Stratford-upon-Avon College students at the Royal Opera House for Open Up.
On 27 September, the offices and workshops of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, opened its doors to students from Stratford-upon-Avon College and other National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural’s Founder Colleges, introducing them to the day-to-day roles and activities that contribute to the running of a large arts institution.
A one-of-a-kind insight day, Open Up offered over 200 further education students the opportunity to use their training in a world-famous, world-class working building. Over 40 students attended from Stratford-upon-Avon College who are studying media, hospitality and catering, design, technical theatre and photography.
Students interacted with experienced professionals responsible for making each performance a success, ranging from stage management to fundraising and hospitality & catering to lighting. Each department took the students on a unique journey through their working day, visiting rehearsals and solving real production tasks. Observation is important but on a day like this, students were keen to execute real, working tasks – and that’s exactly what they got to do!
Among the day’s many highlights, photography students secured a rare chance to capture a Royal Ballet dance rehearsal with renowned choreographer Wayne McGregor. Meanwhile, hospitality & catering students saw the building’s other face and the immense juggling act required to serve up to 1000 meals in 6 restaurants every evening. A broad spectrum – but a number of student-run Media Hubs pulled the day together, with students documenting the day and developing a promotional video – that was completed within a few hours and presented at the day’s final summing up.
Edward Pinner, Curriculum Area Manager, Performing Arts and Music, said ‘What was unique about Open Up at the Royal Opera House was the access that students were given to the professionals who work in one of the country’s most prestigious venues. The students have been talking very excitedly about their day and the challenges they were asked to complete. As a Founder College of the Skills Academy, many students at Stratford-upon-Avon College have the opportunity to gain valuable insights into working in the Creative and Cultural sector. I hope that the students who attended this event come away from it knowing that, whatever skills and interests they have, be it; Photography, Catering, Design or Media Production, a venue such as the Royal Opera House could be a potential future employer.”
An outstanding opportunity to gain a practical insight into potential offstage careers, Open Up initiated the 2011-12 La Bohème Design Challenge. Following in the wake of last year’s Aida Challenge, this exclusive Founder College competition will challenge students to work alongside the Royal Opera House’s Spring production of Puccini’s opera and produce entries in any of four design categories.
Pauline Tambling, Managing Director, National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural, commented:
“It is well known that the Royal Opera House has a long history of making first class productions of opera and ballet available to schools and young people. We are delighted that the Royal Opera House is now opening its doors to our network of Further Education Colleges across the country. Further Education offers access to education to the widest possible range of students across all abilities and has a strong focus on vocational learning and apprenticeships.”
Paul Reeve, Director of Education at the Royal Opera House commented:
“We're delighted to be able to offer young people from across the country opportunities to gain real life experiences of some of the careers at the Royal Opera House, working closely alongside our artists and staff. We hope that they'll have an exciting and memorable day with us and that what they learn will be useful in the courses they are studying and inspire them to consider pursuing careers in the creative industries."
For further information on this press release, contact Will Hahn (firstname.lastname@example.org) or email@example.com
Posted on Wednesday 5th October 2011