Bon Appétit!

  • Thursday JULY 18 6:00 PM
  • Friday JULY 19 6:00 PM
  • Sunday JULY 21 6:00 PM

The Art of French Cooking

In the 1960s, a charismatic woman with a passion for French cuisine introduced Americans to the art of French cooking and, over 50 years later, Julia Child continues to captivate the public's imagination.

Through a unique partnership with the acclaimed Iowa Culinary Institute at Des Moines Area Community College, Des Moines Metro Opera invites you to enjoy a Julia Child-inspired dinner and a performance of Lee Hoiby’s Bon Appétit! Acclaimed mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle will portray the master chef herself as she prepares Le Gateau au Chocolate l’Eminence Brune (a chocolate cake) and, as the icing on the evening, you'll be treated to your own slice of this delicious chocolate cake!

$150 per person | Dinner and wine are included with your ticket

Thursday, July 18 
Friday, July 19 
Sunday, July 21

*To be placed on the waiting list, please contact Patron Services Manager Dennis Hendrickson at or 515-961-6221.

Lee Hoiby

Julia Child, adapted by Mark Shulgasser

8 March 1989




Joyce Castle Julia Child View Website
Elden Little Pianist View Website
Nathan Troup Director View Website
Adam Crinson Scenic Designer View Website
Nate Wheatley Lighting Desinger View Website
Heather Lesieur Costume Designer View Website
Sarah Norton Wig and Makeup Designer

The Music

"Lee Hoiby is a master of text setting for clarity and meaning....[His] music is wonderfully evocative and set with his usually fine craftsmanship." - American Record Guide

"Like [Julia] Child's whipped egg whites, Bon Appétit! may be light and frothy, but it's the result of a master's sure touch...Hoiby's writing for voice and orchestra moves with surprising ease between urban swagger and country languor." - Opera News

"It is a credit to Hoiby's keen sense of theatricality that he did exactly what should be done given the material: create a solid, well-written work of sheer entertainment. For the 'libretto' the composer essentially transcribed and combined a couple of Julia Childs's cooking show episodes. He was well aware of the main character's naturally melodious speaking voice, and rather than working against it as a more 'serious' modern composer might have done, he built on it, turning her inflections into song. Then, as if baking a cake himself, he layered simple-yet-tasty melodies and harmonies, kneaded in clever musical references, and frosted it all with colorful orchestrations."  - Boston Music Intelligencer