https://i0.wp.com/www.petervolpe.com/photo/faustlute.jpg?resize=171%2C239Peter Volpe, 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.
Marcello Cormio, Artistic Director
Marcello Cormio is an Italian conductor and vocal coach. South Florida Classical praised Maestro Cormio as “an assured hand in the pit, conducting the score with vitality while leaving the singers room to breathe in their solos” for Così fan tutte at Sarasota Opera’s 2016 season.  Mr. Cormio’s debut at the 2014 Sarasota Opera Festival in Il barbiere di Siviglia was praised for a “lovely, light touch with the music.” Among his recent operatic engagements, Maestro Cormio has returned to Sarasota Opera to conduct a double bill of Donizetti and Wolf-Ferrari in the 2019 season, and a new production of Pergolesi’s La serva padrona in the 2021 season. He will lead a production of Bizet’s Pearl Fishers in the Sarasota Opera 2022 season. He has led productions of Elisir d’amore, Così fan tutte and Robert Nelson’s A Room with a View at Michigan State University, Street Scene at West Virginia University, and Le nozze di Figaro at the 2015 Sarasota Opera Festival.
Among his symphonic engagements, he has served as cover conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Cormio was music director and conductor of opera scenes productions at the Manhattan School of Music in New York, and at the Indiana University School of Music.  In 2013 he was cover and assistant conductor for a new production of Turandot at the Opéra National de Lorraine in Nancy, France. Mr. Cormio has led productions of Die Zauberflöte at the Bay View Music Festival, and of Gounod’s Romèo et Juliette and The Phantom of the Opera with the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre.  He has appeared with orchestras around the United States and Europe, including the San Antonio Symphony, the Orchestra della Società dei Concerti di Bari, the Bacau Symphony, and the Orchestra Sinfonica del Conservatorio di Bari. Mr. Cormio has been active as an opera coach and educator throughout his career. He is regularly invited as coach and conductor for opera workshops at prestigious academic institutions, and in summer music festivals, such as Opera do Recife (Brazil) and Prague Summer Nights (Czech Republic). In the year 2014-15 he was on faculty at the West Virginia University as Head of the Opera Program. He has recently been appointed music director of the University of Kentucky Philharmonia Orchestra and of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras. Mr. Cormio holds graduate degrees in piano, composition, conducting, and musicology from Italian conservatories and universities, as well as a Master of Music degree from Indiana University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kentucky.


Marco Nisticò, Stage Director and Acting Coach
Italian-born baritone Marco Nisticò is a musician of many talents. He has received critical acclaim as a baritone on leading stages and as a stage director. He has also served as executive director of Opera on the James and currently works as Artistic Administrator for Sarasota Opera. His performances display an impressive combination of beautiful tone, exquisite artistry, and superior stagecraft, which has delighted audiences throughout North America, South America, and Europe. Praised by the Classical Review as a performer of “gravitas, unforced eloquence, and refined vocalism,” Nisticò has become a widely sought singing actor for both comedic and dramatic roles. In the 2019-20 season he performed the title role in Verdi’s Rigoletto with Sarasota Opera, where he also directed L’elisir d’amore. His 2017-2018 season included a portrayal of Germont in La Traviata with both Sarasota Opera and the Savannah VOICE Festival, Ping in Turandot with San Diego Opera, and Ford in Falstaff with Opera Colorado. Projects for the 2018-2019 season included directing Tosca for Opera Southwest and returning to Opera Sarasota as Gaspar in Donizetti’s Rita and Count Gil in Wolf-Ferrari’s Il segreto di Susanna, Bartolo in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Louis VI, and Pasha with Chautauqua Opera. Recent performance highlights also include his return to the Metropolitan Opera for the premiere of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys; El Tiempo in Los Elementos with New York City Opera; Malatesta in Don Pasquale with Florida Grand Opera; Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore and Dancaïro in Carmen with Teatro dell’Opera in Rome; Dr. Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Tonio in Pagliacci with Opera Memphis, Amonasro in Aïda with Opera Colorado, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Don Pasquale, and Manfredo in L’amore di tre re with Sarasota Opera, Montfort in Verdi’s Les vêpres siciliennes in a return to the Caramoor Festival, his return to Sarasota Opera to sing the title role in Rigoletto and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly and to Opera New Jersey to sing Di Luna in Il trovatore; revisiting the Metropolitan Opera for Carmen and La traviata; Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore in New York City Opera, Germont in La traviata with Opera de Puerto Rico, and Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera New Jersey. Recent European engagements include Dulcamara with Landestheater Bregenz and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with Teatro Regio Torino.

