Indianola, IA — Des Moines Metro Opera’s (DMMO) General and Artistic Director, Michael Egel, is pleased to announce the full casting for the Company’s 47th Festival Season, which runs from June 28 through July 21, 2019, and offers 18 performances of four different operas. “Presenting repertory performances of major works in dynamic contract to one another is a hallmark of Des Moines Metro Opera. Could there be two more diametrically opposed works of the 20th century than Bernstein’s vibrant Candide and Berg’s towering masterpiece, Wozzeck? Alongside these all-new productions, we’re pleased to present the beloved revival of our 2011 production of Puccini’s La Bohème and Lee Hoiby’s delightful confection Bon Appétit! as part of our 2nd Stages Series programming,” said Egel. Furthering the Company’s commitment to add new works to its repertory each year, the festival season includes Company premieres of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck and Lee Hoiby’s Bon Appétit! as well as a new production of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide and the revival of the Company’s 2011 production of Puccini’s La Bohème.

The season features many noteworthy artist debuts, including Julie Adams as Mimì, Joshua Guerrero as Rodolfo, Mané Galoyan as Musetta, Thomas Glass as Marcello and Brian Vu as Schaunard in La Bohème; Jonathan Johnson as Candide and Robert Orth as Dr. Pangloss; Robert Watson as the Drum Major and Zoie Reams as Margret in Wozzeck. Michael Christie and Michael Shell make their Company debuts as the Conductor for La Bohème and the Stage Director for Candide, respectively.

Notable returning artists include Joyce Castle as Julia Child in Bon Appétit!; Michael Mayes as Wozzeck, Sara Gartland as Marie, Zachary James as the Doctor, Corey Bix as the Captain, Gregory Warren as Andres and Corey Trahan as the Fool in Wozzeck; Deanna Breiwick as Cunegonde, Jill Grove as The Old Lady, Emmett O’Hanlon as Maximilian and Eliza Bonet as Paquette in Candide; Timothy J. Bruno as Colline and Matthew Lau as Benoit/Alcindoro. Kristine McIntyre will direct her thirteenth production at DMMO as Stage Director for Wozzeck while Octavio Cardenas, after several successful 2nd Stages Series productions, makes his mainstage directorial debut with La Bohème. DMMO’s Marshall and Judy Flapan Music Director and Principal Conductor David Neely leads the productions of Wozzeck and Candide. The season also features 40 members of the Apprentice Artist Program, now in its 45th year.

The productions of La Bohème, Candide and Wozzeck will be performed in rotating repertory in the intimate 467-seat Pote Theatre at the Blank Performing Arts Center in Indianola, Iowa. Bon Appétit! will be presented at the Iowa Culinary Institute in Ankeny, Iowa, as part of the Company’s popular 2nd Stages Series, an initiative committed to creating collaborative performances designed to engage new audiences in unique spaces. Each opera of the festival will be performed with English supertitles projected above the stage. The Des Moines Metro Opera Festival Orchestra, made up of professional musicians from across the country, will accompany all three mainstage productions. As always, Des Moines Metro Opera will continue to provide free opera previews prior to each performance.

Subscriptions to the 47th Summer Festival are currently available and start at $105 for a three-opera package. Single tickets are also available with prices starting at $37. To purchase tickets or for more information about the summer festival, visit or call 515-961-6221.


