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 46th Festival Season, which runs from June 22 through July 15, 2018, and offers 17 performances of four different operas. “Our reputation for exceptional casting, remarkable production values and thoughtfully selected repertory continues to expand. Audiences in Des Moines and around the broader industry increasingly discover for themselves Iowa’s operatic oasis,” said Egel. Furthering the Company’s commitment to add new works to its repertory each year, the festival season includes Company premieres of Antonín DvoÅ™ák’s Rusalka, Jonathan Dove and April de Angelis’ Flight and Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land as well as a new production of Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus.

The season features many notable artist debuts, including John Holiday as the Refugee, Audrey Luna as the Controller and Theo Hoffman as the Steward in Flight; Evan LeRoy Johnson as the Prince, Jill Grove as Ježibaba and Laura Wilde as the Foreign Princess in Rusalka; David Pershall as Eisenstein and Anna Christy as Adele in Die Fledermaus. Robert Moody makes his Company debut as the Conductor for Die Fledermaus.

Notable returning artists include Susannah Biller as Rosalinda, Taylor Stayton as Alfred and Troy Cook as Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus; Sara Gartland as Rusalka and Zachary James as Vodník in Rusalka; Zulimar López-Hernández as Tina and Elise Quagliata as Minskwoman in Flight. Kristine McIntyre will direct her eleventh production at DMMO as Stage Director for Flight while David Gately returns to direct Die Fledermaus. DMMO Music Director and Principal Conductor David Neely leads the productions of Rusalka and Flight. The season also features 40 members of the Apprentice Artist Program, now in its 44th year.

The productions of Die Fledermaus, Rusalka and Flight will be performed in rotating repertory in the intimate 467-seat Pote Theatre at the Blank Performing Arts Center in Indianola, Iowa. The Tender Land will be presented outdoors at the Maytag Dairy Farms in Newton, 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 46th 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 46th Summer Festival Season:

*Debut artist


DIE FLEDERMAUS | Johann Strauss II (1874)

New production. Previous productions in 1979 and 1989.

Six performances: June 23, 24(m), 29; July 7, 12, 15(m)

Sung in English with English supertitles.


Conductor: Robert Moody*

Stage Director: David Gately

Scenic Designer: R. Keith Brumley

Lighting Designer: Barry Steele
Costume Designer: Jonathan Knipscher

Chorus Master: Lisa Hasson


Rosalinda: Susannah Biller

Eisenstein: David Pershall*

Adele: Anna Christy*

Alfred: Taylor Stayton

Prince Orlovsky: Sarah Larsen

Dr. Falke: Troy Cook

Frank: Craig Irvin

An effervescent and sparkling confection, J. Strauss's beloved operetta waltzes right into your heart with familiar melodies, witty repartee and delightful charm. The cunning Dr. Falke decides to play a joke on his good friend Eisenstein as a little light revenge for a night of carousing gone awry. As his scheme unfolds subplots hilariously pile up, eventually converging at an extravagant masquerade ball hosted by a Russian prince. Deceptions and disguises among friends and lovers give way to affection, laughter, and - as any happy ending should - champagne for all! Die Fledermaus is the supreme example of Viennese operetta and will make its triumphant return to DMMO's mainstage after a near 30-year absence!


RUSALKA | Antonín DvoÅ™ák (1901)

Company premiere.

Five performances: June 22; July 1(m), 3, 6, 14

Sung in Czech with English supertitles


Conductor: David Neely

Stage Director: Chas Rader-Shieber

Scenic & Costume Designer: Jacob A. Climer

Lighting Designer: Nate Wheatley

Chorus Master: Lisa Hasson


Rusalka: Sara Gartland

Prince: Evan LeRoy Johnson*

Ježibaba: Jill Grove*

Vodník: Zachary James

Foreign Princess: Laura Wilde*

Based on a familiar fairy tale tinged with seductive pastoral beauty and evocations of the supernatural, Antonín DvoÅ™ák’s Rusalka features a heroine who longs to transform herself for love, a jealous rival, witchcraft, and an opulent score. Rusalka, a beautiful water nymph, falls in love with a human prince and will do anything to escape her enchanted moonlit world to become human—but her wish comes at a very high price. DvoÅ™ák juxtaposes the mortal and the mythical with beautiful folk melodies and luminous arias, including Rusalka’s familiar and radiant “Song to the Moon.” Sara Gartland, who was last seen at Des Moines Metro Opera as Jenůfa, returns to sing the title role.


FLIGHT | Jonathan Dove and April de Angelis (1998)

Company premiere. New production.

Four performances: June 30; July 8(m), 10, 13

Sung in English with English supertitles


Conductor: David Neely

Stage Director: Kristine McIntyre

Scenic Designer: R. Keith Brumley

Costume Designer: Jonathan Knipscher

Lighting Designer: Barry Steele


Refugee: John Holiday*

Controller: Audrey Luna*

Tina: Zulimar López-Hernández

Bill: Andrew Bidlack*

Steward: Theo Hoffman*

Stewardess: Sofia Selowsky*

Minskwoman: Elise Quagliata

Minskman: Norman Garrett*

Older Woman: Deanne Meek*

Immigration Officer: Zachary James

Flight is an opera bustling with the endless possibilities of air travel. Inspired by the true story of a refugee stranded for 18 years in the Charles de Gaulle airport, eight strangers find themselves stuck overnight together in an airport due to a sudden and severe electrical storm. Whether seeking to rekindle a marriage on the rocks, start a new career or pursue a holiday romance, Flight's characters remind us of our constant human need to recreate ourselves and our relationships. Jonathan Dove’s inventive score and dramatist April de Angelis’ deeply human libretto create an original modern-day operatic comedy and a breakthrough theatrical experience.



Des Moines Metro Opera is a nationally recognized, progressive opera company that has taken its place among America’s leading opera festivals. Founded in 1973, it is the state’s largest performing arts organization, annually producing over 100 performances in the metro area and around the state and region. Last year 94,000 people experienced Des Moines Metro Opera programming via mainstage performances, educational programs and statewide television and radio broadcasts. In 2017 the Chicago Tribune called DMMO one of “the oldest and most enterprising summer opera fests in the nation,” and titled their review of the season, “World-class opera grows tall and proud in the Corn Belt.”

The Company’s Summer Festival Season runs from May through July of each year during which time three operas are performed in repertory for 15 mainstage performances. The Summer Festival Season takes place in the 467-seat Pote Theater at the Blank Performing Arts Center in Indianola, Iowa. Each season the Company welcomes audiences from nearly 40 states, most Iowa counties and several foreign countries. The 2018 Summer Festival Season runs from June 22 through July 15, 2018. Featured will be J. Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, DvoÅ™ák’s Rusalka and Dove/de Angelis’ Flight.

The Company develops audiences of all ages through five educational programs. The OPERA Iowa Educational Touring Troupe and the Apprentice Artist Program for singers are two of the long-standing, flagship programs of the education division. Des Moines Metro Opera serves more than 40,000 people each year across the state through its educational programming.

Des Moines Metro Opera serves its city as a cultural leader through unique community programming and collaborations. The 2nd Stages Series creates collaborative performances designed to engage audiences in creative spaces. This season’s 2nd Stages Series productions will feature Kaminsky/Campbell/Reed’s As One in the Stoner Theater at the Civic Center in downtown Des Moines and Copland’s The Tender Land performed outdoors at the Maytag Dairy Farms in Newton, Iowa.

More information about Des Moines Metro Opera is available at Follow Des Moines Metro Opera on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube!



High-resolution and web-ready imagery and logos can be found by following this link to our Press dropbox:

# # #