"American Apollo is a new opera based on a story forged at the crossroad of celebrity, class, race, and power in America, giving voice to a pivotal figure in American art: Thomas Eugene McKeller, a Black model who served as inspiration for the famous portraitist, John Singer Sargent. McKeller posed for most of the figures in Sargent's murals at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, but the painter transformed McKeller's figure into white gods and goddesses, creating soaring allegories of the liberal arts that celebrated the recent expansion of the city's premier civic museum. Themes of erasure, the white gaze, and the nature of the relationship between the two men are explored in this powerful new work." Des Moines Metro Opera

Directed by Kimile Howard
Scenic Design by Calvin Stara
Lighting Design by Bridget S. Williams
Costume Design by Harry Nadal
Make-up and Hair Design by Kellen M. Eason
Photos by Duane Tinkey
Back to Top