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Q&A: Royal Opera House Apprentices

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, two of our apprentices speak about their experience and share their advice.

By Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

13 March 2013 at 2.58pm | Comment on this article

Q&A: Royal Opera House Apprentices

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, two of our apprentices speak about their experience and share their advice.

Storified by Royal Opera House· Wed, Mar 13 2013 07:56:59

Q: What do apprentices do at the Royal Opera House?
Tommy: 'I'm a metalwork apprentice, building sets for the shows out in Thurrock. I built the big doors in #ROHeugeneonegin #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Georgia: 'I'm an exhibitions apprentice putting on exhibitions on front of house and help to look after the building…' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Georgia: "Currently I'm working on the Nadia Nerina and Isabel Rawsthorne exhibitions…" #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Georgia: "No two days are the same - we do work for most of the departments here." #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Q: What were you doing before the scheme? What attracted you to it? 
Tommy: 'I took a college course in engineering and was keen to carry on training afterwards, it was a natural progression' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Georgia: 'I worked in childcare and then recruitment. I've always loved the arts and found the apprenticeship online.' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Georgia: 'I didn't have the qualifications for any of the full-time positions here so an apprenticeship was a great way in' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Q: Why did you want to work at the Royal Opera House?
Tommy: 'It's a good company to work for. My interest wasn't originally in the arts, but in engineering' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Georgia: 'I always loved ballet. It's great to be able to work with such skilled people at the top of their game!' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Apprentice Jamie Wright © ROH/Sim Canetty-Clarke 2013Royal Opera House Covent Garden
Q: What particular experience have you gained?
Tommy: 'An insight into the steps of a production. #ROHeugeneonegin was the first show I worked on from the start…' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Tommy: '...I was amazed to find out how much effort goes into a show.' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Georgia: 'Working with a huge range of people, in the house and elsewhere from different backgrounds.' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Q: What are your future plans after your apprenticeships?
Tommy: 'I've got 2+1/2 years left, I'd like to stay in the arts, but if not, I'd like to transfer the skills.' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Tommy: 'I already feel that the skills I'll gain will give me a great starting point.' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Georgia: 'I want to stay here in the Collections dept, it's a great team but if not, I'd love to work in exhibitions…' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Georgia: 'I've found my career through the scheme, I didn't know what I wanted to do before' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Costume Apprentice Robin McGrorty. © Sim Sinetty ClarkeRoyal Opera House Covent Garden
Q: What have other apprentices gone on to do?
Tommy: 'Ian, the head-foreman in the carpentry workshop was one of the first apprentices. How he's mentoring us!' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Georgia: 'Others have gone onto the Sydney Opera House, London 2012 Opening Ceremony but several have stayed here.' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Q: Has your apprenticeship changed your view of opera, ballet and the arts?
Tommy: 'Yes, I was never exposed to it before and it seems far more accessible. I never saw any theatre at school.' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Georgia: 'I had never seen opera. I thought it was like Britain's got Talent, but there's so much more to it!' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Georgia: '...plus it's such a perk to look after the beautiful opera and ballet costumes' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Q: What are the group of apprentices like?
Tommy: 'When we're together, we're like a family. We're from completely different backgrounds' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Georgia: 'We're also able to share skills, knowledge and info so we get a really rounded view' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Q: What would your advice be to those who are thinking of taking an apprenticeship in the future?
Tommy: 'If you want a varied job, try the arts. I came to visit beforehand-it's important to do your research when applying' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Georgia: 'Keep an eye out online - there's such a range of apprenticeships, not just at the ROH but throughout the arts.' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Georgia: 'Be prepared to work hard but it's a great opportunity - you get paid to learn (a rarity in the current climate!)' #ROHapprenticesRoyal Opera House
Scenic Artist Apprentice Louisa Mozzilli © Sim Canetty-ClarkeRoyal Opera House Covent Garden

The Royal Opera House would not be able to offer the wide range of apprenticeships for young people without the generous support of The Derek Butler Trust, John Lyon’s Charity, The Headley Trust, Gordon Foundation, the Ashley Family Foundation, the Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers Charitable Trust and an anonymous donor.

By Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

13 March 2013 at 2.58pm

This article has been categorised Learning, Off stage and tagged apprentice, employment, jobs, National Apprenticeship Week, training, work

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