18 March 2011 at 10.09am | Comment on this article
Congratulations to all 16 winners of our Aida Design Challenge, and especial praise for Amber McCough of Wiltshire College and Philip Grundon of Yorkshire Coast College, Scarborough. They both impressed judges with their dedication to detail, research and graphic skills, winning a week’s internship here, to meet experts in their chosen field.
Philip, a 20-year-old student of Applied Digital Media from Scarborough, stood out for his meticulous typography. He had painstakingly deconstructed an original typeface for Aida, ‘because McVicar’s production is a deconstructed version of Aida’, he said. He based its form on the pyramids themselves - the A for Aida, forming a strong graphic with a broken base line representing the tomb where Aida and her lover Radames die.
Amber, a design student of Wiltshire College, created a tribal/historicised costume for Amneris (the Egyptian princess passionately jealous of Aida). Inspired by McVicar himself, she rejected Egyptian sources and did research into ancient garments - such as Assyrian drapery. She took the Amneris design right through to production, in soft, earth coloured fabric. Amber was delighted with the award, saying that she hopes to capitalize on the opportunity and start a career in theatre or fashion design.
The challenge was to design something for a production of Verdi’s Egyptian-based opera Aida, currently on stage in a David McVicar production – either a stage design, costume design, poster or online educational content.
The competition was open to students from National Skills Academy Founder Colleges – a select group of colleges that works with a network of professionals to improve skills for those within the creative and cultural industries.
There were over 220 entries and 16 finalists displayed their works in the opera house and attended a matinee performance of Aida. The standard of all entries was so high that all 16 were deemed winners and invited back to spend a day at the Royal Opera House, meet staff, visit back stage areas and improve their skills.
If you didn’t get to take part in this year’s competition – fear not. Find out full details about the next competition.
All the winners
Philip Grundon - Digital
Paul Somers - Digital
Japanese Gruop - Costume
Amber McHugh - Costume
Jack Britt - Set
Amersham & Wycombe
Natalie Halliwell-Jennings - Poster
Spasena Ilieva - Costume
Josanne Gregory - Poster
Mark Cole - Poster
Erin Green - Set
Alex Balantyne - Digital
Mack Knights - Digital
Daniel Tooley - Digital
Ollie Ghaleb & Karl Broad - Set
Stratford upon Avon
Viki East - Set
Extra costumes from South Essex were also selected to be part of an exhibition of works from the competition.
Group 1 - Dominic Murphy, Jordan, Lauren Fitzgerald, Sheridan Anderson
Group 2 - Stevi Lanning, Greta Jundo, Rebecca Willsone, Adeloa Adio
Group 3 - Josanne Gregory, Jade Lowrie, Mark Cole, Ellize McBride, Samuel White