Naturally, we’re extremely proud of the work we produce, from the smallest project to the largest, each deserves the same attention to detail.

Vacancy - Head of Scenic Art

Vacancy - Head of Scenic Art

Cardiff Theatrical Services (CTS) is a world-class scenery manufacturer delivering sets and scenery to many of the world’s leading performing arts companies of opera, theatre and ballet such as The Royal Opera, National Theatre, The Royal Ballet, Sonia Friedman Productions, English National Opera, Glyndebourne, Cameron Mackintosh, Atlanta Ballet, Almeida Theatre, Chicago Lyric Opera and Chichester Festival Theatre.

Based in Cardiff, CTS has played a leading role in the development of the Welsh capitol as the UK’s fastest growing creative and artistic hubs outside London. Cardiff boasts vibrant, thriving and diverse arts, design, cultural and media communities and world-class venues and creatives.

The Head of Scenic Art at CTS will be an experienced, creative and talented individual who will work closely with the Managing Director and Workshop Manager to maintain and develop the company’s world-leading scenic art production, enhancing CTS’s highly successful collaborative, skilled and creative working environment.

The ideal candidate will have superb working knowledge of scenic art techniques, experience of leading, managing and developing a dedicated creative team in a busy workshop and managing the financial and production complexities of the scenic arts business.

The Head of Scenic Art role is significant and calls for a talented, experienced and outstanding individual with drive, vision, creative flair and management skills to ensure CTS remains the leading provider of scenic art in the UK.  


Annual Salary: Negotiable


Application submissions will be reviewed and shortlisted on receipt. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview on an ongoing basis until the position is filled by the successful by the successful candidate.

Welsh National Opera is an Equal Opportunities Employer and a Registered Charity. We encourage people from any background to apply for vacancies. We are committed to creating a workforce which is representative of society and brings together people with a variety of skills and experiences to help shape what we do and how we work. We are particularly keen to hear from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and disabled candidates.

To Apply
All candidates must complete an application form, Personal Details & Disclosure Form, Welsh Language Monitoring Form and Applicant Equality & Diversity Monitoring Form and submitted electronically to Please quote Vacancy Ref 002 on your application form.

Cardiff Theatrical Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Welsh National Opera


Vixen Arch in CTS Workshop


About Cardiff – The Home of Cardiff Theatrical Services and Welsh National Opera

Cardiff is a city proud of its culture, history and language. The capital of Wales since 1955, Cardiff has embraced the role with vigour, and has become one of Britain’s leading cities and one of the most vibrant and diverse urban centres.

Although a compact city; an ancient castle to the north of its centre; a thriving waterfront at Cardiff Bay to its south; Cardiff combines ancient history, sporting excitement, ultra-modern developments, eclectic culture, arts and activities. Cardiff is a friendly, diverse and exciting capital city, just 2 hours by train from London Paddington.

Cardiff offers a wonderful range of unique attractions, top-class entertainment and quality shopping with a difference in wonderful Victorian arcades and modern malls, and great mix of eclectic bars and restaurants. It is easy to explore on foot and visit the National Museum Cardiff which includes Natural History and Art galleries, the spectacular Cardiff Castle, wonderful green spaces, parks and river walks along the Taff, and the impressive Principality Stadium, all within the City Centre and with the dynamic Cardiff Bay is a short hop away.

This city is also a thriving UK and international hub for the creative industries, arts, design and media with a flourishing film and TV industry and world-renowned performing arts companies and orchestras. Many mainstream television programmes such as Doctor Who, Casualty, Sherlock, Pobl y Cwm, His Dark Materials, Gavin and Stacey, The Hollow Crown Shakespeare series of plays are all being or have been produced here by BBC Cymru Wales, Bad Wolf and S4C and other thriving independent production and design companies.  Cardiff also hosts many musical events including the prestigious Cardiff Singer of the World which draws a huge international audience of fans to the city as well the International Concert Series held at St David’s Hall and the BBC Hoddinott Hall. Theatre also flourishes with National Theatre Wales, the Sherman and New theatres, as well as burgeoning live music and comedy venues, the Chapter Arts Centre and Everyman independent cinema. Cardiff also boasts a leading conservatory in the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. The renowned Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies is based at Cardiff University, a member of the prestigious Russell Group of the UK’s leading universities and the Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of South Wales.

