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Design Challenge

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

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. 

The prize

The winners from each category 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.

Congratulations to all the winner's of the 2016/2017 Competition. Read more about their entries here.

Design Challenge 2017

Set Design: Pascal Bailey, Sussex Downs College
Costume Design: Charlotte Richardson, City of Liverpool College
Marketing Strategy and Design: Lee Lawrence, South Essex College
Hair, Wigs and Make Up Design: Rhiannon Field, Sussex Downs College
Director's Choice Award: Chase Hayden, Sussex Downs College

Highly Commended

Set Design: Anne-Marie Leadbetter, Sussex Downs College
Costume Design: Samantha Hobart, The Hertfordshire and Essex High School
Marketing Strategy and Design: Velda Pond, South Essex College

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.