About the Program

Celebrating its 50th anniversary during the 2024 season, Des Moines Metro Opera's Frank R. Brownell III Apprentice Artist Program is a comprehensive career training program 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.

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: 

  • Performance opportunities and 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.
  • Opportunities in mainstage productions, including chorus, comprimario roles, and covers of leading roles.
  • Opportunities to be heard by artist representatives and other companies that include: The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Minnesota Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Omaha, and several artists representatives.
  • Participation in a special concert with the Festival Orchestra.
  • Participants receive a per diem, housing, and a travel stipend. 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 Michael Egel (General and Artistic Director) and Allen Perriello (Director of Artistic Administration) to craft a variety of assignments for each apprentice's development over the course of the season.

2024 Program Staff

Director of the Apprentice Artist Program

Lisa Hasson

Director of Artistic Administration

Allen Perriello

Head of Directing Staff

Joshua Borths

Resident Voice Teacher

Kimberly Roberts

Music Staff

Connor Buckley
Tessa Hartle
Donald Lee III
Marie-France Lefebvre
Elden Little
Kyle Naig
Yasuko Oura
Teddy Poll

Directing Staff

Paige Heidrich
Alison Pogorelc
Matthew J. Schulz