Composition Program

June 7-15, 2024

California State University, Sacramento

Operation Opera is an innovative 9-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. Applicants must be 18 years old or older.

  • ​Six 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 instrumentalists to create new art songs for premiere at the festival.
  • The Boston-based quartet Hub New Music (, which has been called “contemporary chamber trailblazers” by the Boston Globe. Hub has commissioned works by dozens of celebrated, trailblazing composers and performed in some of the world’s most prestigious venues.
  • Together with vocalists, pianists, and the Hub New Music Quartet, invited composers will participate in a variety of career-enhancing, professional activities at Sacramento State University (Sacramento, CA) including composer seminars 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, 2024.

Results will be announced by Feb. 15, 2024.

​Six composers selected for this program will present a recently composed 15- to 20-minute chamber opera or a 15- to 20-minute excerpt from a longer, recently composed opera.

​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 instruments include triangle, bass drum, suspended cymbal, slapstick, toms, bongos, tambourine, wood blocks, crotales, and vibraphone.

​Works may be scored for a subset of this instrumentation if desired.

Category B- Art Songs/Song Cycle

Submissions are due by Jan 15, 2024.

Results will be announced by Feb 15, 2024.

​Twelve composers selected for this program will compose and present a new art song for voice and piano no more than five (5) minutes in duration. Up to six composers will be offered the option to score their song for flute or clarinet in addition to (i.e., not in place of) voice and piano.

All composers will give a short talk on the piece they have composed for the festival. They will have the option participate in a master class on the work they have composed for the festival, and/or they make take a lesson on anything they want.

*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)

Tuition & Housing

Travel and Accommodations

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 7-June 15 (10 nights, check-in on June 6th, check-out on June 16th). Rates for the entire festival start at $280: visit our housing page for more information.

You may also arrange your own housing in Sacramento. More resources will be provided upon acceptance.

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

Limited scholarship funds may be available.

Tuition & Fees

Application fee (due January 15, 2024): $30, non-refundable

  • Should any composers have financial difficulties preventing them from paying the fee, they are welcome to write to [email protected] to request an application fee waiver.

Late application fee: $50, non-refundable

Tuition, Chamber Opera Program: $1175 ($275 deposit due March 15, 2024; Remainder due April 15, 2024)

Tuition, Art Song Program: $775 ($275 deposit due March 15, 2024; Remainder due April 15, 2024)

Four Corners Ensemble payment:

Venmo: @fourcornersensemble

QuickPay with Zelle: [email protected]

Paypal: @FourCornersEnsemble