For the Summer of 2011, I was the Opera Club Steward at The Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico. The Santa Fe Opera is one of the most prominent opera companies in the world, with five operative productions performed in repertory every summer as well as workshops for new opera and staged scenes for the Apprentice Program. After its Formation in 1957, Santa Fe Opera quickly became the most respected arts organizations in the Southwest United States and catapulted itself amongst the ranks of famous opera companies worldwide. Nestled between the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez mountains, Santa Fe Opera offers audiences the opportunity to enjoy world class opera in an open-air-theatre amid the backdrop of breathtaking desert sunsets. Famed operatic performers such as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Natalie Dessay, David Daniels, Susan Graham and Joyce DiDonato have graced the Santa Fe Opera's stage. Artistic merit is key at Santa Fe Opera and the stage here has seen nine world premieres and more than 40 American premieres of operas.
My position as Opera Club Steward was an opportunity to work as a staff member in the Development department of a large American opera company. I was the manager of the exclusive donor and VIP lounge that was restiricted to major donors, senior artistic staff and potential donors. My primary responsibility was to act as “house manager” within the Club and to coordinate/facilitate the privileges of the Opera’s top patrons, Club members, and special visitors throughout the season. I also collaborated with Box Office staff to secure and distribute tickets for Opera Club members. I assisted senior Development and Artistic staff in identifying all potential Opera Club attendees for each performance as well as prospective donors. I utilized the Tessitura database system in creating customized lists top identify the specific donors and their giving levels per performance.
In Addition to my duties as the Opera Club Steward, I also worked with the Donor Benefits manager to track and count teh amount of parking passes there would be present at each performance (there are three kinds: Reserved, Preferred and Valet). It was also my responsibility to personally greet all major donors and distribute cast lists and synopses at invited dress rehearsals they attend. I also took on a project to track and document the history of board members' membership since the foundation of the company. On top of all these experiences, I also assited Development Staff in writing a proposal to be sent to potential underwriters (both businesses and individuals) of Richard Strauss' Arabella, one of the five operas being performed next year.