Q&A with Dennis Hendrickson

Name: Dennis Hendrickson

Position at Des Moines Metro Opera: Patron Services Manager

Nickname: Mr. DMMO

Dennis and Melinda Hendrickson at the 2017 Wine & Food Showcase

Length of time you have worked at DMMO? As a college student and first year music educator, I worked summers for Des Moines Metro Opera from 1974-1978. I started working full-time for the Company in 2002 after teaching for 25 years, so I’m currently in my 15th year with DMMO!

What is something you do in your position that people might not expect? Patrons may not know of my music education and choral director background. I help prepare auxiliary choruses for festival shows – this year we will prepare 16 additional male singers for Billy Budd, and I may also be working with the Turandot aux coro!

What can you be found doing outside of the office? My wife Melinda and I are the music coordinators of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church and Drake Student Center, working with over 80 Drake, Grand View and Des Moines University students and adults in the music ministry. I also conduct the Women’s Chorale at Simpson College, and give 16 private voice lessons out of our home in Urbandale.

Do you have a favorite DMMO production? La Bohème from 2011!

LA BOHÈME from 2011, featuring Dennis’s son, Brandon (standing center) as Schaunard



Hometown:  Corning, Iowa

Family: Wife, Melinda, teaches elementary music at Greenwood Elementary for Des Moines Public Schools; Son, Brandon, DMA teaches voice at Louisiana State University; Daughter, Kiersten, teaches elementary music at Irving Elementary in Indianola; Granddaughter, Brianne, attends preschool; and Grandson, Brenton, loves to play with trains!

Favorite composer: Puccini

Favorite book: Anything written by David Eddings (I’m a sci-fi and fantasy nut!)

Favorite foods: Most everything unfortunately…

Favorite booze: JUST DEPENDS on the mood and time of year – I enjoy a good Vodka or Bourbon/Whiskey – but in the summer a nice gin and tonic is quite refreshing!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? I’ve never taken much time to do the whole ‘workout’ routine until within the last several years. I think I would enjoy having super strength without having to work at it!

Melinda, Brandon, Figaro and Dennis in Baton Rouge, Louisiana after getting rescued by a “tug boat” during the 2016 flood


One Comment Add yours

  1. Cindy Swoyer says:

    I have known Dennis since childhood. Growing up in Corning,Iowa you know everyone! Great Job Dennis!! I love the variety your opera brings to the Des Moines Community. Thanks again–Cindy (Tice) Swoyer


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