Teachers visit Thurrock for Royal Opera House Design Challenge training

Teacher Tour

Teachers visit Thurrock for Royal Opera House Design Challenge training

THE Royal Opera House welcomed teachers and tutors from across the country on Thursday 7 September when they attended a special training day for the Royal Opera House Design Challenge.

The Royal Opera House’s prestigious annual Design Challenge competition gives students the opportunity to test and develop design skills, based around an opera or ballet production.

This year the production is Richard Strauss’s opera Salomé. 40 teachers from as far afield as Huddersfield, Liverpool and Bournemouth, visited the High House Production Park to tour the Royal Opera House Production Workshop and Costume Centre and learn how to deliver the Design Challenge in their own schools and colleges. They also took part in a hands-on practical session with theatre designer, Ruth Paton and met South Essex College Costume Construction course leader Rachel Young.

The Design Challenge is open to all UK FE colleges and sixth form schools or colleges. Each participating student works through the six stages of design using a real director’s brief, building a portfolio of their process and creating a final piece in one of the four categories: Costume Design, Set Design, Marketing Strategy and Design, and Hair, Wigs and Make Up.

In 2017, students from South Essex College were amongst the successful entrants. Lee Lawrence was the winner of, and Velda Pond was highly commended in, the Marketing Strategy and Design category.

Abi Thompson, Head of Art & Design at South Essex College, said: “We love taking part in the Royal Opera House Design Challenge. Our Lecturers had a great day learning about this year’s brief and we can’t wait to share this exciting opportunity with our students.”

This year, winners of the Design Challenge will be invited to exhibit their work as part of the Opera: Passion, Power and Politics exhibition at the V&A Museum in February 2018. They will also be invited to see a matinee performance at the Royal Opera House, including a backstage tour and some time with the industry professionals in the relevant ROH departments.

To find out more about Design Challenge, please email Design.Challenge@roh.org.uk or call 01708 891 200.

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