Complete mainstage production information for the 47th Summer Festival Season:

*Debut artist

LA BOHÈME | Giacomo Puccini (1896)
Revival of 2011 production. Previous productions in 1978, 1987, 1996, 2001 and 2011.
Six performances: June 28, 30(m); July 5, 11, 13, 21(m)
Sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Conductor: Michael Christie*
Stage Director: Octavio Cardenas
Scenic Designer: Robert Little
Lighting Designer: Sarah Riffle
Wig and Makeup Designer: Brittany Crinson
Chorus Master: Lisa Hasson

Mimì: Julie Adams*
Rodolfo: Joshua Guerrero*
Musetta: Mané Galoyan*
Marcello: Thomas Glass*
Colline: Timothy J. Bruno
Schaunard: Brian Vu*
Benoit/Alcindoro: Matthew Lau
Parpignol: Andrew Turner*

A flickering candle and an accidental touch of cold hands in the dark - so begins one of the greatest love stories in all of opera. Join the bohemian revolution in the heart of Paris as a group of struggling artists strives to create beautiful art, find love and ultimately live life to the fullest in this romantic operatic blockbuster, which features some of the most familiar and beautiful music ever written.


CANDIDE | Leonard Bernstein (1956)
New production. Previous production in 2002.
Five performances: June 29; July 7(m), 10, 12, 20
Sung in English with English supertitles

Conductor: David Neely
Stage Director: Michael Shell*
Scenic Designer: Steven C. Kemp*
Lighting Designer: Nate Wheatley
Costume Designer: Linda Pisano*
Wig and Makeup Designer: Brittany Crinson
Choreographer: Todd Rhoades
Chorus Master: Lisa Hasson

Candide: Jonathan Johnson*
Cunegonde: Deanna Breiwick
Dr. Pangloss: Robert Orth*
The Old Lady: Jill Grove
Maximilian: Emmett O’Hanlon
Paquette: Eliza Bonet
The Governor: Corey Bix
Cacambo: Corey Trahan

Sparkling with wit and humor, Candide is part opera, part musical and entirely irreverent, drawing on everything from European operetta to Latin American dance rhythms. Bernstein’s score abounds with spectacular music, including a famous overture, the soprano showpiece “Glitter and Be Gay,” and the soaring finale, “Make Our Garden Grow.” Voltaire’s philosophical spoof becomes a brilliant and breathless operetta that bumbles about from the Old World to the New and back again. Young Candide’s tutor told him that this was “the best of all possible worlds” and through war, plague, earthquake, shipwreck and the Spanish Inquisition, he steadfastly believed it. You will, too, when you see our remarkable cast tell the story in this fantastic new production with frenzy, fabulous color and flair!


WOZZECK | Alban Berg (1925)

Company premiere. New production.
Four performances: July 6, 14(m), 16, 19
Sung in German with English supertitles

Conductor: David Neely
Stage Director: Kristine McIntyre
Scenic and Costume Designer: Victoria “Vita” Tzykun
Lighting Designer: Kate Ashton*
Wig and Makeup Designer: Brittany Crinson
Choreographer: Lisa A. Thurrell*
Chorus Master: Lisa Hasson

Wozzeck: Michael Mayes
Marie: Sara Gartland
Drum Major: Robert Watson
Doctor: Zachary James
Captain: Corey Bix
Andres: Gregory Warren
Margret: Zoie Reams*
The Fool: Corey Trahan

The quintessential “modern” opera, Wozzeck still hasn’t lost its bite. Alban Berg’s masterpiece combines music of intense emotional power with a profoundly dramatic story. Berated by his captain and overcome by jealousy, Wozzeck tries to make sense of his fragmented, dreamlike mental state with disastrous results. Nearly 100 years after its premiere, Wozzeck still sounds dramatically modern. But the style that shocked listeners in 1925 sounds seamlessly natural today, so perfectly suited to character and incident that the drama and its soundtrack unfold together with utter clarity.


BON APPÉTIT! | Lee Hoiby (1989)
Company premiere. New production.
Two performances: July 18, 21
Sung in English

Stage Director: Nathan Troup
Pianist: Elden Little
Scenic Designer: Adam Crinson
Lighting Designer: Nate Wheatley
Costume Designer: Heather Lesieur
Wig and Makeup Designer: Sarah Norton

Julia Child: Joyce Castle

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 and, as the icing on the evening, you'll be treated to your own slice of this delicious chocolate cake!



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