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.

Elvia Puccinelli

Elvia Puccinelli, Collaborative Piano and Vocal Coach
Pianist Elvia L. Puccinelli is Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Collaborative Piano at the University of North Texas College of Music, where she has served on the faculty since 2004 as both vocal coach and professor of collaborative piano. A dedicated educator in the field of collaborative arts and a specialist in vocal literature, she has held previous appointments with Baylor University and the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California. She has been a clinician or guest teacher at universities throughout the country, including holding residencies at the University of Southern California. With collaborative piano luminaries Margo Garrett and Donna Loewy, she has by invitation presented multiple sessions on the pedagogy of collaborative piano at National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and National Opera Association national conventions. Many of her former students have won positions with prestigious training programs, are now employed at houses such as San Francisco Opera, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera and Opera Utah, or are on staff or faculty at universities throughout the country. A published author on topics of song literature and collaborative piano techniques, she is currently working with composer Jake Heggie on creating a comprehensive performer’s resource to his songs. Dr. Puccinelli has a special interest in language and in the intersection of language and music; she also holds an undergraduate degree in French, and has served as language consultant for Martha Gerhart’s series Italian Song Texts from the 17th through the 20th Centuries for Leyerle Press. Dr. Puccinelli has appeared in song and chamber music recitals at venues from Los Angeles to New York City, and throughout Europe. A frequent presenter at a number of national and international conferences and congresses, her broad professional experience embraces such diverse performance events as the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Chamber Concert Series, Placido Domingo’s Operalia Competition, the International Trumpet Guild Conference, the National Opera Association Competition and NATS national conventions. She has appeared in recital with members of the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. She was twice invited to serve as rehearsal pianist for Seiji Ozawa at the Tanglewood Music Festival. Also an experienced organist and harpsichordist, Dr. Puccinelli enjoys a wide variety of repertoire in her collaborations, from Baroque to twenty-first century literature. Dr. Puccinelli began her immersion in the wonderful world of music playing for voice lessons given by her father, Primo, and assisting her mother, Marlene, in playing church services and teaching lessons. The work they began in her continued at the University of Southern California, where she completed MM and DMA in collaborative piano with Alan L. Smith, and with additional studies at the Music Academy of the West, with Gwendolyn Koldofsky.

Antonella Gozzoli, Voice

ANTONELLA GOZZOLI is an Italian soprano and voice teacher who has performed extensively across Italy.  She was born in Milan and attended the Conservatory of Music of Florence for post graduate studies where she received a degree in vocal music and a degree in vocal chamber music. Following the Conservatory studies she studied with Shirley Verrett and Victoria de Los Angeles at the Accademia Chigiana.

She made her opera debut in Florence as “Didone” in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and as “Text” in Monteverdi’s Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda. Other opera roles soon followed including a string of Verdi and Puccini masterpieces – Il Trovatore, La Traviata, Un ballo in Maschera, Tosca, La fanciulla del West, Manon Lescaut – and the role of Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

She has toured extensively, with several international companies and ensembles, as an oratorio soloist in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Scarlatti’s Stabat Mater, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Dixit Dominus, Bach’s Magnificat, Mozart’s Requiem, Coronation Mass and Vesperes Solemmnes de Confessore, Haendel’s Messiah.

Language Faculty

Daniela BonaccorsiDaniela Bonaccorsi

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.