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Design Challenge

Design Challenge gives students from Creative and Cultural Skills Academy Colleges the opportunity to test and develop their marketing, production and design skills, based around an opera or ballet production.

The Prize

Each college that enters the competition has the opportunity to attend a Schools’ Matinee at the Royal Opera House. As part of their visit, students can watch the performance and learn more about the Royal Opera House production of the opera or ballet, as well as visit the Design Challenge exhibition of shortlisted and winning entries. Students also have the opportunity to hear advice and feedback from senior production and design staff at the Royal Opera House.

The winners of each category get the chance to attend a tailor-made behind the scenes experience at the Royal Opera House that relates to their specialism. This is a fantastic opportunity to visit the backstage areas of the theatre and meet top professionals in their field.

Additionally, there is a Director’s Choice award which is awarded for an entry which fulfills and realizes their chosen Director’s vision in an exceptional way.

The Challenges

Each year we look for entries in the following four categories.

1.      Set Design

2.      Costume Design

3.      Marketing Strategy

4.      Hair, Wigs and Make up Design

The Director’s Visions

The Director’s Visions are a key element of the Design Challenge and demonstrate the intrinsic relationship between a designer and a Director. You will need to choose one of the four visions from the Director which will help to focus and inform your design process.

Read the Director’s Visions from 2014/15 here.

The Judging Process

We ask colleges to undertake their own shortlisting process with guidance from the Royal Opera House. Visit our judging page to watch a short video filled with advice from past judges.

You will need to select your top entry for each category you wish to enter and submit this by post to the Royal Opera House. This selection will be verified by the Royal Opera House before the finalists' entries are submitted. The winners will be chosen and announced at the Schools' Matinee performance.

Terms and Conditions

Please read our terms and conditions for further information.

The Design Challenge receives generous philanthropic support from The Wilhelm Helmut Trust and Richard and Polly Hill