The Des Moines Metro Opera Festival Orchestra "Maestro Neely drew forth a highly controlled reading. DMMO should be justly proud of a festival orchestra that would be the envy of many a major house." -Opera Today
Professional musicians travel from all over North America to play in the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra. The orchestra is led by Music Director and Principal Conductor David Neely. Since its first season in 1973, the Des Moines Metro Opera has assembled and maintained its own festival orchestra. Wages and conditions of employment are governed through a collective bargaining agreement between the Des Moines Metro Opera and the AF of M Local 75 in Des Moines.
The Des Moines Metro Opera is one of only a few opera companies that offer a summer festival season. Due to the favorable schedule, the extraordinary national reputation of the company, excellent repertoire, distinctive programming, and high artistic quality of the company, it is possible to engage the very best of professional orchestral musicians.
A great majority of our Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra musicians perform the remainder of the year with professional orchestras that typically do not have a summer season. Many players return to our festival year after year and have the potential to be promoted through our probationary / tenure process. Loyal and dedicated members of the Des Moines Metro Opera family, our orchestral musicians perform at the highest levels of artistry and expressiveness. The involvement of our orchestra in the artistic life of the festival has always been a favorite of our singers, production staff, and audience members alike.
In addition to their contributions during the mainstage productions, Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra musicians are also active participants in Second Stages productions and the annual “Stars of Tomorrow” performance, as well as volunteering to offer chamber music concerts to enhance the musical offerings of the festival season.
A complete schedule of rehearsals and performances for the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra will be available in the spring.