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Winners of the 2015 Design Challenge Competition announced

Students take on the challenge of creating designs for Madama Butterfly as part of this year's competition.

By Hayley Bartley (Former Content Producer (Learning))

27 March 2015 at 2.07pm | 1 Comment

Five winners have been chosen from over four hundred and fifty entries in this year's Design Challenge Competition.

Design Challenge invites students from National Skills Academy colleges across the UK to learn and develop their design skills for an opera or ballet production. This year the challenge is based around Puccini's Madama Butterfly, with winners selected from four categories: set design; costume design; marketing strategy; and hair, wigs and make-up design.

The winners were announced today during a special Schools' Matinee performance of Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera House. An exhibition of this year's shortlisted and winning entries has also been on display in the Paul Hamlyn Hall and Crush Room throughout the day.

This year's category winners are:

  • Elise Ilett from Sussex Downs College - Marketing Strategy and Design
  • Jodie Waugh from Amersham and Wycombe College - Hair, Wigs and Make-Up Design
  • Luke Adlam from Sussex Downs College - Set Design
  • Michelle McGonagle from North West Regional College - Costume Design

A further prize – the Director’s Choice Award – is presented for the design that best fulfills one of the director’s visions. This year the prize went to Pavel Dzurko from Lewisham Southwark College.

‘I really enjoyed taking part in Design Challenge, especially doing all the research and coming up with the initial concept for my Madama Butterfly design,’ says Jodie, the winner of the hair, wigs and make-up design category. ‘It’s great that I can say I took part in this competition and that I got through to the final, and even won. It will definitely give me the confidence to go on and create more of my own designs in the future.’

Following today’s celebration, the four category winners will get the chance to attend a tailor-made behind-the-scenes experience at the Royal Opera House that relates to their chosen specialism.

Design Challenge is now in its fifth year, but this is the first time that the competition has had an international strand with the launch of Scene Change, a new cultural skills exchange between the UK and Brazil. Scene Change is part of the British Council’s Cultural Skills Unit, which forges new connections in the creative and cultural industries. As part of the exchange, the Royal Opera House is helping to connect students from Thurrock and Rio de Janeiro through the Design Challenge Competition. A selection of designs created by the students from Rio have also been on display as part of today’s exhibition.

Find out more about Design Challenge

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

This article has 1 comment

  1. Kevin Waugh responded on 27 March 2015 at 11:26pm Reply

    So proud of our Daughter Jodie for winning the Hair , Wigs and Make-Up Design award. Can't wait to get the chance to see her work and the others on display at the ROH.

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