Head of Wardrobe

Head of Wardrobe Department (I.A.T.S.E. Local 764 Union Position)

Available: March 2021

Position Summary

The Metropolitan Opera (the “Met”), located in Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, is one of New York’s premier cultural institutions. The Met’s foremost goal is to present the highest quality performance of the opera repertory featuring the world’s most talented artists, conductors, stage directors and designers. The Met is committed to presenting works from the broadest range of the operatic repertory; and each season it stages more than 200 performances of opera. With groundbreaking technology like Met titles, live national and international broadcasts and simulcasts, educational programs for students and aspiring singers and free concert performances, the Met endeavors to expand and educate the audience for opera by championing the accessibility of the art form and fostering its growth.

The Met seeks an experienced Head of Wardrobe who will be directly responsible for managing the care and maintenance of the opera’s costume inventory, as well as managing the dresser crews who assist the singers and performers in and out of costumes for both rehearsals and performances. This position reports to the Costume, Wardrobe, and Wig and Makeup Director.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Manage the day-to-day operations of the Wardrobe Department and directly oversee the activities of seven distinct dresser groups in the care and maintenance of the opera’s costume inventory.
  • Hire and manage I.A.T.S.E. Local 764 wardrobe employees as needed for rehearsals, performances, projects and special events.
  • Oversee wardrobe and costume logistics including local, domestic and international shipping coordination.
  • Work with directors, designers and stage management in disseminating information to each area of the Wardrobe Department.
  • Oversee the storage and dry cleaning operations for the costumes.
  • Ensure safe and efficient operations of the Wardrobe Department.
  • Assist in the creation of the budgets and manning schedules for the New York Season repertoire, projects and special events. 
  • Provide recommendations for cost reductions.
  • Provide Production Coordinator with scheduling, manning and budgeting for presentations and special events.
  • Work with Production and Finance Departments to ensure that department remains on budget, as per allocated man days, supplies, materials and dry cleaning.
  • Ensure all shop equipment is maintained in good safe working order and make
  • recommendations for capital purchases.
  • Maintain, track and maximize the material inventory.
  • Attend regular Production Department coordination meetings and participate in various committees as required (e.g. Safety Committee).
  • Keep current with established and developing industry standards and guidelines regarding safety as it pertains to Wardrobe operations.

Qualifications & Skill Requirements:

Successful candidates will have:

  • A bachelor’s degree in Theatre, Design or equivalent profession experience
  • 5+ years of experience as a Wardrobe Supervisor at a major theatrical venue
  • Solid fundamental knowledge of standard costume construction, handling and cleaning methods
  • Ability to clearly communicate technical and artistic concepts verbally and in writing
  • Problem solving skills, including the ability to synthesize and evaluate solutions Ability to effectively prioritize, execute and problem solve in a high pressure environment and work efficiently within given time constraints
  • Self-motivated, team-oriented and highly collaborative work style.
  • Computer proficient in MS Office products
  • Knowledge of standard opera repertory a plus

Physical Demands:

  • Regularly required to sit, talk, and hear
  • Frequently required to use repetitive hand motion and to stand, walk, reach, bend
  • Occasionally required to lift up to 20 pounds. 

To Apply:

Please apply by sending your resume and cover letter to: resumes@metopera.org. Please include “Head of Wardrobe” in the subject line of your email.

Internal candidates should please contact the Human Resources department directly to apply.

The Metropolitan Opera believes that diversity is critical to our success and growth as a leading performing arts institution and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the communities we serve.

The Metropolitan Opera is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and existing employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation and related medical conditions), national origin, citizenship status, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information (including characteristics and testing), military and veteran status, or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.