Composition Program

June 1-11, 2023, California State University, Sacramento

Operation Opera is an innovative 10-day summer music festival and educational academy for composers, singers, and collaborative pianists, to prepare and present professional-level performances of contemporary chamber operas and art songs.

Applications are open to anyone who is above 18 years old. There is no restriction on nationality. Those who identify within the ALAANA community (African/Black, Latinx, Asian/South Asian, Arab/Middle Eastern, and Native American), women, and gender-nonconforming composers are especially encouraged to apply.

​Four operas composed for chamber ensembles will be selected through an international call for scores.

Art song composers chosen to participate will work with vocalists and Four Corners Ensemble musicians to create new art songs for premiere at the festival.

Together with vocalist, pianists, and Four Corners Ensemble musicians, invited composers will participate in a variety of career-enhancing, professional activities at Sacramento State University (Sacramento, CA) including masterclasses, presentations and individual coachings with festival faculty, stage and concert rehearsals–all culminating in final performances open to the public.

Professional recordings of the performances will be made available to all participants.


Category A- Opera

Submissions are due by Jan 15, 2023.

Results will be announced by Feb. 15, 2023.

Please include a PDF score of the opera, audio file (optional), resume and headshot.

We accept completed chamber operas (a 15-20 minute excerpt or an entire opera if under 20 minutes).​


  • Flute (doubling Piccolo)
  • Clarinet (doubling E-flat Clarinet and Bass Clarinet)
  • Violin or Viola
  • Cello
  • Piano

*Percussion may be available and will be determined on a case-by-case basis

Category B- Art Songs/Song Cycle

Submissions are due by Jan 15, 2023.

Results will be announced by Feb 15, 2023.

​Composers are invited to compose a song or short cycle of songs for singer and piano. Once selected, composers will work with the paired singer / pianist before the festival and over the course of the festival on developing the work for performance.

We accept proposals for art songs and song cycles up to 7 minutes in length, 2 representative scores (including graphic, aleatoric, and/or written performance instructions) and audio recordings, which are to be no longer than 20 minutes in combined duration. One of the scores needs to be for voice.

*Please verify that you have copyright permission for the text you and your vocalist choose. 


  • Assigned Vocal Range
  • Piano
  • 1-2 instruments chosen from flute, clarinet, violin or viola, and cello (optional)

Both Categories A & B – Opera and Art Songs/Song Cycle

​Submissions are due by Jan 15, 2023.

Results will be announced by Feb 15, 2023.

Submit requirements for both categories as listed above.

Tuition & Housing

Travel and Accommodation

In-person attendance at the Operation Opera Festival in Sacramento, CA, is required to participate.

On-campus housing and meal plans are available from June 1-June 11 (10 nights, check-in on June 1st, check-out on June 11th). Rates for the entire festival start at $230: visit our housing page for more information.

You may also arrange your own housing in Sacramento.

Participants are expected to cover their own travel, accommodations, and meals.

*Limited scholarship funds may be available. Last season, we awarded 5 out of 12 composer participants scholarships from 20% to full-ride.

Tuition & Fees

Application fee: $30 (due Jan. 15 w/ application)

*We would be happy to discuss waiving application fees for applicants who demonstrate financial need. Any requests can be forwarded to [email protected].

Tuition – Category A (Opera): $975 ($275 deposit due March 15, remainder due April 15)

Tuition – Category B (Art Songs & Song Cycles): $775 ($275 deposit due March 15, remainder due April 15)

Tuition – Categories A & B: $1275 ($275 deposit due March 15, remainder due April 15)

Four Corners Ensemble payment:

Venmo: @fourcornersensemble

QuickPay with Zelle: [email protected]

Paypal: @FourCornersEnsemble