Opera Lucca hosts a composition program focused on writing for the voice and text setting. Students are encouraged to bring any vocal works in progress for refinement. Composers will study Italian, based on their level; take composition lessons with Professor Fusco; attend rehearsals, vocal coachings, and masterclasses to learn about the voice; and hear their vocal music performed.

The program will culminate in two performances: one premiere of an original composition for voice and piano, completed in Lucca, as well as one performance of a previously composed work or another new work composed in Lucca. Students will receive recordings of these performances.

Course Details

Before arriving in Lucca, composers will pick a text in English, Italian, or Latin to be approved by the faculty. For all texts not in the public domain, the student is responsible to obtain all necessary rights and permissions to use the text in a musical setting. Students are encouraged to arrive in Lucca with the new compositions 30% complete.

In addition to lessons and masterclasses, composers will be paired with singers and enjoy the opportunity to experiment and try out their ideas, using direct feedback from singers to revise and develop their ideas. A list of possible voice types/combinations will be sent to the students four weeks before the beginning of the festival. 

The weekly schedule consists of:

  • 3 hours of composition masterclasses 
  • 1.5 hours of private composition lessons
  • Seminars with Vocal Faculty
  • Opportunities to observe coachings and rehearsals with singers.


Shared Apartment: $2700

Single Room: $3000

Additional scholarships are available for qualified composition students.

Application Procedure

Fill out the application form and send scores of two representative compositions in PDF format to Please also provide a CV and/or short bio. Links to recordings of performances are strongly encouraged. We may ask for more information after submission.


Raphael Fusco, Conductor and Composer in Residence

Italian-American composer Raphael Fusco has been hailed by the international press as “one of the most outstanding composers of his generation (El Mundo)” and “accomplished and winning (The New York Times).”

His genre-crossing compositions for voice, chamber ensembles, orchestra, and theater are performed by leading artists across the world in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Kimmel Center Philadelphia, St. Bavo Kerk Haarlem, Casa Milà and the Église de Saint Séverin in Paris.  Raphael Fusco has written commissioned works for artists and ensembles such as GRAMMY Award winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis, Barbara Dever, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Cecilia Chorus of New York and members of the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera Orchestras.  In 2019 Raphael Fusco released his debut album REMIXED featuring original compositions for solo piano praised for their “stunning sonic ideas (Jazz Corner).”  In July 2021 he conducted the premieres of his operas inSOMNIA at the Opernfestival Oberpfalz in Amberg, Germany (“a multifaceted, atmospheric sound-painting” Mittelbaierische Zeitung) and Der Telefonist – De Mörder to Middernacht at the Forum Neue Kunst in Oldenburg in October of the same year. Raphael Fusco has received awards from the NATS Art Song Competition, American Prize for Music, Aliénor International Harpsichord Competition, Padre Martini Fugue Award, Bohuslav Martinū Composition Award, as well as grants from the National Italian American Foundation and Exploring the Metropolis.  

Raphael studied composition, piano, and conducting at the Mannes College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Conservatorio G. Verdi di Torino, Vienna Konservatorium, and Paris Schola Cantorum.  Since 2019 Raphael Fusco has served as Senior Artist in the Institute for music-theater at the University for Performing Arts in Graz, Austria where he is pursuing a doctoral degree in composition. A passionate educator, he rhas given masterclasses and lectures at the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Escuela Superior de Canto in Madrid and teaches on the faculties of Opera Lucca Festival and Classic Lyric Arts Festival in Italy.