DMMO Announces Director Update for Strauss's Salome

Indianola, IA — Des Moines Metro Opera announced today that Alison Pogorelc will make her company debut as stage director for Strauss’s Salome. Pogorelc replaces Nathan Troup, who withdrew from the production for personal reasons. "I'm thrilled that Alison will make her debut with us this season for our new production of Salome. We are fortunate that an accomplished director who possesses a strong command of the opera, its story, dramaturgy and text was already with our company in another capacity and has stepped quite capably into the leadership of this production," said Michael Egel, the Linda Koehn General and Artistic Director.

About Alison Pogorelc

Alison Pogorelc is an American director celebrated for her innovative and multidisciplinary approach to storytelling across opera, theater and film. In the 2023-24 season, Alison served as a member of the stage directing staff at both the Metropolitan Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In the spring, Alison made her directing debut at the Kennedy Center for Handel's Partenope with Washington National Opera's Cafritz Young Artist Program. She recently received the National Opera Association's JoElyn Wakefield-Wright Stage Director Fellowship and OPERA America's Robert L. B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize for her Nietzschean conceptualization of Strauss's Salome. Read Alison’s bio.

About Salome
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 propels the story to its dramatic conclusion. Salome also made Strauss a household name and assured the celebrity of his career. He worked feverishly on it, turning it into another tone poem for orchestra with intense vocal and dramatic characterizations. The score is one-of-a-kind in its wildly imaginative orchestral palette and its jarring juxtaposition of the beautiful and the grotesque. Salome may well be Strauss' most original contribution to the art form and remains, nearly 120 years after it premiere, one of the most astonishing and musically shocking works ever written.

Des Moines Metro Opera’s new production is led by director Alison Pogorelc with scenic design by Steven C. Kemp, costume design by Jacob A. Climer, lighting design by Connie Yun, wig/makeup design by Brittany V.A. Rappise, choreography by Jessica Lang, combat direction by Brian Robertson and intimacy coordination by Stephanie Schneider. Maestro David Neely leads the DMMO Festival Orchestra. The cast features soprano Sara Gartland making a role debut as Salome, baritone Norman Garrett as Jochanaan, tenor Chad Shelton making a company debut as Herod Antipas, mezzo-soprano Gwendolyn Jones returns to reprise the role of Herodias, which she sang with DMMO in 2002, and tenor Alex McKissick as Narraboth.

Salome runs for four performances as part of the company’s 2024 Festival Season. The performances on July 7, July 13 and July 19 are currently sold out, but a few tickets remain for June 29. A Ticket Request Form is available for patrons to fill out to add their name to the waitlist for sold out performances. Full production and ticket information is available by visiting or by calling the Box Office at (515) 209-3257.

Media Kit
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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 runs June 28–July 21 and includes the return of one of the world’s greatest operatic comedies, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, a new production of R. Strauss’ Salome, a company premiere and 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.