2. Your CV.
  3. Three contactable references.

Please note that applications that do not meet all three of the requirements listed above will not be considered.

Applications should be sent via email to geraldp@capetownopera.co.za; all information will be kept confidential.

Cape Town Opera celebrates diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all employees.

Cape Town Opera reserves the right not to make an appointment.