IBOC Institute: Opera Composition – Fall 2021

IBOC Institute: Opera Composition – Fall 2021


The International Brazilian Opera Institute is offering a contemporary opera composition course (ages 18+ recommended). IBOC faculty will collaborate with students to notate and produce recordings of their music. 

Students will develop skills in melodic writing, harmonic development, rhythmic frame, and form, as well as notation skills. Students will finish an aria or song for voice and piano during the course. The classes will take place online starting September 28, 2021.

The class will address:

  • How to write a melody.
  • The starting point: vocal lines, harmony, rhythm, song-forms.
  • Text and melody. Vocal sounds, expression, and meaning.
  • Voice types: range and texture. 
  • Accompaniment writing: accompaniment and structure.
  • Prepare for remote recording: score presentation and tempo map. 
  • Feedback and results.

IBOC will select six student composers, two of whom will receive scholarships. All instructors are awarded, professional musicians. 

Multidisciplinary composer Joao MacDowell will be leading the course – Latin Grammy nominee, award-winning composer, and artistic director of IBOC. 

Tomomi Sato will be performing piano  – Master of Music in Collaborative piano, the Juilliard School of Music. DMA Candidate, USC Thornton School of Music. Prizewinner of Seattle International Piano Competition. Winner, MTNA Senior Yamaha Piano California State Competition. Vocal Piano Fellow, Tanglewood Music Center.

Singers will be assigned per project, from IBOC’s roster of professional opera soloists. 

The IBOC Composers Institute will record each student’s work for the final assignment. The composers will then be able to use these recordings for non-monetary purposes, such as college applications, competitions, and calls for scores.

Prerequisite: Access to a computer with internet and music notation software. We recommend Sibelius,  Finale, or MuseScore.  

Recommended: Basic knowledge of music production software, such as Logic, Garage Band, ProTools, Cubase, etc. The ability to produce an electronic demo of a song.


IBOC musicians will record each student’s piece for voice and piano. 

Fee:  U$950.00

Application Deadline [Extended!]: Sunday, September 19, 2021. 

Admission results will be available by September 21, 2021.


Two need-based scholarships are available. Please email us at contact@brazilianopera.com



2021 Fall Schedule


All sessions online: Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 pm EST. 


Session 1 (Tuesday, September 28) – Welcome to IBOC:  Composition workshop I – Song form in vocal writing: Melody – Rhythm – Prosody – Sound – Example – Discuss your text preferences. (Composers may write their own text, use public domain poetry, resource to a collaborator, or explore abstract vocal sounds, beyond language.) 

Session 2 (Tuesday, October 5) – Composition workshop II – Short and Long Forms. Revision exercise 1 – Why do we need an aria?  Aria, arioso, recitative (secco, accompagnato).  Difference between an art song and an aria.  Confirm your preferences of text.  

Session 3 – (Tuesday, October 12) Writing for different voices – Roberta Prada: The Voice and singing – Contemporary and traditional operatic singing.  

INSPIRATION WEEK (No Class) – Edit the text or find new material. Draft outline of dramatic and harmonic structure, list thematic material. 

Session 4 – (Tuesday, October 26)  –  Accompaniment in the piano-vocal score.  How to write for the stage?  Submit outline and thematic material. 

Session 5 – (Tuesday, November 2nd) – First draft of composition due. Class Discussion.

Session 6 – (Tuesday, November 9th) – Singers and pianist feedback.  

REVISION WEEK – Time to revise and polish your piece!

Session 7  – (Tuesday, November 23 ) – Final draft of composition due.

PRODUCTION WEEK: Remote recording, mixing, and editing. 

Session 8 (Tuesday, November 30) – Online Recital – YouTube premiere of student compositions. Individual feedback. 



Application Form: https://forms.gle/ndjT5kX7YdetSRQ38

Check IBOC Young Composers from the Summer of 2021

International Brazilian Opera Company 


email: contact@brazilianopera.com