2021 Festival FAQs

A Bold and Safe Return to the Stage

Des Moines Metro Opera’s 2021 Summer Festival will be a bold return to the stage and the quality performances you’ve come to know and love. Below you’ll find answers to many anticipated questions about attending this summer’s productions. If you don’t see the information you need, please contact our Box Office by phone at (515) 961-6221 or by email (boxoffice@dmmo.org) for additional assistance.

Health and Safety Protocols >

2021 Festival Calendar >

Ticketing and Seating

When can I purchase tickets?

We will be reaching out to our donors, subscribers and credit holders in phases throughout the month of May for our typical presale period.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on June 1.

When will I get my tickets?

Tickets will be issued after each member of your party provides proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. If you choose to submit proof of a negative test within 72 hours of the event you are attending, your tickets will be delivered digitally or held at will call.

How will I get my tickets?

In order to reduce contact in the theatre-going experience, DMMO is recommending patrons utilize digital tickets for the 2021 Summer Festival. Tickets will be delivered by email as print-at-home or mobile tickets. Please note in your order if you would prefer to have physical tickets mailed to you or held at will call.

If you plan to show your ticket on your phone, have your ticket ready for scanning before you get to the entrance. We highly recommend taking a screenshot of your bar code before you arrive at the opera.

Are subscriptions available this year?

While we encourage everyone to experience all three productions, we will not offer ticket packages or subscriptions this summer. Given the performance schedule and limited capacity, selling performances individually will allow maximum flexibility in choosing the dates and number of performances that work best for you.

How will seating be handled?

Ticket buyers will be assigned best available seating by the Des Moines Metro Opera Box Office staff. We will do our best to accommodate mobility challenges and seating requests.

What if I need accessible seating?

Accessible seating will be available. When it is time to reserve your tickets, please contact our Box Office (515-209-3257) if you have questions about accessible seating so we can better assist you.

Will my subscription seats be held for 2022?

Subscribers’ seats will be held until it is time to renew for next summer’s festival. We look forward to the possibility of welcoming back full capacity audiences to the Blank Performing Arts Center in 2022.

How much of the Pote Theater will be filled?

We are planning for a capacity contingencies between 25-50%. We will continue to monitor current public health conditions and will adjust if conditions allow.

Are the 2021 productions family friendly?

The Queen of Spades is appropriate for audiences over the age of 13. Sweeney Todd, Platée and Fellow Travelers contain mature subject matter and themes. Please contact the Box Office if you have questions about the content or age appropriateness of specific shows.

How can I use my 2020 credit?

Credits can be used toward ticket purchases for this summer’s productions, rolled over to 2022 Summer Festival subscriptions, donated to Des Moines Metro Opera to support this summer’s one-of-a-kind season, or refunded in part or in full. We are happy to work with you as you evaluate your options, and we thank you for the support you have shown during these uncertain times.

What if I arrive late?

We encourage you to plan ample time to park your car, provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, and navigate to your seats prior to showtime. Should you arrive after the performance starts, decisions regarding latecomer seating will be handled at the discretion of house management.

What if I don't feel well the day of my show?

We encourage anyone who is feeling unwell not to attend a performance. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, please call the Box Office prior to your performance to discuss your ticket options. If you are feeling unwell, please stay home. We pledge to work with patrons on a case-by-case basis if you become unable to attend. We expect there will be a sizeable waiting list for seats filled with eager potential ticket buyers to purchase even last-minute seats.

What health and safety measures will be in place?

Our safety strategy includes five basic mitigation strategies, developed and approved by our Medical Advisory Panel, that apply to all company and audience members:

Vaccination and Testing – Des Moines Metro Opera requires either proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test completed within 72 hours of attendance at any DMMO performance or in-person event. We need you to join us in this important safety measure. All DMMO artists and company members will have been vaccinated prior to their arrival in Iowa.

Masking – Everyone is required to wear a face mask at DMMO events unless eating or drinking. Singers and some orchestra musicians will perform unmasked during performances.  

Ventilation – DMMO has partnered with Waldinger Corporation and Simpson College to install supplemental air exchange systems that will increase fresh air exchanges per hour and enhance ventilation and circulation systems for extra safety.

Distancing – We ask that you always maintain a safe distance by following posted guidelines. Assigned seats in the Pote Theatre and at all DMMO events will reflect recommendations regarding appropriate spacing between attendees.

Environmental Cleaning – Wash your hands frequently and use the hand sanitizer dispensers located throughout the performance facility. We will regularly sanitize our stairway railings, bathrooms, elevators, and other high-touch surfaces.

DMMO will monitor changes in guidelines closely and continue to adjust decisions to prioritize everyone’s safety and enjoyment. Please check our Health and Safety Page frequently for updates.

View DMMO's complete Health and Safety Protocols >

How do I provide testing or vaccine verification?

All attendees at DMMO events this summer must either provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event or a COVID-19 vaccination.

