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Internships: Stage Direction


The Centre for Opera Studies in Italy gratefully acknowledges the generous founding support of The Bel Canto Foundation for Italian Heritage and Opera.

COSI 2017 Program Dates:
June 18 - July 16, 2017

COSI Academy Dates:
July 6 - July 16, 2017

Opera Chorus Program Dates:
July 2 - July 16, 2017

Oratorio Chorus Program Dates:
July 17- 24th, 2017, in the San Panfilo Cathedral of Sulmona, and
Madonna della Libera Cathedral of Pratola Peligna

COSI is pleased to offer training programs with esteemed professionals in its opera productions.

Stage Director, Head of Training and Productions, British Youth Opera


Stuart Barker rew up in Ongar and studied Physics with Astrophysics at Royal Holloway, University of London.

He is Director of Training and Productions at British Youth Opera. Productions for BYO include English Eccentrics, The Cunning Little Vixen, The Little Green Swallow, A Night at the Chinese Opera, Euridice and L’elisir d’amore.

Stuart is a founder member of Third Hand, the UK’s only dedicated puppet opera company, and has co-directed Puppet Lieder, Njogel (Tête à Tête) and their triple bill of Master Peter’s Puppet Show, Angela, an Inverted Love Story and Renard (winner of Best Opera Production in the 2014 Off West End Theatre Awards).

As Artistic Director of The Minotaur Music Theatre he has directed La voix humaine, A Dinner Engagement, Comedy on the Bridge, Sāvitri, The Waiter’s Revenge, Hin und zurück, A Man of Feeling, L’occasione fa il ladro, Riders to the Sea, The Bear, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, Dido and Aeneas, Cox and Box, La bohème, The Wandering Scholar, La Cenerentola and Rita.

Productions for other companies include Black Sand (Tête à Tête and Grimeborn), Pavane for an Invisible Princess, Night Dance and The Sandman (Guildhall School of Music and Drama), La voix humaine (Kypria International Festival, Cyprus), Suor Angelica and L’enfant et les sortilèges (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), Les contes d’Hoffmann, The Rake’s Progress, Samson, Aida, Eugene Onegin, Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci, Die Zauberflöte, Trouble in Tahiti, The Beggar’s Opera, Patience, The Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe, HMS Pinafore, Merrie England, To the Edge, and Scenes from the Savoy as well as revivals of Carmen (English Touring Opera) and Don Pasquale (European Chamber Opera). Musicals include Hermes and Alice in Wonderland.

Stuart has directed opera scenes for the Royal College of Music, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Birmingham Conservatoire, Trinity Laban and Birkbeck’s Opera Diploma Course. He regularly runs workshops for companies including British Youth Opera, Co-Opera Co and Associated Studios, and coaches singers in acting and audition techniques.




Stage Director, Director of Opera, University of Tennessee (Knoxville).

Internationally acclaimed stage director James Marvel has been praised for his “brilliant stage direction” and his “unforgettable and visually stunning new productions.” James made his Lincoln Center debut in 2008 for the Juilliard Opera Center, directing a highly acclaimed new production. James made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2011 and directed the U.S. premier of Cavalli’s Eliogabalo for the Gotham Chamber Opera in NYC.

Since his professional directing debut in 1996, James has directed over 100 productions and was named Classical Singer Magazine’s “2008 – Stage Director of the Year.” Recent engagements include La Traviata for New Orleans Opera, Rigoletto for Opera Tampa, and Tosca for Opera Grand Rapids. Upcoming projects include La Traviata for Opera Carolina, Nabucco for Opera Grand Rapids, La Traviata for Teatro Del Lago in Chile, and La Rondine in Sulmona, Italy. In 2014, James directed the world premier of Larry Delinger’s new opera Amelia Lost, which was created for Marble City Opera and performed at The National Opera Center in New York. The production was named “Most Memorable Operatic Performance of 2014,” by Arts Knoxville.

Career highlights include groundbreaking new productions for the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Opera Boston, Opera Santa Barbara, Syracuse Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, San Antonio Opera, Kentucky Opera, Virginia Opera, North Carolina Opera, Toledo Opera, Sacramento Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Aspen Music Festival, Wolf Trap Opera, Santa Fe Opera, San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, Indiana University, and the University of Southern California.

International credits include a new production of Carmen for Opera Africa in Johannesburg, which was hailed as “stupendous” by the local press and a new production of Die Zauberflote for the Seoul International Opera in South Korea. European credits include productions of La Boheme, Suor Angelica, L’elisir d’amore, and Cosi fan tutte in Sulmona, Italy. James made his Paris debut with the The Man of La Mancha at the Theatre des Varietes and returned to Paris a year later to direct The Beggar’s Holiday at Espace Pierre Cardin. His new production of La Voix Humaine and The Telephone premiered at the Alliance Francaise in New York City before traveling to the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, Belgium. Other international credits include work in Canada, Scotland, England, Poland, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.

James received his MFA in Acting from the University of Tennessee and his BA in World Literature from Sarah Lawrence College and Oxford University, England. He conducted additional studies at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. James studied violin from the age of seven and played violin for the Wadham Chamber Orchestra in Oxford, England. He has composed original music for several professional theatrical productions and has had his poetry, fiction, and critical writing published in a variety of national, international, and online journals. As an arts advocate, James has appeared numerous times on NPR and other radio and television outlets to discuss the art form and its relevance in modern society.

In 2011, James was named Director of Opera at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and remains active directing in the United States and abroad.

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