More articles »

"Des Moines Metro Opera Presents Billy Budd" receives 2018 Upper Midwest Emmy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Indianola, IA — Iowa Public Television’s broadcast of “Des Moines Metro Opera Presents Billy Budd” has won the 2018 Upper Midwest Emmy in the Arts/Entertainment Program division. The 2018 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy Gala and awards ceremony was held on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at the Radisson Blu Hotel at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. The team from Iowa Public Television that created “Des Moines Metro Opera Presents Billy Budd” includes Judy Blank, Andrea Coyle, Chad Aubrey, Jim Leasure, David Feingold, Kevin Rivers, Neal Kyer, Rick Fuller, Steve Carns, Phil Blobaum, Scott Faine and Darrin Clouse.

This is the fourth year that one of IPTV’s broadcasts of a Des Moines Metro Opera production has been nominated in this category; DMMO’s Le Comte Ory from the 2014 season and Jenůfa from the 2015 season received nominations, while the broadcast of “Des Moines Metro Opera Presents Manon” won the 2017 Upper Midwest Emmy. “Billy Budd was a seminal artistic achievement for Des Moines Metro Opera. We were honored to present the world premiere of a new performing edition of this rarely performed masterpiece and equally excited that the production was captured for a broader audience,” said Michael Egel, DMMO’s General and Artistic Director. “The extraordinary caliber of IPTV’s efforts coupled with DMMO’s commitment to high quality artistic experiences has created wonderful viewing opportunities for an ever-growing number of people. We are grateful to the artists, donors and IPTV personnel who have made these broadcasts possible over the last six seasons.”

High-res production photos (photo credit: Duane Tinkey) can be found by following this link:


Additional production information:


BILLY BUDD | Benjamin Britten (1951)
Company premiere. New production.
Four performances: July 1, 9(m), 11, 14 of 2017
Sung in English with English supertitles

Conductor: David Neely
Stage Director: Kristine McIntyre
Scenic Designer: R. Keith Brumley
Costume Designer: Jonathan Knipscher
Lighting & Projection Designer: Barry Steele
Chorus Master: Lisa Hasson

Billy Budd: Craig Verm
Edward Fairfax Vere: Roger Honeywell
John Claggart: Zachary James*
Mr. Redburn: Dennis Jesse
Mr. Flint: Federico De Michelis*
Lieutenant Ratcliffe: Kristopher Irmiter
Red Whiskers: Steve Sanders
Donald: Michael Adams
Dansker: Thomas Hammons*
Novice: Christian Sanders
Novice’s Friend: Emmett O’Hanlon*
Squeak: Ryan Connelly
The Bosun: Timothy Bruno*
Maintop: Chris Carr
Arthur Jones: Ted Pickell*
1st Mate: Brandon Hendrickson
2nd Mate: Jesse Stock

One of opera’s most grandly scaled masterpieces, Billy Budd tells the story of the persecution and destruction of a young sailor by a predatory master-at-arms. From rollicking sea shanties to bombastic choral episodes, Benjamin Britten’s searing opera will roar to life in a spectacular new production that transforms a British man o’ war into a crucible for human faith and error. Through a partnership with the Benjamin Britten Estate, this production of Billy Budd will premiere a new performing edition of the opera with revised orchestration by leading Britten scholar and conductor, Steuart Bedford. “Bedford’s new orchestration reduces the wind and percussion sections of Britten’s original version. It has been in development for several years and Des Moines Metro Opera is pleased to present its premiere this season,” said Egel.

For more information, please contact Scott Arens at or (515) 961-6221.