Cardiff is the perfect blend of innovation and the historic, as is Cardiff Bay, which offers a great mix of dining, shopping, activities, waterside views, arts and entertainment for everyone, including the Senedd building of the Government of Wales.  At its heart, sits the iconic Wales Millennium Centre, home of Welsh National Opera.  

Mamma Mia Installation by CTS


Job Description

Job title: Head of Scenic Art

Directly responsible for: Project Co-ordinator (Paintshop), Scenic Art Supervisor

Indirectly responsible for: Scenic Artists, Additional freelance and casual staff, Apprentices and work placements

Liaison with: Workshop Manager, Deputy Workshop Manager, Head of Drawing office, Draughtspersons, and Supervisors

Responsible to: CTS Managing Director

Main purpose of job: To manage the scenic art department in the delivery of projects, and the effective management of staff. To work alongside the Managing Director and the Workshop Manager to create a fully collaborative working environment in which all staff are encouraged to develop and flourish in their craft. To maintain the incredibly high quality of the company’s scenic art work, and to constantly seek out new skills, products, and techniques in order to ensure that that CTS remains at the forefront of scenic art provision in the UK

Scope and dimensions: The post holder will be expected to carry out their duties at all CTS, WNO facilities, and at external venues as required by the nature of the work.

Project interpretation and costing. People recruitment and deployment. Staff development and training. Business development as directed by the Managing Director

Key Accountabilities: 

  • Deliver project interpretation and costing estimates to the Project Managers in a timely and commercially viable way.
  • Plan recruitment in the Paintshop and agree resource levels with the Managing Director. 
  • Ensure that the department can employ the right people and type of skills to deploy for specific projects as they arise.
  • Undertake appraisals of scenic art staff in the Paintshop.
  • To work with all staff to assist in their personal development.
  • Represent the company’s best interests at all times.
  • On occasion be able to work away from base to meet with clients or to supervise staff on complex projects.
  • Drive company vehicles as required.
  • Keep abreast of new technology and equipment and make suggestions for future investment in equipment.
  • Pro-actively promote good Health and Safety practices in the workplace. Specifically to identify hazards and actively monitor risks in the workplace.  
  • Attend training and courses as deemed necessary by the CTS management team.
  • With the CTS management - nurture and develop a fully inclusive working culture that enables all staff to develop their craft and ensures that best working practices are adhered to all times.
  • Ensure excellent housekeeping in the workshop and storage areas at all times.
  • Any other reasonable duties as requested by the CTS Management.

Health & Safety

This post carries individual responsibility for Health & Safety matters at Levels 5 and 6.


Person Specification

Knowledge, skills, training and experience: 

  • Good level of general education at least to `O’ level / GCSE standard.
  • Experience of leading a team in a busy scenic workshop
  • Experience of generating quotes for scenic art projects
  • An outstanding working knowledge of scenic art techniques.  
  • General computer literacy.  
  • Ability to recognise and meet strict deadlines.  
  • Experience in planning and scheduling a team of scenic artists  
  • Ability to work alone and under own initiative as well as being a team member.  
  • Excellent organisation skills.  
  • Helpful and enthusiastic manner  
  • Commitment to initiate and contribute to the development of all systems in the Scenic Art department.  
  • A commitment to develop and improve the abilities and welfare of staff across the department  
  • A strong understanding of materials and COSHH.  

Desirable knowledge, skills, training and experience: 

  • A demonstrable working knowledge of either rigging, and/or stage craft.
  • General computer literacy
  • Experience of, and ideally a qualification in, operating mobile elevated working platforms and forklift trucks.
  • Experience in the methods and principles of scenery construction.  
  • Experience of managing the space and facilities required to run a successful scenic art department   

Complexity and need to problem-solve:

The Head of Scenic Art will need to have an in depth understanding of all aspects of the business from people development, financial, cost process and system control to the practical complexities of building stage scenery and delivering projects on time and to budget.

