Joseph Volpe, former general manager of the Metropolitan Opera and former senior vice president of Giuliani Partners, has joined Theatre Projects as director of strategic development.
“After my long and wonderful career at the Metropolitan Opera joining one of the finest theatre consulting companies is both logical and very exciting,” states Volpe.
Richard Pilbrow, founder and chairman emeritus of Theatre Projects, states, “It is a tremendous privilege for me to welcome Joe to the Theatre Projects team. His rise at the Met from carpenter to general manager very much parallels our own, from backstage technicians to designing many of the world’s most significant performing arts spaces. Our record of innovative and groundbreaking theatre buildings will be enhanced by Joe’s knowledge and experience in their operations. Joe will prove to be a powerful ally in our development.”
With Volpe’s appointment as director of strategic development, Theatre Projects will be expanding services to both existing and future clients. Volpe will work with clients to develop planning and operational strategies to realize their visions. These services include defining the clients’ needs, developing strategies for project start up, guiding clients in establishing or reforming organizational structures, and assisting with the transition to new facilities. Services for ongoing operations include strategies for governance, finance, staffing and staff training, fundraising, marketing, and labor relations.
“Joe brings a wealth of experience and is a natural addition to our team. We have been exploring expansion of our strategic services. Joe will help us ‘bookend’ our planning services by expanding our strategic advice during the very early steps of projects and providing more guidance to our clients as they move into new facilities,” explains Gene Leitermann, principal at Theatre Projects.
Volpe will also assist in the development of new business opportunities for Theatre Projects.
Joe was named general manager of the Metropolitan Opera in August 1990, a position he held for 16 years, the third longest term in the company’s history. He joined the Metropolitan Opera in 1964 as an apprentice carpenter. His abilities in technical production were quickly recognized, and he was named the Met’s master carpenter in 1966, technical director in 1978, and assistant general manager in 1981.
As general manager at the Metropolitan Opera, Volpe conceived and developed “Met Titles,” a unique system, which provides individual seat-back translations of the opera for members of the audience. In another technological innovation, he initiated the development of a fully integrated constituent-management software program, Tessitura®, which records, tracks, and manages all contacts with the Met’s constituents. The software also facilitates highly targeted and cost-efficient marketing and fundraising appeals, and provides detailed and flexible performance reports. Since the Met first licensed this program in 2000, over 80 performing arts companies worldwide have utilized it.
He recently published his memoir, The Toughest Show on Earth: My Rise and Reign at the Metropolitan Opera.