Opera-tion Road Trip

Simpson College’s unique “theatre-in-the-half-round” serves as an intimate and thrilling setting for the widely acclaimed Des Moines Metro Opera (DMMO). But that doesn’t mean the 40-year-old performing arts organization can’t bust out now and then. Enter the new 2nd Stages Series.

Conceived as an expansion of DMMO’s successful Summer Festival Season, the series works with community partners to stage performances in unorthodox spaces for opera, exposing as many people as possible to great art—and growing an audience.

The series launches Dec. 67 at historic Hoyt Sherman Place’s theater, which will be decked out for the holidays when it welcomes back Gian Carlo Menotti’s family favorite, “Amahl and the Night Visitors” (after DMMO performances in 2003 and 2005). “Amahl,” originally composed for TV in 1951, takes place in first-century Bethlehem and follows a poor mother and her crippled son, who are visited by three strangers bearing gold, frankincense and myrrh. Tickets: $30–$40 (adults); $10–$20 (students, K–12). To order, call 515-961-6221 or click here.

The 2nd Stages Series continues in July 2014 with a 90-minute adaptation of Bizet’s “Carmen” at the Des Moines Social Club. Imagine a full-scale production of one of the world’s most familiar and beloved operas—with principal vocalists and a chamber orchestra—but tailored for a smaller space. “Carmen” is expected to be one of the first theatrical performances presented in the Social Club’s new home, a remodeled historic downtown Des Moines fire station. For tickets and other information, keep an eye on the DMMO website or sign up for OPERAzzi, the organization’s monthly electronic newsletter.


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