The Opéra de Lyon is recruiting a Director of Ballet (M/F).

Where: Opéra National de Lyon (France)

When: September 2023

Deadline for applications: 10th March 2023 midnight, mainland France time

The Opéra national de Lyon is a centre for excellence, creation, production and training in opera, choreography and music. It is amongst the leading opera houses in both France and Europe and since January 1996 has held the title of National Opera House. It is subsidised by the Lyon city authorities, Ministry of Culture, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region and Métropole de Lyon.
It has a budget of around €36 million and a permanent workforce of around 350 employees (association staff and personnel seconded by the City of Lyon), as well as around a hundred temporary staff per year on average. The Opera House has an orchestra, choir, ballet and children’s choir.

The Opéra de Lyon is recognised in France and internationally and boasts a strong legacy of over 100 reference works, standing out thanks to its ability to incorporate a diverse range of languages through such names as Jiri Kylian, Mats Ek, William Forsythe, Lucinda Childs, Pina Bausch, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Marcos Mauro, Christos Papadopoulos encore Marlène Monteiro Freitas who are some of the leading names showcased at the Opéra de Lyon. The Ballet’s activities are spread across its work in the city of Lyon itself, as well as tours across the region, in France and internationally. Each year between 65 and 75 performances are staged by the ballet, with around thirty of these in Lyon; a handful of these also enter the repertoire each year.

Under the active management of the Director, the Ballet at the Opéra national de Lyon is made up of a Deputy Director, three ballet masters, a production director and an administrative director, a stage manager and 30 dancers working in different choreographic languages. To support and promote the various creations, additions to the repertoire as well as revivals, the ballet also relies on permanent and temporary technical staff, a set workshop and costume workshop who are all involved in the performances.

The deputy director, also a partner of the Ballet director, actively contributes towards implementing the company’s artistic and cultural vision, in terms of both administration and production as well as fostering ties between other departments and partners. The Director offers support in designing the program and contributes to the season calendars – in line with the budget (distribution, negotiation of tours and partnership agreements, etc.). The deputy director is actively involved in promotion of the ballet through publicity and communication.

The Opéra de Lyon Ballet currently has a vacancy for the position of Director (M/F).

By delegation of the General and Artistic Director and in line with the values of the organisation, the primary responsibilities of the Ballet Director will be to set out an ambitious artistic project. In line with the current budgetary framework and existing human and technical resources set by general management, s/he will help develop the artistic schedule of the Ballet for each season, both in Lyon and for tours, as well as ensuring compliance with recommendations set for in the Opéra National de Lyon’s convention.

The Director will work towards continuing the excellence of this group of dancers, comprising unique individual artistic talents. S/he will propose an ambitious and innovative program to the general and artistic director for the choreographic season striking a balance across seasons between performances which have helped forge the solid reputation of the Opéra de Lyon Ballet as well as seeking out new works.

The director must be highly pragmatic and will be involved in both the day-to-day administration and management of teams.
S/he must have a genuine propensity for every aspect of management tasks including recruitment, support and evaluation of dancers, retraining, health and safety and prevention measures.
More specifically, s/he will guide dancers in their work as performers, nurture talent and the development of artistic potential. S/he will direct and advise the ballet masters in their work with dancers and advise choreographers and works masters on the conduct of creations, revivals or additions to the repertoire.
In accordance with choreographers, s/he will draw up cast lists and ensure that everyone’s work is balanced.
In collaboration with appropriate members of staff, s/he will actively contribute to the Opera’s wider civic initiatives, whether these are cultural or, more broadly, those carried out in the context of Opéra de Lyon’s social and environmental responsibility.

The director will represent the Opéra de Lyon Ballet and ensure that its reputation for excellence is maintained at national and international levels. Consequently, drawing on his or her network of national and international contacts, the director will strive towards developing a network of partners, co-producers and patrons.


The director will notably:

• Have successful experience of Ballet management
• Thorough understanding of the world of dance, artists, professional and institutional networks on a national and international level
• Demonstrate strong project and multidisciplinary team management skills
• Have a good command of French (either proven or in the process of being acquired) and English.

To assist with this choice, Richard Brunel will set up a selection committee composed of French and international dance professionals.

The selection committee will draw up a shortlist of applicants in March. Applicants will be interviewed between the end of March and the beginning of April. The appointment will be announced following approval by the Opéra Board of Trustees upon proposal by the general and artistic director.

How to apply:
Applicants are invited to send a dossier including a résumé, a letter of motivation and a memorandum of intent and project not exceeding ten pages focusing on their artistic and managerial vision in a sustainable economy for the Opéra de Lyon, while highlighting training and retraining of dancers in a changing world. All applications and supporting documents will be entirely confidential.

Applications should be sent by email to the following address:, copy to mentioning “ballet director application” as the subject. An e-mail will be sent by Vicky Robini (executive assistant to the general director) to confirm receipt of applications.

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