The Des Moines Metro Opera opens its run of Soldier Songs this weekend at Camp Dodge in Johnston. It will be the first time an opera has been performed at an active military base.
Michael Mayes, the operatic baritone who will be performing the one -man opera, says it's been a unique experience to be rehearsing a piece like Soldier Songs in front of active military service members.
"The first day we had our rehearsal, that morning we actually met with a few vets in the guard and listened to their experiences, and that afternoon walked into the deployment hall and did a rehearsal," says Mayes. "It was incredibly humbling and it really drove home the responsibility that we have as artists get this right and make sure that we're doing exactly what we're supposed to be doing there," says Michael.
During this Talk of Iowa interview, Mayes talks with host Charity Nebbe. Christine McIntyre, who will be directing the opera, also joins the conversation. Soldier Songs is comprised of original music written by David T. Little and interview audio from veterans from five different American wars.