Peter Volpe, Artistic Director and Voice Teacher
Peter Volpe is associate professor of music in voice at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Praised for his “stentorian and robust bass” by The New York Times, American bass Volpe continually receives critical and popular acclaim across four continents for his powerful command and rich texture of his timbre. He has performed at leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and San Francisco Opera, among many others.
Possessing a vast repertoire of over 90 roles in six languages in a career spanning more than 35 years, his captivating style and interpretive skills embrace the depth of every historical and fictional character he embodies. Of his portrayal of Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin, Opera News applauded his ability “to create in his single aria and scene an impressive dignity. His full-bodied bass and great candor of tone, together with his intelligent interpretation, won him a well-deserved ovation.”
Volpe has performed with some of the most celebrated conductors of his time, including James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, Valery Gergiev, Sir John Pritchard, Maurizio Arena, Marco Armilliato, Marcello Viotti, Jacques Lacombe, Jonathan Darlington, Semyon Bychkov, Joseph Rescigno, Vincent La Selva, Richard Buckley, Leon Botstein, and Richard Hickox, among others.
Notable roles for Volpe include the title role in Don Giovanni, King Philip II in Don Carlo, Méphistophélès in Faust, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Daland in Der fliegende Holländer, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, Ramfis in Aïda, Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, Timur in Turandot, Ferrando in Il trovatore, and Basilio in The Barber of Seville.
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).”
Fusco’s 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.
Cristiano Manzoni, Associate Music Director
Italian pianist and conductor, Cristiano Manzoni, is internationally known as a specialist in the field of opera, coaching, and vocal accompaniment. He is a faculty member in the opera department at the Accademia Europea di Firenze, in Florence, Italy, and he is professor at FUA American University in Florence, where he teaches the courses Great Italian Opera, Vocal Techniques, and Operatic Repertory. Maestro Mazoni is music director and collaborator for many singers, opera companies, and educational programs, including the Teatro Comunale e Teatro Verdi di Firenze, Accademia Musicale Chigiana di Siena, Teatro Verdi di Pisa, Giglio di Lucca, Goldoni di Livorno, e Camerata di Prato. For more than ten years he was music director and principal coach for the St. Mark’s Opera Company in Florence, which has staged productions of Barber of Seville, Cenerentola, Marriage of Figaro, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, Il Trovatore, Un ballo in Maschera, La Bohème, La Traviata, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Manon Lescaut, Gianni Schicchi, L’elisir d’amore, Don Pasquale, Lucia di Lammermoor, among others.
He has collaborated in concerts with Andrea Boccelli, Giorgio Casciarri, Eduardo Aladrén, Susanna Rigacci, Katia Ricciarelli, Svetlana Doneva, Barbara di Castri, Laura Brioli, and Leonardo de Lisi, among many others. Maestro Manzoni has also accompanied masterclasses held by Raina Kabaiwanska and Bernadette Manca di Nissa at the Academy Chigiana in Siena, as well as masterclasses with Gayletha Nichols (Met Opera), Giancarlo Montanaro, Giuseppe Baratti, and Liliana Poli.
Maestro Manzoni has performed and taught internationally in Mexico, the United States, and across Europe. In 2002 and 2003 he held a series of critically acclaimed concerts at the Theatre of the Republic of Santiago de Queretaro (Mexico) as well as offering masterclasses for opera singers at the University of Music of Queretaro. In 2004 he was vocal coach at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Formazione and collaborated on the staging of Rossini’s Viaggio a Reims by Rossini, which was performed in the Boboli Gardens in Florence under the artistic direction of Zubin Mehta. In 2008 he spent six months in the USA where he worked as vocal coach at Indiana University, collaborating with the classes of Carol Vaness, Patricia Wise, and Carlos Montané. In the USA, he concertized in New York (Julliard School), Chicago, Minneapolis, and Miami. In 2009, he was invited to prepare a production of Così fan tutte at the Frost School of Music in Miami. He has also taught courses at: the Dan Ferro Vocal Program, Academy of Music – Minsky Belorussia, Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory, Conservatory of Alexandria, and Elon University.
Maestron Manzoni obtained his degree in piano with Maestro G. Fricelli and vocal chamber music at the “Cherubini” Conservatory of Music in Florence with Maestro L. De Lisi with highest grades and honors.
Donna Loewy, Collaborative Piano Teacher
Donna Hallen Loewy is Professor of Collaborative Piano and Accompanist-in-Residence at the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in Cincinnati, OH. A “superlative accompanist” (Virginia Gazette), Ms. Loewy has been the official pianist for the Metropolitan Opera Auditions for more than 20 years, in southern Ohio, as well as the International Clarinet Conference, Congress of Strings, International Double Reed Society, Yamaha Young Performing Artist Winners’ Recitals, Tubamania (Sydney, Australia), and the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference.
