And the winner is...

Winners of Design Challenge (FE)

The ROH Design Challenge competition welcomed 36 participating colleges from all over the country this year, with judges from the Royal Opera House design and marketing teams spending a busy week judging the 69 finalists’ work. The quality of work was consistently excellent, but the winners are as follows:

  • Costume Design: Rosa Varlow from Richmond Upon Thames College
  • Marketing Strategy and Design: Eden Hedges from Sussex Downs College
  • Hair, Wigs and Make Up Design: Cheska Cavallaro from Greenhead College
  • Set Design and Director’s Choice Award: Elliot Lidgey from North Hertfordshire College

"The standard of entries for the marketing design challenge this year was really high, and it was great to see some innovative new ideas from some of the candidates too."

Jeff Coventry, Head of Marketing & Enterprises

Highly Commended

The judges were so impressed with the entries that they also awarded ‘Highly Commended’ mentions to the following:

  • Costume Design: Katherine Desson from City of Liverpool College
  • Marketing Strategy and Design: Laurel Pearce from Sussex Downs College
  • Hair, Wigs and Make Up Design: Lewis Cannon from Seevic College
  • Set Design: Felix Scott from Sussex Downs College

All Winners and Highly Commended students will be invited to exhibit their work at the V&A on Friday 9 February in the Prince Consort Gallery. Following a VIP hour at 2.30pm, the exhibition will be open to the public from 3.30-6.00.

The 4 Winners will also be invited to the Royal Opera House on Friday 16 February to watch an opera, have a backstage tour and spend some time in a production department to get a real insight into the day-today working life of the makers.

"A lot of thought and hard work had gone into the 'Salome Design Challenge' and I was impressed at the high standard of the entries. It was hard to pick a victor from our FE short-list of 3, but our eventual winner had answered the brief thoroughly and had come up with a particularly inventive costume design."

Amanda Hall, Head of Thurrock Costume Workshop

Design Challenge (Secondary)

Design Challenge (Secondary) has been piloted with 6 schools this year and will be available to all secondary schools in 2018/19. Students studying Art and Design, Textiles or Design and Technology at GCSE could choose to follow the Set or Costume pathway, also designing for Strauss’ Salome.

Winners of Design Challenge (Secondary)

Costume Design: Hannah Embury from Wilmington Grammar School for Girls
Set Design: Saule Piliponyte from Hathaway Academy

Now in its sixth year, the Royal Opera House’s prestigious Design Challenge competition invites talented young designers to enter into the enriching world of set design, this year challenging students to design sets, costumes, make up and also marketing strategies. The judging panel were full of praise for the entrants.

Richard Speight, Head of Communications for ROH Bridge said:

“I was impressed by Eden’s ability to translate the director’s vision to a design that appeals to the target teenage audience, one that could be used across a range of digital media platforms”

Bridget Foster, Head of Ballet Wigs and Make Up said:

“The interpretation of the brief never ceases to amaze me. This competition for Wigs, Hair and Make Up design proves when it comes to realising a creative idea there is no finite depth or width to realising your imagination within this craft area. It is very encouraging to see the entry increase year on year with such enthusiasm and attention to detail”

Elizabeth King, Head of Revival Workrooms, Costume said:

“The standard of all the entrants was very high, it was difficult to narrow down to two excellent designs. Rosa’s costume design workbook showed an deep understanding of the opera and the design process. Her final design was a sophisticated and stylish interpretation inspired by abstract art. Katherine designed a dress for Salome that looked perfect for the role, both sensual and elegant. The fabric choice was perfect to accentuate Salome’s movements. Rebecca produced a lovely project with a well-constructed costume with great attention to detail”


Find out more about Design Challenge or register for details about how to get involved next year.

Design Challenge is generously supported by the Paul Hamlyn Education Fund and the Mohn Westlake Foundation