2020 Season Update
A message from our General & Artistic Director
April 27, 2020
I hope this message finds you healthy and safe. Every summer, I have the unique privilege of sharing extraordinary artistic achievements with a loyal community and appreciative audience. This is my favorite part of the job. But when considered against the current public health environment, the safety and well-being of our entire DMMO family – artists, staff and patrons – must be our primary concern. With that in mind, our Board of Directors and I have made the decision to cancel all live performances and in-person events for our 2020 Summer Festival Season. While in-person performances will not occur this summer, we have been busy responding to our current environment by identifying new, innovative ways to deliver world-class, quality performances to an even broader audience.
Today, I’m thrilled to announce some exciting news. In lieu of an in-person festival, Des Moines Metro Opera is teaming up with our friends at Iowa PBS to share online and televised presentations of our recent productions of Billy Budd, Rusalka, Manon, Le Comte Ory and Bon Appétit! These broadcasts will serve as the centerpieces of our transformed 2020 Virtual Festival and will be supplemented by artist recitals, cast reunions, interviews, prelude talks, and digital versions of annual DMMO events. To share these fantastic productions with audiences around the world is the realization of a long-held dream. Please visit our website and follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter to learn more and keep updated on our exciting plans for this summer.
To the over 200 artists who planned to join us this summer, know that you are the heart and soul of our organization. Although I am saddened not to be able to create opera together in person, know that we are strong today because of your voices, vision, and talent. Thanks to the support of our Board of Directors, we have made the commitment to honor all existing contracts with each of our artists (principals, apprentices, production staff, design teams, conductors, directors, pianists and members of the festival orchestra). Our role this season is to help position you to be ready to do your best work when the time comes. When this chapter is behind us, we will need you more than ever.
To our ticket buyers, we are sorry that we will not be able to come together in person this summer. We will reach out to you soon with more information about converting your tickets into a tax-deductible donation, a credit for the 2021 Festival Season, or a full or partial refund. A consortium of Board Members and friends have committed over $135,000 as a challenge to match the value of every ticket donated on or before June 1. If you are able, I hope you will consider donating your tickets. Your generosity will have twice the impact and will underscore our commitment to our artists, many of whom have been profoundly affected by this crisis.
Because of the support of the Des Moines Metro Opera family, we have thrived for nearly 50 years, and we look to the future with optimism. The power of sung stories to connect and inspire is essential to our community. In the interim, we ask for your flexibility and continued support as we introduce our work to a newer and wider audience. We will endure, and we will sing again!
Please stay safe, stay well and thank you again for believing in us.
General & Artistic Director
Frequently Asked Questions
The health and safety of our entire Des Moines Metro Opera family—including patrons, staff, volunteers, artists, and production personnel—are of primary importance to us. Due to the current global health situation, we are prevented from gathering safely in large groups to build sets and costumes, conduct rehearsals, and host performances, work that would begin as early as May 15.
Every summer over 225 artists (singers, orchestra members, design teams, conductors, directors, coaches, technicians, and interns) travel to Indianola to bring our Festival Season to life. Many of our artists have other engagements that begin immediately after our season ends, so we would not be able to assemble the same seasonal staff at a later date.
In addition, we lease our theatre and housing facilities from our business partner, Simpson College. These facilities are used by many other groups outside of our season dates as well as during the academic year.
Even if we were able to postpone, it is still unclear as to when it will be safe for staff, artists and audiences to gather in person.
We are hopeful to be able to present each of our 2020 titles in upcoming seasons. At the moment, we are evaluating many options for the 2021 Festival Season and hope to have more information available later this fall.
We hope to announce the 2021 Festival Season later this fall.
In lieu of an in-person festival, Des Moines Metro Opera is teaming up with our friends at Iowa PBS to share online and televised presentations of our recent productions of Billy Budd, Rusalka, Manon, Le Comte Ory and Bon Appétit! These broadcasts will serve as the centerpieces of our transformed 2020 Virtual Festival and will be supplemented by artist recitals, cast reunions, interviews, prelude talks, and digital versions of annual DMMO events like Stars of Tomorrow, Death by Aria and Threads & Trills.
The five opera broadcasts will be available for television audiences in Iowa or available online for global audiences on Iowa PBS's website. All broadcasts are free and open to the public.
If you are able, we hope you'll consider making a tax-deductible gift by donating the full value of your tickets. DMMO is committed to supporting its artists, and your gift makes that possible. There has never been a better time to turn your tickets into a gift of support. Right now, the DMMO Challenge Fund is matching your ticket donation dollar-for-dollar, so your impact will be doubled!
You may also choose to convert your 2020 purchase into a credit for the 2021 Festival Season, or to receive a full or partial refund (excluding ticket handling fees). Credit or refund requests must be made on or before June 1, 2020; any 2020 season tickets that are undesignated on June 2 will be automatically converted into a tax-deductible donation.
Please complete the Ticket Request Form and let us know what you would like to do with your 2020 tickets. You may also contact the Box Office at (515) 961-6221 during our normal office hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm) or send our Patron Services Manager, Dennis Hendrickson, an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DMMO staff is currently working remotely, so we ask for your patience during this transition as responses may be slower than usual. Please stay tuned for updates on our alternative programming being offered online this summer. Most importantly, please practice safe social distancing as much as possible.
Donate your tickets.
If you are able, please consider making a tax-deductible gift by donating your tickets. DMMO is committed to supporting its artists in their time of need, and your gift makes that possible. There has never been a better time to turn your tickets into a gift of support. Right now, the DMMO Challenge Fund is matching your ticket donation dollar-for-dollar, so your impact will be doubled!
The DMMO Challenge Fund is made possible thanks to the generosity of Sunnie Richer and Roger Brooks, Marshall and Judy Flapan, Harry Bookey and Pamela Bass-Bookey, Michael and Barbara Gartner, Robert L. Larsen, Joyce Castle, Charlotte and Fred Hubbell, Rusty Hubbell Family Fund, Dr. Bruce Hughes and Dr. Randall Hamilton, Daniel M. and Mary Kelly, Bob and Kay Riley, Pat Brown, and Diane Morain.
To donate your tickets or to see your other options→Ticket Request Form
Make a gift of support.
Des Moines Metro Opera is proud to have led the industry through a commitment to honoring all agreements with artists, many of whom have been disastrously impacted by loss of engagements during this unprecedented time. Your gift will help ensure that Des Moines Metro Opera continues to fulfill its mission and that important cultural experiences are there when current restrictions end. Your support allows the show to go on. Every gift makes a difference, and we thank you for your support→DONATE NOW