To provide proof of vaccination:

  • It is only necessary to provide your proof of vaccination one time this season, and we ask that you supply it as soon as possible so we can update your record.
  • Once you have your vaccination card following your complete vaccination*, you may:
    • Send a photo via text to (515) 209-3251
    • Send an image via email to boxoffice@dmmo.org
    • Mail a copy of your vaccine card to 106 W Boston Ave, Indianola IA 50125
    • Stop by the administrative office at DMMO, 106 W Boston Ave, Indianola IA 50125 before the date of the event you will attend.
    • Bring your proof of vaccination with you to the event that you will attend (arrive at least 45 minutes before the beginning of the event, please)**


*Please ensure that you redact or block out any private information on the card (if your card includes any personal medical information).

**To avoid congestion at will-call or the possibility of forgetting your card, we strongly recommend providing proof of vaccination BEFORE the event that you are attending if possible.


To provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test:

  • Please ensure that your test was administered no more than 72 hours prior to the event you will attend (ie: a test administered not earlier than 2 p.m. on Thursday, 7/1, if attending the performance on Sunday, 7/4).
  • Once you have your negative test result*, you may:
    • Send a photo or forward your text notification via text to (515) 209-3251
    • Send an image or forward your email notification via email to boxoffice@dmmo.org
    • Stop by the administrative office at DMMO, 106 W Boston Ave, Indianola IA 50125 before the date of the event you will attend and show our box office staff proof of a negative test.
    • Bring a copy of your negative test result with you the event you will attend (arrive at least 45 minutes before the beginning of the event, please)**


*Please ensure that you redact or block out any private information on the test result (if your result includes any personal medical information).

**To avoid congestion at will-call or the possibility of forgetting your proof of a negative test, we strongly recommend providing your negative test result BEFORE the event you are attending if possible.

How will DMMO handle this information?

DMMO takes your privacy seriously. We will not retain your personal information or any document regarding your vaccination record or negative test result for longer than 24 hours. 

Staff will update our patron database upon seeing your proof of vaccination or negative test result to qualify you for entry to appropriate DMMO events.

DMMO will purge any physical copy, email, or text with personally identifying information within 24 hours of its receipt.

Will I be required to wear a face mask?

Des Moines Metro Opera requires all patrons to wear a face mask while within the Blank Performing Arts Center and while attending any DMMO special events. We strongly recommend N95/KN95 masks or double-masking for the duration of your visit to our facility. If you need one, we will be happy to provide a mask for you. Your face mask should:

  • Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric.
  • Completely cover your nose and mouth.
  • Fit snugly against the sides of your face and don’t have gaps.
  • Have a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask.

Single layer masks, gators or masks with visible exhalation valves or vents are not acceptable.

Do I still need to wear a mask if I'm vaccinated?

Yes. Current CDC and state guidelines recommend that individuals who are fully vaccinated continue to wear face masks in public settings as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus variants and to protect individuals who have not yet received a vaccine.

What if I don't feel well the day of my show?

If you are feeling unwell, please stay home. Call our Box Office at least two hours prior to the performance time and we will give you a full refund for your tickets.


What operas are featured in the 2021 Festival?

Each of the opera titles originally scheduled for the 2020 Summer Festival Season will be presented in July of 2021. They include all new productions of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades and Rameau’s Platée. Two performances will be given as part of our 2nd Stages Series including Spears/Pierce’s Fellow Travelers at Hoyt Sherman Place and The John Holiday Experience at Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University.

Where will the 2021 performances occur?

Sweeney Todd, The Queen of Spades and Platée will be performed in our home theatre, the Blank Performing Arts Center, on the Simpson College campus in Indianola. Fellow Travelers will be performed at the historic Hoyt Sherman Place Theatre. The John Holiday Experience will be held at Sheslow Auditorium on the Drake University campus.

Why are you performing indoors this summer?

In regular consultation with our Medical Advisory Panel and our Board of Directors, Des Moines Metro Opera has implemented aggressive and forward-thinking Health and Safety policies. Our primary strategy is an entirely vaccinated company. We’ve coupled that with a requirement for audience members to demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination in order to attend in person. This is just the beginning of a comprehensive health and safety strategy. You can read more about it HERE.

Where can I find the performance schedule?

All 2021 Summer Festival productions will be performed in repertory beginning July 2 through July 25, 2021. Performances times vary. 

View the festival calendar >

Are there other ways to view the operas?

OPERA UNDER THE STARS                         

For those who’d prefer to experience opera outdoors this season, Des Moines Metro Opera is partnering with our friends at Iowa PBS to present simulcasts from the stage to our outdoor theatre complex. Performances will coincide with our July 9 performance of Sweeney Todd, the July 10th performance of Platée and the July 13 performance of The Queen of Spades. Reservation information and further details will be available after June 1.

No streaming option will exist this summer.

Will prelude talks be offered before the opera?

Our popular Opera Prelude Talks by Joshua Borths will be recorded and offered on our website in advance of each production. You are invited to listen at your convenience or on your way to the show.