About the Apprentice Artist Program
Celebrating its 45th year during the 2019 season, Des Moines Metro Opera's Apprentice Artist Program is a comprehensive career training program that bridges the gap between academic studies and a professional career in opera for some of the brightest and best talents in America. It is one of the oldest, largest and most respected programs of its kind in the United States. Auditions are heard annually in the fall of each year. Des Moines Metro Opera’s Apprentice Artist Program is a proud participant in Opera America’s Singer Training Forum.
The program and its participants are essential to DMMO's summer festival model. During their time in Iowa, apprentice artists participate in a seven-week training program designed to provide the skills necessary to bridge the gap between academic study and a professional career.
During the seven-week festival, members of the Apprentice Artist Program receive:
- Coaching in standard and contemporary operatic scenes.
- Career training seminars in acting, body movement, diction and languages, audition techniques, stage combat, vocal wellness and life in the business and various topics.
- Consideration for comprimario roles or covers of leading roles in mainstage productions. The 2019 Summer Festival will feature Puccini's La Bohème, Bernstein’s Candide, Berg's Wozzeck and Hoiby's Bon Appétit!.
- Chorus participation in the 2019 productions.
- Opportunities to be heard by artist representatives and other companies that include: The Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, The Dallas Opera, Utah Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera Omaha, Minnesota Opera, Sarasota Opera, Madison Opera and several artists representatives.
- Participation in the Stars of Tomorrow concert with the Festival Orchestra.
- Housing is provided to all participants. Additional stipends are available to artists who are assigned cover and comprimario roles.
DMMO assembles a staff of talented conductors, coaches and directors to help guide each singer's development. Lisa Hasson, the program's director, works with General and Artistic Director Michael Egel and Artistic Administrator and Education Director Sam Carroll to craft a summer's worth of assignments for each apprentice's development over the course of the season.
2018 Apprentice Artist Program Staff
Lisa Hasson, AAP Director
John Spencer IV