For the 2024 season, we are staging Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica to commemorate the centennial of his death. Vocalists who would like to audition for a lead role should sing a selection from the opera. Singers will also be assigned opera scenes and arias, based on audition, for performances in local venues. Main opera scenes will come from Le nozze di FigaroCosì fan tutte, La bohème, La Traviata, and other bel canto, baroque, and dramatic repertoire. Other scenes will be chosen from standard bel canto, Romantic, and Baroque Italian repertoire, including Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, Pergolesi, Handel, etc.


Collaborative pianists will take Italian language classes in the morning, play for lessons and rehearsals, and participate in coaching the vocalists. Pianists stay very busy learning repertoire, rehearsing, taking lessons, and performing. There is one fellowship available for an outstanding collaborative pianist.


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 and work-shopping. Composers will study Italian, based on their level; take compositions lessons with Professors Fusco and Marchettini; attend rehearsals, vocal coachings, and masterclasses to learn about the voice; and hear their vocal music performed.

Italian Language Classes

All vocalists and pianists have four hours of Italian each morning at the Lucca Italian School near the city walls. Our faculty believe an immersive language environment is a crucial element of opera training. Moving beyond diction into meaning and expressive delivery is essential for successful bel canto performance. The language school occupies a renovated villa with a private garden, veranda, and outdoor terrace. Students will be placed in an appropriate level for their ability. In addition to conversational Italian, the whole festival will focus on poetic Italian. The material covers at least one semester of university Italian and may help students test out of required language classes at their universities. Students will receive a certificate for their language classes but we cannot guarantee university credit.

Typical Weekday Schedule for Singers and Pianists

9am to 12:30 pm: Italian classes at the Lucca Italian School

12:30pm to 2:00pm: Lunch

2:00pm to 7:30pm: Lessons, Coachings, Practice, Rehearsals

Weekly and daily schedules will be emailed during the program. Most Saturdays and Sundays are free to travel around central Italy or relax in town. Lucca is close to many important cultural and tourist destinations: 1.5 hours from Florence, 30 minutes from Pisa, 3 hours from Rome, 2 hours from Cinque Terre, and 30 minutes from the beach at Viareggio.


Shared Apartment Rooms (or other group housing): $3900

Single Apartment Rooms (or other group housing): $4200

Host Family Shared Room, Use of Kitchen: $4000

Host Family Shared Room, Breakfast (may not include use of kitchen): $4200

Host Family Single Room, Use of Kitchen: $4400

Host Family Single Room, Breakfast (may not include use of kitchen): $4600

Host Family Shared Room, Breakfast and Dinner: $4600

Host Family Single Room, Breakfast and Dinner: $4900

(Host family housing based on availability.)

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

Important: A $950 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.

Scholarships, Fellowships, Internships, and Affording Tuition

Piano Fellowship: One fellowship is available for an outstanding pianist to play the main opera and assist with opera scenes.

Administrative Assistant: One $2000 scholarship is available for an administrative assistant who will assist with scheduling and other jobs during the program. Prior administrative experience required. Conversational Italian is strongly preferred for this role. There is no Italian class offered with this assistantship. Please contact [email protected] for more details and to apply.

Stage/Prop Manager Internship: A $1000 scholarship is available to assist with stage managing and props. Prior experience strongly preferred. Please contact [email protected] for more information. Does not include Italian.

Scholarships are offered based on a case by case basis, considering merit, student need, and the budget of the program.

Opera Lucca is a not-for-profit organization. The tuition of this program reflects actual costs at discounted rates provided by all institutions, teachers, and administration.

Affording Tuition: The cost of attendance reflects housing, language school tuition, and music activities. We work to keep tuition as low as possible in order for the program to be accessible. Tuition is competitive with other similar programs. Many students raise money through online campaigns, like GoFundMe or facebook, and with university grant applications. We also strongly recommend organizing benefit recitals to raise money in your community. The sooner you begin fundraising, the easier it is to cover costs. Some scholarships are available as well.


Staying with a host family in Lucca is the best way to improve conversational Italian and use the skills from language classes. There are limited spaces available with host families, provided by the Lucca Italian School. These are assigned by request based on the date of registration and deposit. Host families are located both inside the walls and outside. There are options for breakfast/dinner and use of kitchen. Alternatively, shared apartments are available with kitchens. Most apartments are located within the city walls. There are shared and single room options for both host families and apartments.