Apply now for the Opera Lucca Composer’s Institute. Work with acclaimed composer and faculty member, Raphael Fusco, develop your technique writing for the voice!

Application Procedure

Send the following materials to [email protected]:

  • Scores of two representative compositions in PDF format (at least one composition should feature the voice, if possible). Links to recordings of performances are strongly encouraged.
  • CV, short bio, and list of compositions.
  • Important: add [email protected] to your email contacts so our email does not go to spam.

Please contact us at [email protected] with any questions.

Application Form – Here


Opera Lucca hosts a two-week composition program focused on writing for operatic voices and text setting. The dates are June 23rd (check-in) to July 7th (check-out), 2024. Three-week and four-week options may be available by arrangement. Students will compose new vocal works in consultation with composition faculty and bring any vocal works in progress for refinement. Composers will attend individual composition lessons with Professor Fusco; composition seminars; scene and musical rehearsals, vocal coachings, and masterclasses to learn about the voice.

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:

  • Composition Masterclasses 
  • Private Composition Lessons
  • Seminars with Vocal Faculty
  • Opportunities to observe coachings and rehearsals with singers.


Shared Room – Apartment/Dorm: $1500

Single Room – Apartment/Dorm: $1900

Optional Three/Four-Week Program: Contact for details

Not included in tuition: airfare, train travel, food (unless otherwise arranged), travel insurance, passport and visa, weekend trips.

Important: A $800 tuition deposit is required to secure a place in the program after acceptance. From April 15th to May 23rd Tuition is 50% refundable. After May 23rd tuition is non-refundable.


My time as a composer at Opera Lucca was truly inspiring and educational. Working closely with Maestro Raphael Fusco challenged me to expand my compositional techniques and be more precise in setting text to music. His insightful and often witty critiques of our compositions, as well as his analysis of the great composers, reignited my passion for writing and deepened my understanding of the craft. Rehearsing our pieces with exceptional singers allowed me to explore and refine my ideas while gaining a greater appreciation for vocal technique. -Jess Newman

It is not an exaggeration to say that working with Raphael Fusco as a composing fellow with Opera Lucca has helped me to take my writing to a new level AND has given me the opportunity to have works of mine performed by amazing artists in beautiful and historic spaces. Professor Fusco invested a great deal of time and attention to me personally and on a daily basis. He honored my voice as a composer, yet still encouraged me and pushed me to accomplish more than I thought possible by showing me new musical possibilities. He always gives 110% in everything that he does AND he does it all with humor, passion, and humility. I grew in leaps and bounds as a composer in the 2 weeks that I was with him in Italy and that’s because of his belief in me, his time and attention, and his mastery of his craft. Thank you, Raphael! The world is a better place because you’re in it. -Sherry Blevins

I recommend this program to all who wish to grow as composers and musicians. The program was balanced with individual and group sessions. In individual sessions, Maestro Fusco encouraged me to understand my music through different angles in support of my vision. In the group sessions, we investigated what made the music of other composers successful. The program culminated with a concert where I premiered my own compositions alongside the compositions of my colleagues and Maestro Fusco himself! – Gyan Singh

The team was wonderful and helped us immensely with their knowledge and devotion, helping us grow through both the musical guidance and the work we did in concerts. One of the best experiences was performing with the many wonderful young artists from around the world, spending time with them and creating new bonds that won’t be forgotten. – Lovro Kotnik, Kunst Uni Graz


Raphael Fusco, Associate Music Director 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).” He is a NATS competition winner, and his works are published by Universal Editions.

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. He 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 premiere of his operas inSOMNIA at the Opernfestival Oberpfalz in Amberg, Germany (“a multifaceted, atmospheric sound-painting” Mittelbayerische Zeitung) as well as Der Telefonist at the Forum Neue Kunst in Oldenburg in October of the same year. In 2022 he conducted the world premieres of his An American Requiem in the Herz Jesu Kirche of Graz and his cantata for 29 soloists La canora contesa in Lucca and Sant’Agata Feltria, Italy. Mr. 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 regularly gives masterclasses and lectures and teaches on the faculties of Opera Lucca Festival and Classic Lyric Arts Festival in Italy. 

Professor Fusco’s Premieres