Winners announced: Royal Opera House Design Challenge 2013
Winners of this year’s Design Challenge were announced on Thursday 28 February at the Royal Opera House Schools’ Matinee performance of Tosca.
The Royal Opera House’s Director of Opera Kasper Holten announced the winners as follows:
Marketing Strategy: Rhona-Anne Breeze - Stoke on Trent College
Hair, Wigs and Make Up: Mollie Gibb - South Essex College
Costume: Bethany Warner - Grimsby College
Digital Educational Resource: Vaughan Walton - Grimsby College
Set: Madelaine Dowd - North Hertfordshire College
A special exhibition of the short-listed entries will be displayed in the front-of-house areas of the Royal Opera House from Thursday 28 February.
Now in its third year, the 2013 Design Challenge gave students from our National Skills Academy Colleges the unique opportunity to test and develop their marketing, production and design skills. From over 300 entries, 29 went through to the Royal Opera House to be judged by their design departments.
The special panel of judges included:
Colin Maxwell (Production Manager)
Lucy Griffiths (Set Designer)
Jeff Coventry (Head of Marketing - Enterprises)
Mal Barton (Costume Performance Support – Workroom Co-ordinator)
Nikki Downey (Hair and Make-Up Artist)
Sonali Hindmarch (Content Producer - Learning)
The aim of the Design Challenge is to allow students to work in an authentic manner, collaborating on a live brief, which also realises the wider skills needed to work in a building such as the Royal Opera House with a demanding repertoire. The Design Challenge is part of a broad programme of careers advice, guidance and events delivered by the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural.
Ten Founder colleges took part in the competition, including Amersham and Wycombe, Gateshead, Grimsby Institute, North Hertfordshire, Leeds, Liverpool South Essex, Stoke on Trent, Sussex Downs and Stratford-upon-Avon.
Each college that entered the challenge had the opportunity to attend the Schools’ Matinee of Tosca at the Royal Opera House on Thursday 28 February. On this day, students watched the performance and learnt more about Tosca as well as visiting the Design Challenge exhibition of short-listed and winning entries. Students were given feedback from senior production and design staff at the Royal Opera House. The overall winners of the challenge will have the opportunity to have a tailor-made behind the scenes experience at the Royal Opera House that relates to their specialism.
The Design Challenge is generously supported by the Paul Hamlyn Education Fund.
Catherine Large, Joint CEO at Creative & Cultural Skills, commented:
“The project is designed to give students a real taster of what it’s like to work in the performing arts. Not only do we want to inspire and encourage them to pursue these careers but to help them develop the skills they will need in order to succeed.”
Gabrielle Forster-Still, Education Manager Royal Opera House, added:
“The judging panel have been very impressed with the high standard and variety of the entries for the Tosca Design Challenge. We are excited to be working with such talented, young creative students from the widest network of NSA Founder Colleges since the challenge began in 2011. We hope that all who entered will benefit from written feedback from the judges and that the winners will be inspired by their tailor-made behind the scenes experience at the Royal Opera House.”