She has worked as an opera and vocal coach with the Israel Vocal Arts Institute (Tel Aviv, Israel), Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca (Lucca, Italy), International Institute of Vocal Arts (Brescia, Italy), Lingua e Canto (Sant’Angelo in Vado, Italy), Si Parla, Si Canta (Urbania and Arona, Italy), Cincinnati Opera, and has been on the faculty of Song Fest, Barcelona Festival of Song (Barcelona, Spain), and New Music on the Point (Vermont)
Ms. Loewy has prepared and accompanied many top prize winners of the National Federation of Music Clubs national competition,(NFMC) and NATSAA Artist awards, and has been presented by the Marilyn Horne Foundation with tenor Daniel Weeks, as well as baritone Andrew Garland, in recitals and residencies throughout the United States. She has recorded two CDs with Andrew Garland: On The Other Shore, featuring the complete folk song settings of Steven Mark Kohn, on Azica Records, and American Portraits, featuring premiere recordings of songs by Tom Cipullo and Stephen Paulus, as well as songs by Jake Heggie and Lori Laitman.
Ms Loewy is the voice consultant and co-author of the Inner Game of Music Vocal Workbook, written with Barry Green, author of The Inner Game of Music.
Alessandra Volpi, Vocal Coach
Italian Pianist Alessandra Volpi is a faculty member in vocal coaching at Belmont University as well as pianist for Nashville Ballet and frequent collaborator with the Nashville and Lexington symphony orchestras. She has concertized across the United States and Italy, including a recent concerto performance playing the Clara Schumann piano concerto with Nashville Concerto Orchestra. She has appeared often on the 91 Classical Radio station in Nashville alongside Nashville Symphony musicians and chamber music ensembles. An avid chamber musician, Professor Volpi performs with Grammy nominated chamber ensemble Alias as well as Nashville alt-classical ensemble Chatterbird and the contemporary ensemble Intersections.
Professor Volpi’s accolades include several first prizes at National and International Competitions, such as First Prize at the Pietro Napoli National Piano Competition; First Prize at the Mascia Masin International Piano Competition; First Prize at the National Competition for Young Pianists in Lucca, Italy; Second Prize at the J.S. Bach International Piano Competition; First Prize at the Citta’ di Camaiore National Piano Competition; First Prize at the F.I.D.A.P.A. National Piano Competition; First Prize at MTNA Regional Competition for Piano Solo and Chamber Ensemble; and First Prize at Grand Junction Symphony Young Artist Competition.
Mike Scarola, Stage Director and Acting Coach
A native of New York City, Michael Scarola joins Opera Lucca for the first time this summer. He has been on the directing staffs of the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Los Angeles Opera and New York City Opera. He has had the privilege of working with such prestigious artists as Renée Fleming, Kelli O’Hara, Cecilia Bartoli, Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Bryn Terfel, James Morris and many others.
Career highlights include directing Bernstein’s Mass for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the JFK Assassination. Recent productions include Puccini’s La Rondine at Dallas Opera, Rigoletto, Lucia di Lammermoor and Der Fliegende Holländer forMadison Opera, Don Giovanni and Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Arizona Opera, The Mikado at Michigan Opera Theatre, La Bohéme at Opera Pacific, Macbeth at Dayton Opera, and A Richard Rodgers Celebration and An Evening of Cole Porter for the Boston Pops.
In May of 2006 Mr. Scarola had the honor of working with Emmy Award-winning Partisan Pictures in its filming of a feature documentary on the incredible story of Raphael Schächter and his performances of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem in the concentration camp of Terezín, near Prague in the Czech Republic. Besides his role as Music Consultant to the project, he was instrumental in the success of capturing this tribute performance of author and conductor Murry Sidlin’s Defiant Requiem – a feature of the 2006 Prague Spring International Music Festival – as the on-set camera director overseeing the movements of five cameras. The Emmy Nominated film was recently shown as part of the prestigious DocuWeeks Film Festival in New York City and Los Angeles. It has aired on PBS and was also recently released on DVD. It is now also being streamed on Amazon Prime.
Mr. Scarola has worked extensively with numerous Young Artist and university programs around the country including the Tanglewood Festival Fellows, Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Opera Institute of Boston University, Florida Grand Opera Young Artists Program, Cincinnati Opera Young Artists Program, DePauw University Opera, International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel, La Musica Lyrica, as well as many others. He was visiting Guest Director of Opera for six years at the University of Utah.
He has directed for numerous companies throughout the United States including Dallas Opera, Opera Pacific, Arizona Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and Utah Opera.
Mr. Scarola is currently Adjunct Faculty at New York University/Steinhardt School of Music where he both teaches and directs.
Daniela Bonaccorsi is the Director at Lucca Italian School. She studied Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of Pisa. She always finds the right place for any student. She enjoys traveling, walking, and loves cinema and theater. The Lucca Italian School is the leading Italian language institution in Lucca with expert faculty. It occupies a historic villa near the cities walls and offers classes from elementary to advanced levels. See other language faculty here.
James Massol, Executive Director
Dr. James Massol is the founder and executive director of Opera Lucca. He manages all adminstrative aspects of the program in collaboration with the faculty. During the academic year, he teaches in the music history department at Manhattan School of Music, offering courses in chamber music, orchestral music, Puccini, and works for voices and orchestra. In addition to MSM College, he also teaches music history and theory at Mahanaim College. He holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Colorado, and he was a Fulbright recipient to Germany. He formerly played bassoon with the Savannah Philharmonic and taught at the University of North Florida. His scholarly interests focus on semiotics, instrumental music, and Puccini. He recently gave a conference presentation titled “Stylistic Modulation in Il tabarro” at the Trittico centennial conference in Italy.