Costume, Wardrobe, and Wig and Makeup Director

The Metropolitan Opera
New York, NY 10023


Shanice Williams

Job Details


The Metropolitan Opera is seeking a highly organized, detail-oriented individual with a passion for opera and the arts to join our Production team. The Costume & Wardrobe Director is responsible for the management, direction, and ongoing development of the Costuming, Wardrobe, Hair, and Makeup departments for all Met Opera productions.

Position Summary

The Production Department of The Metropolitan Opera oversees all production and technical details related to the development, creation, rehearsal, and performance of the opera repertory, presentations and special events, as well as the operation, maintenance, and improvements of the Metropolitan Opera stage, shops, and warehouses.

The Costume Director is an essential part of this process, working closely with the Production Manager, directing the Costume and Wardrobe operations of the opera house and ensuring that the artistic and technical requirements of productions are carried out as safely, efficiently, and effectively as possible.

The right person for this role will be an excellent communicator with outstanding organizational and interpersonal skills. They will demonstrate an ability to lead, develop and manage a team in a complex and fast paced organization. This person will have expert time management skills and understand how to navigate multi-leveled logistics with a successful track record in building processes and systems to enhance workflows and operational efficiency.

The ideal candidate must possess basic knowledge and experience with all aspects of backstage costume and wardrobe operations. A solid fundamental knowledge of costume construction, handling, and dressing methods as well as knowledge of theatrical wig, hair, and makeup techniques is essential. This person must also demonstrate familiarity with union contracts as experience in an organized labor environment is essential to this role.

Primary Responsibilities:


  • Oversee the Union Heads of Costume Shop, Wardrobe, and Wigs & Makeup departments, directing the development of these areas to ensure safe, efficient, and effective delivery of each production in repertory.
  • Coordinate operations for day to day activities of rehearsals and performances, in collaboration with the Production Department senior staff team.
  • Work closely with the production staff, creative teams, and direct reports to develop and oversee fiscal and material elements of external procurement, as well as internal shop and equipment maintenance.


  • Participate in repertory production planning and the yearly budgeting process as assigned.
  • Provide assistance to the Production team with scheduling, labor, and budgeting for presentations and special events.
  • Remain abreast of current and developing industry standards and guidelines regarding the safety of Costuming operations, working with the Safety Director to develop, implement and monitor all aspects of safety procedures and programs.

Capital Projects

  • Participate in the planning of the Capital Project program, acting as project manager on selected projects as assigned.

Qualifications & Skill Requirements:

  • A terminal degree in Theater, Design, Fashion, or equivalent professional experience is required.
  • 5 years of experience in a director-level position in areas of Costume and/or Wardrobe, or equivalent function, at a major theatrical venue is required
  • Computer literacy is essential, including MS Office products.
  • An ability to clearly communicate technical and artistic concepts in writing is essential.
  • Problem solving skills, including the ability to synthesize and evaluate solutions in three-dimensional space, are required.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the standard project management practices.
  • Knowledge of standard opera repertory is helpful.
  • Must be flexible, willing to help when asked.

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. 



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