• Saturday JUNE 29 7:30 PM
  • Sunday JULY 7 2:00 PM
  • Saturday JULY 13 1:00 PM
  • Friday JULY 19 7:30 PM


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. 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 Marhsall and Judy Flapan Music Director and Principal Conductor David Neely leading the DMMO Festival Orchestra. Nathan Troup will direct this new production.

June 29 at 7:30pm
July 7 at 2:00pm
July 13 at 1:00pm
July 19 at 7:30pm

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Richard Strauss

Hedwig Lachmann after Oscar Wilde

December 9, 1905
Semperoper Dresden

German (with English supertitles)

1 hour, 45 minutes with no intermission


The Artists

Sara Gartland Salome
David Neely Conductor
Nathan Troup Director
Steven C. Kemp Scenic Designer
Jacob A. Climer Costume Designer
Connie Yun Lighting Designer

The Music

Richard Strauss is no stranger to the Des Moines Metro Opera audience. His Ariadne auf Naxos was produced in 1980 and again in 2004, Der Rosenkavalier in 1992, Salome in 2002 and Elektra in 2013. In the last decades of the nineteenth century Strauss composed wonderful tone poems for orchestra, among them "Don Juan", "Don Quixote" and "Thus Spoke Zarathustra." In these remarkable pieces he proved himself one of the greatest orchestrators of all time, following in the footsteps of the highly original Hector Berlioz.

It was inevitable that he would compose for the lyric stage. He conducted a great deal of opera and was part of Cosima Wagner's team at Bayreuth. He also wrote wonderful art songs, many of them to be sung by his wife Pauline who was a professional singer. His first two scores—Guntram and Feuersnot—showed promise but fell short of international acclaim.

In 1905 he composed Salome, which met with praise, rejection and revulsion in various corners of the western world. It also made the composer 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 intense and morbid eroticism, 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.