The International Opera Performance Experience has a very special place in my heart. I have done multiple summer programs, but none has compared to my experience with IOPE. First, the faculty is incredible. They are top notch professionals who are passionate, love what they do, and create a safe and encouraging environment in which to explore freely. The amount of one-on-one time with faculty members is awesome! I made leaps in my ability as both a singer and an actor. Secondly, Mercatello is a fantastic place! It’s beautiful, and the people of Mercatello are the most generous I’ve ever met. They were so hospitable, by the end of the program I truly felt part of their community. They even let me walk in their parade. When it was time to leave Mercatello, I did not want to go. The whole experience, the singing, the lessons, the performances, the people, the food, and the community of Mercatello all made for one incredible summer!