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Design Challenge

Design Challenge 2016/17 is based on Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly.

Aimed at the next generation of aspiring set and costume designers, makers and marketing specialists, the Royal Opera House’s prestigious annual Design Challenge competition gives students the opportunity to test and develop their marketing, production and design skills, based around an opera or ballet production.

The project is designed for students at the following levels:

  • Students at FE colleges across the UK studying vocational courses at Levels 2, 3 and 4
  • Students at sixth form schools and colleges across the UK studying relevant subject areas at KS5 including Art, Art and Design, Design Technology or Media Studies

The competition is open to all UK FE colleges and sixth form schools or colleges.  Please click below to submit your entries.


To take part in Design Challenge this coming September 2017 please email

The prize

There is one winner in each category, the winners will get the chance to attend a special day at the Royal Opera House, including exhibiting their work, a backstage tour, a visit to a specific ROH department, and a Schools' Matinee performance.

Each college that enters Design Challenge has the opportunity to attend a live screening of the production at their local cinema.

Design Challenge receives generous philanthropic support from the Paul Hamlyn Education Fund.

Project details

Project strands and key dates.

Online resources

Learn about Madama Butterfly and take a journey through three iconic productions at the Royal Opera House.