Shortlist announced for the Welsh National Opera Design Challenge

 24 November 2016

The finalists for the 2017 Welsh National Opera Design Challenge have been announced.

The three finalists are from Gateshead College and University of South Wales
The three finalists are from Gateshead College and University of South Wales

On Tuesday 15 November the Welsh National Opera announced the three finalists for their inaugural Design Challenge with Creative & Cultural Skills.

Fifty entries from Westminster Kingsway, Cardiff & Vale, Stoke on Trent, Gateshead College and University of South Wales were received in early November for the first stage of the challenge.

The three finalists will now be sent model boxes of the Wales Millennium Centre to allow them to realise their touring design in 12 weeks.

Then they will be displayed and the winner announced on 10 February 2017, as part of the opening night of Madam Butterfly.

With the aspiration of finding talented new designers in Opera, the Design Challenge has taken students through the process of concept to model box. The opera will be touring to six venues across England and Wales, bringing the added challenge of adapting its’ set for the smallest venue, the New Theatre Oxford.

The Judges

Judging is being led by Jan Micheals, (Technical Director), Richard Norton (Production Manager) and Ed Wilson (General Manager at Cardiff Theatrical Services), with Artistic Director David Poutney joining for the final round.

“The entries showed imagination, creativity and technical skill, making it a very difficult decision to narrow it down to three finalists. We believe the shortlist creatively encompassed the brief, and we now look forward to seeing the completed models.” Jan Micheals (Technical Director)

The judging has balanced the technical execution of the opera’s practical opportunities within the score and text, and an interpretation of how a theatre environment can be stretched. Students were asked to present their vision in the first stage, within a coherent artistic concept taken from one of the director’s visions written by the company.

The finalists

  • Corden Jones from Gateshead College
  • Rory Hopkins from University of South Wales
  • Katie Alcock from University of South Wales

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