Indianola, IA — Des Moines Metro Opera’s Linda Koehn General and Artistic Director, Michael Egel, has announced the complete repertory for the company’s 2024 Festival Season. The productions include mainstage performances of Gioachino Rossini’s irresistible comedy, The Barber of Seville, Richard Strauss’s monumental and scandalous Salome, a company premiere of Claude Debussy’s mesmerizing Pelléas & Mélisande, and the world premiere of the full-length version of Damien Geter and Lila Palmer’s American Apollo.

“Des Moines Metro Opera has earned a reputation for curating fascinating seasons of works that create vibrant and colorful tapestries. We’ve assembled an experience where a world premiere complements an intimate and fresh look at a classic comedy to bookend our 2024 season. In the middle are two towering masterpieces of the early 20th century that only a handful of companies in our country dare to program,” Egel said. “All four of these pieces performed back-to-back in rotating repertory create a compelling and rewarding weekend of opera that will delight first time audiences and intrigue the many cultural tourists who visit our company from around the globe. To be honest, it’s one of my favorite seasons we’ve ever put together.”

All four productions will be performed in rotating repertory in the intimate 467-seat Pote Theatre at the Blank Performing Arts Center in Indianola, Iowa. Each opera features 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 four productions.

Subscription packages and early-bird individual ticket reservations are available now. Select-your-own individual tickets go on sale November 30 at 10am (CT). American Apollo tickets are currently available as part of the 4-opera subscription package until November 30 at which point individual tickets go on sale.

Additional production information:  


Music by Gioachino Rossini

Libretto by Cesare Sterbini

Premiered: February 20, 1816, at the Teatro Argentina, Rome

Six performances: June 28, 30, July 5, 14, 16, 20

Sung in Italian with projected English translations

A co-production of Opera Queensland, New Zealand Opera and Seattle Opera

Previous productions: 1976, 1988, 1999, 2009

Get ready for a rollicking fiesta of sunny Seville madness as Rossini’s celebrated, razor-sharp comedy returns to our stage in riotous technicolor. Featuring some of opera’s most familiar and show-stopping tunes, The Barber of Seville is a must-see treat for the eyes and ears!

Baritone Alexander Birch Elliott returns to DMMO as the wily Figaro and rising tenor Duke Kim makes his mainstage debut in the role of Count Almaviva. Maestro Gary Thor Wedow returns to conduct and Lindy Hume’s vibrant production will make a company debut.




Music by Richard Strauss

Libretto by Oscar Wilde and Hedwig Lachmann

Premiered: December 9, 1905, at the Semperoper Dresden
Four performances: June 29, July 7, 13, 19

Performed in German with projected English translations

A new Des Moines Metro Opera production.
Previous productions: 2002

Based on Oscar Wilde’s sensational play, Richard Strauss’s Salome took the world by storm at its premiere with princess Salome at its center, whose growing obsession with the imprisoned prophet John the Baptist leads the story to its dramatic conclusion. Featuring music that is both colossal and dazzling, this new production will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Our new production features soprano Sara Gartland making an anticipated role debut as Salome, with DMMO Marshall and Judy Flapan Music Director and Principal Conductor David Neely leading the DMMO Festival Orchestra. Nathan Troup will direct this new production.



Music by Claude Debussy

Libretto by Claude Debussy adapted from the play by Maurice Maeterlinck

Premiered: April 30, 1902, at the Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique, Paris
Four performances: July 6, 12, 17, 21

Sung in French with projected English translations

A new Des Moines Metro Opera production. Company premiere.

Claude Debussy’s only completed opera shimmers with Impressionist color like a Monet painting, and its mesmerizing score dazzles. This exquisitely nuanced and rarely performed work casts a hypnotic spell, capturing a world of dreams where forbidden love blossoms.

This new production features the return of Iowa baritone John Moore in a role debut as Pelléas, soprano Sydney Mancasola as Mélisande, Brandon Cedel in a company debut as Golaud, with Derrick Inouye leading the DMMO Festival Orchestra in his company debut and Chas Rader-Shieber returning to direct his seventh DMMO production. 



Music by Damien Geter
Libretto by Lila Palmer

A world premiere and new Des Moines Metro Opera production.

Two performances: July 13, 18

 American Apollo gives voice to a pivotal figure in American art: Thomas Eugene McKeller, a Black hotel worker who served as a model and muse for famous portraitist John Singer Sargent. Themes of erasure, the white gaze and the nature of the relationship between the two men are explored in this powerful new work which makes its full-length world premiere in 2024.

Des Moines Metro Opera’s world premiere features baritone Justin Austin as Thomas Eugene McKeller, tenor William Burden making a company debut as John Singer Sargent, soprano Mary Dunleavy as Isabella Stewart Gardner, and DMMO Marshall and Judy Flapan Music Director and Principal Conductor David Neely leading the production alongside stage director Shaun Patrick Tubbs, who makes his company debut.


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About Des Moines Metro Opera

Lauded by the Chicago Tribune as “one of the most enterprising summer opera fests in the nation,” Des Moines Metro Opera is a progressive opera company located in the heart of Iowa that has taken its place among America’s leading opera festivals. Founded in 1973, it’s one of the largest performing arts organizations in Iowa, annually producing over 100 performances in the metro area and across the region.

Des Moines Metro Opera’s 2024 Festival Season includes the return of one of the world’s greatest operas, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, a new production of R. Strauss’ Salome, a new production of Debussy’s Pelléas & Mélisande, and the world premiere of the full-length version of Damien Geter and Lila Palmer’s American Apollo.