Accademia Europea Dell'Opera

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Former AEDO participants pictured above (left to right): Amanda Weatherall; Susana Arcila Tascon; Nicole Stocks; artistic and musical director Simone Luti leading the orchestra and choir. Photo: Federico Marconi

Many thanks to everyone involved for a wonderful 2019 season! For more updates and photos, find us on Facebook.

About AEDO

Due to COVID-19, AEDO will not go ahead in 2021, but we look forward to resuming when it's safe to do so.

The Accademia Europea Dell’Opera, is a uniquely focused European opera experience, created in collaboration between Western University Canada, Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, centered on the preparation, creation, and performance of full operatic roles. The international program brings together selected singers from around the globe to work with pianists, conductors, and directors from some of the world’s most celebrated opera institutions, during an intense period of musical and dramaturgic study and rehearsal, followed by a series of public European performances.

Participants work at an extremely high level to understand firsthand the musical, intellectual, and physical tools required to build an opera character from concept to performance, and are prepared for similar professional experiences in European and North American opera houses. The program also includes masterclasses and coachings with special guests from Europe’s leading opera programs (past guests have included the head coach from Teatro alla Scala, and the heads of the National Opera Studio London, Opera Studio Nederland, and the studio of Opera du Rhin), and private voice lessons, all in context of a compelling European life setting.

Vocalists of the Accademia Europea Dell’Opera are given the opportunity to learn and perform full operas with orchestras in a program that models the rhythm and energy of the professional operatic experience. Through this elite academy singers are exposed to the European opera performance tradition.

AEDO takes place in the spectacular Tuscan city of Lucca, birthplace of Puccini, and home of the Puccini Festival at Torre del Lago. This picturesque setting provides the quintessential Italian experience and backdrop to AEDO’s program of opera production and musical and dramatic study. Performances take place throughout the Tuscan countryside and artists live in Lucca’s stunning historic centre, less than an hour’s journey to Pisa, Florence, and the Mediterranean Sea.

Accademia Europea Dell’Opera is your ultimate European opera experience.

  • Prepare, create and perform in full operas.
  • Singers from around the world
  • Conductors and directors from the world’s most celebrated opera institutions
  • Musical and dramaturgic study and rehearsal
  • Series of public performances
  • Understand first-hand the musical, intellectual and physical tools needed to build an opera character
  • Masterclasses
  • Coachings with special guests
  • Private voice lessons

Faculty & Guest Presenters

Programs, Fee and Audition Requirements

Applications will be accepted by mail at:

       Canadian Operatic Arts Academy
       c/o Don Wright Faculty of Music
       Talbot College, Room 220,
       Western University
       1151 Richmond Street,
       London, ON, N6A 3K7

or by e-mail at:

Please note that all payments must be postmarked by the deadline and we only accept cheque, money order, bank draft or wire transfer. No e-transfer, cash or US Post cheques. Applications will not be processed until payment is received. All fees, including application fees and tuition fees, are non-refundable.

Singer Program

Learn and perform full operas in a program that matches the rhythm and energy of a professional experience.

Academy offers

  • Italian Classes
  • Coaching and direction to understand character through music, text, physicality and drama
  • Masterclasses
  • Dramatic workshops
  • Professional development

Singer Program Costs

  • Tuition for AEDO: 3000 euros, housing included

Application Requirements

  • Application Form
  • Headshot (8”x10”)
  • CV

Audition Requirements

  • Three arias which best demonstrate your abilities
  • Please provide a printed copy of your repertoire at your audition
  • Note: You will need to provide your own pianist

Pianist Program

Further your vocal accompanying experience to prepare for professional opportunities in the world of opera.

Gain experience

  • As repetiteurs
  • Playing for masterclasses
  • Musical rehearsals
  • Staging rehearsals
  • Private coaching with singers
  • Operatic keyboard technique

Work with

  • Distinguished faculty coaches and conductors
  • Italian lessons

Pianist Program Costs

  • Tuition for AEDO: 800 euros for housing. Full fellowship covers program costs.

Application  Requirements

  • Application Form
  • Headshot (8”x10”)
  • CV
  • Vocal Repertoire List

Audition Requirements

  • Opera excerpt to be sung and played:
    • One selection of your choice, sung and played from Handel’s Ariodante
    • One selection of your choice, sung and played from Puccini’s La Bohéme
    • One sight reading excerpt from an opera

Assistant Director and Assistant Conductor Fellowships

  • Work closely with resident Artistic and Musical Directors
  • Direct selected scenes
  • Assist with all scenes
  • Take a primary director role for a faculty staged opera

Assistant Fellows

  • Receive one-on-one mentorship to develop and realize their dramaturgical concepts
  • Are guided by an international team of directors, conductors, and stage managers
  • Build understanding for intercultural engagements through a culturally bound setting
  • Receive Italian lessons


  • Tuition for AEDO: 800 euros for housing. Full fellowship covers program costs.

Application Requirements

  • Application Form
  • Headshot (8”x10”)
  • CV
  • List of Repertoire (only for assistant conductors)
  • Statement of purpose explaining why you would like to be part of our program(s).

Instrumentalist Program

The Accademia Europea dell'Opera welcomes applications from all orchestral instruments (both Baroque and non-Baroque) to join a highly successful program in Lucca, Tuscany. The program includes:

  • Private Lessons (2 per week)
  • Chamber Music Sessions (2 per week)
  • Orchestral Participation, Rehearsals & Performances
  • Chamber Music Concert
  • Supervised Practice time with Pianist
  • Thematic Lessons based on Studied Repertoire
  • Mock Auditions
  • Italian Class (3 per week)
  • Accommodations in Downtown Lucca


  • Tuition for AEDO: 1700 euros, including housing

Application Requirements

  • Application Form
  • Headshot (8”x10”)
  • CV

Audition Requirements

  • Two contrasting pieces, no longer than five minutes each
  • One orchestral excerpt of your choice
  • Note: You will need to provide your own pianist

In the Media

AEDO and Amabile in Lucca, ItalyMusical meet up in Lucca, Italy for Western's AEDO and London's Amabile Choir

Western's Accademia Europea Dell'Opera (AEDO) opera intensive program and members of the Amabile Young Women’s Touring Choir met up in Lucca, Italy on July 12 thanks to current Western Music student and AEDO participant Robert Hutson, tenor.


Sophie RolandRoland: Bringing teaching into the world

Each summer for the last decade, Roland has led the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy at Western involving singers, musicians, conductors, directors and tradespeople who go into making an opera happen. As part of the academy, students spend five weeks in Italy, specifically Tuscany, where they mount an opera through Accademia Europea dell’Opera.




Photos: 2013 © Guido Mencari - 

Contact Information

Brianna DeSantis & James Smith
Associate Artistic & General Administrators
519-661-2111 x80047