audition information

Principal ArtistsApprentice Artist ProgramFestival Orchestra


Des Moines Metro Opera annually hears hundreds of auditions for Principal Artist Positions, the Apprentice Artist Program and for members of the Festival Orchestra. Click on the title of the program above for current audition information.


For the 2018 Summer Festival Season, Des Moines Metro Opera will perform J. Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Dvořák’s Rusalka, Dove’s Flight and Copland’s The Tender Land. Principal singers will be in residence from May 26-July 15, 2018, with performances in repertory beginning June 22. Artists may be engaged for one or more roles. In addition to performance fees, shared apartment housing and travel stipends are provided to principal artists. Generally, DMMO engages principal artists through management. Limited audition time will be available for artists without management who are auditioning only for principal roles. Due to significant time constraints, it will not be possible for DMMO to schedule a live audition for every applicant. An accompanist is provided for all live auditions.

Managed Artists
Des Moines Metro Opera has developed relationships with a core group of artists' representatives. The company is regularly in contact with those artists' representatives regarding audition dates and repertory information. Artists with representation should contact their representative for information. No application form is necessary for managed artists. Representatives new to DMMO seeking to be considered to receive audition announcements should submit a request in writing together with information about the artists on their rosters to the DMMO offices in August of each year via regular mail or email.

Unmanaged Artists
Des Moines Metro Opera will also hear unmanaged artists in audition for principal roles; however, time for these auditions is usually very limited and will be allocated to artists auditioning for particular roles and with substantial previous performing credits.

Unmanaged artists will likely be heard for the following roles (this list will be updated as casting progresses for the 2018 Festival Season):
Die Fledermaus: Adele, Dr. Falke, Dr. Blind, Frosch
Rusalka: Vodník, Hunter, Gamekeeper, Kitchen Boy
Flight: Minskman, Minskwoman, Tina, Bill, Controller, Immigration Officer
The Tender Land: Laurie, Martin

Please visit YAP Tracker to access the application and additional audition details.

Sponsored by Frank R. Brownell III

Audition dates for the 2018 Season:
Houston, TX: September 28, 2017
Cincinnati, OH: October 11, 2017
Chicago, IL: October 12, 2017
New York, NY: October 30-November 1, 2017
Des Moines, IA: November 5, 2017

Audition information for the Apprentice Artist Program:
Apprentice Artist auditions are held in conjunction with Principal Artist auditions each year in various cities, as well as by recording. At least half of the audition period will be devoted to Apprentice Artist and OPERA Iowa auditions. As much as we would like to hear everyone who submits audition materials, it is seldom possible because of time considerations. An accompanist is provided by DMMO for all live auditions.

Recorded auditions:
Candidates for the Apprentice Artist Program may submit a recorded audition in lieu of a live audition. All recordings will be heard. Audio and video recordings are accepted via YAP Tracker and should be submitted no later than November 10, 2017.

During fall auditions Des Moines Metro Opera will also hear singers to complete the casting needs for the OPERA Iowa Educational Touring Troupe, its highly successful outreach program. The total group consists of six singers, a music director/pianist and a scenic technician, who rehearse for three weeks and then travel for nine weeks throughout Iowa and the surrounding states, performing in schools and on community concert series. All OPERA Iowa artists are offered positions with the Apprentice Artist Program for the summer of 2018.

The OPERA Iowa period of employment will run from February 1 - April 29, 2018. Compensation is competitive. Travel, housing and per diem while touring will be covered by Des Moines Metro Opera. Repertory will include fully staged productions of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville for community audiences and John Davies' Jack and the Beanstalk for elementary audiences. Performances are sung in English and accompanied by piano. OPERA Iowa auditions will be heard in Houston, Cincinnati, Chicago, New York and Des Moines.

Application requirements:
$30 non-refundable application fee
Current pdf copy of résumé
Digital color headshot
Two arias of contrasting style (audio or video)
Non-U.S. citizens only: proof of right to work in the United States
Completed application form via YAP Tracker

Des Moines Metro Opera will be using a YAP Tracker application for the Apprentice Artist and OPERA Iowa Programs this season. The application can be found here. You do not need to be a paying subscriber to YAP Tracker to use the application form, although you will need an account (guest accounts are available; see the website for details). Registration can be completed here.

A live audition is not guaranteed and a preliminary recording is necessary if you wish to be considered for a live audition. All recordings submitted under the "recorded audition" category will be heard. Please contact Sam Carroll at 515-961-6221 with any questions about the application process.


Thank you for your interest in auditioning for the Festival Orchestra. Applications for the 2017 Summer Festival Season have closed. Please check back in August for information about auditions for the 2018 Summer Festival Season.