The Head of Scenic Art must be the outside face of the business with the leadership and communication skills to promote the business and build alliances with clients, suppliers and other key stakeholders.  


Good communication is at the forefront of business leadership. Whether communicating verbally or in writing it is essential that the correct information is passed on accurately and that the audience, whether Staff, Management or the Board of Directors understand all such information.


Employee Benefits

Pension: All employees are automatically enrolled into WNO’s Stakeholder Pension Scheme (the “Plan”) or such other registered pension scheme as may be set up by the Company as a Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme three months after joining the Company, subject to satisfying certain eligibility criteria.

Maternity/ Paternity/ Adoption: We offer a generous scheme which provides payments in addition to statutory provisions.

Corporate Leisure – Gym Membership: All employees are eligible to obtain the Active Corporate Card operated by Cardiff City Council which is available at a 25% reduced rate and covers various leisure facilities throughout Cardiff.

Discounts: The Wales Millennium Centre offers discounts to residents at selected outlets within the building and selected restaurants around Cardiff Bay on presentation of ID cards.

Discounted Cinema Tickets from Cineworld: Please contact HR for an access code.

Free on-site parking 


Main Terms and Conditions

  • Salary 'Negotiable' payable monthly by credit transfer to bank.
  • The offer of an appointment is subject to receipt of two references that are satisfactory to the company.
  • The appointment is subject to a trial period of six months.
  • Termination of engagement during the trial period is by one week’s notice on either side. Termination thereafter is by one months’ notice on either side.
  • Normal workshop hours are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Thursday, and 8:30 am to 3:30 pm on a Friday, with a 30 minute lunch break, but it is understood that work will need to be undertaken outside normal office hours and at weekends.
  • Holiday entitlement is 5 weeks per annum (pro rata during first year of employment).
  • Sickness benefit during the trial period is at the statutory minimum. Entitlement after completion of the trial period is a maximum of 13 weeks at full salary and 13 weeks at half salary, inclusive of statutory sick pay in both cases. 
  • The Company offers a contributory pension scheme.

Health and Safety

All Employees

(Level 6)

Every employed person, including Managers. 

All personnel are responsible for:

  • The observance and implementation of rules and systems which are derived from the Health and Safety Policy and the arrangements for its implementation.
  • Taking reasonable care for their personal health and safety and that of fellow employees and others who may be affected either directly or indirectly by their acts or omissions at work.
  • Reporting promptly to the appropriate Manager potential or actual hazards and defects.
  • Taking part in any health and safety training considered by the Company to be necessary in order to comply with the Company Health and Safety Policy and current legislation.
  • Knowing the correct action to be taken in the event of an accident, fire or other emergency.
  • Co-operating with Management and other personnel in meeting statutory requirements.
  • Not interfering with or misusing anything provided to protect their health, safety or welfare which is required by legislation and using any machinery, equipment, substance or safety device in accordance with any training

(Level 4)

Responsibilities of Line Management 

All individuals with responsibility for the management and supervision of work activities will ensure that:

  • employees understand and implement the requirements of our Health and Safety Management System
  • changes in our Health and Safety Management System are brought to the attention of all employees
  • the requirements of our Health and Safety Management System are implemented and health and safety standards maintained at all times
  • employees are encouraged to give a high level of commitment to health and safety
  • employees, contractors and visitors are aware of and follow our safety procedures
  • adequate training, information, instruction and supervision is provided to employees
  • health and safety issues requiring action are communicated to senior management immediately
  • appropriate disciplinary procedures are followed where employees are in breach of matters affecting health and safety
  • effective arrangements for communication and lines of reporting are established and maintained
  • effective actions are taken when hazards and shortcomings are reported.

Forms & Downloads

To apply please send your CV to:

Download: Welsh Language Monitoring Form (English/Welsh - Word Document)

Download: Applicant Equality & Diversity Monitoring Form (English - Word Document)

Atlanta Ballet


Get In Touch

Thank you for your contact

Cardiff Theatrical Services Limited
Ellen Street, Cardiff, CF10 4TT

Tel: +44 (0)29 2063 4680
Fax: +44 (0)29 2048 1275

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