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Hull College Student Wins Royal Opera House Design Challenge

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Joshua Shearer’s Set Design entry stood out from the competition and was awarded the Director’s Choice.

The Royal Opera House annual Design Challenge competition gives students from across the country the opportunity to test and develop their design skills, based around an opera or ballet production.

Hull College tutors Leo Hazlerigg (3D Design), Kevin Cheung (Graphics) and Lynne Bennett (Fine Art) all delivered the challenge to their students as a project brief and entered the competition under different categories, with this year’s theme of ‘Romeo and Juliet’.

Each student who entered the competition followed a real director’s brief and had to work through the six stages of design with support and guidance from their tutors. Students produced a portfolio or sketchbook showing their initial ideas on the theme of Romeo and Juliet and applied this research to a final design concept for the whole production. This involved an outline and artist drawing of each set piece, a detailed model box to demonstrate their final design for one scene and a 90 second video pitching their design.

The Royal Opera House Design Challenge welcomed 42 participating schools and colleges from all over the country to compete across a number of categories, including Set Design, Costume Design, Marketing Strategy and Design.

Student Joshua Shearer, who entered the Set Design Category, was selected by the director as the winner of the ‘Director’s Choice Award’ for his standout entry across all categories.

All winning and highly commended students are invited to exhibit their work at the Royal Opera House on Thursday 28th March in the Linbury Foyer. There will be an opening VIP hour from 1.30pm, the exhibition is then open to the public for a week until 4th April.

On 28th March, Joshua will be invited to watch the Royal Ballet matinee performance of Romeo and Juliet, get a backstage tour of the set and spend some time with the production department to get a feel for what it’s really like to work in the industry.

Previous Design Challenge winners have often successfully applied for work experience and apprenticeships with the Royal Opera House and gone on to have careers in the creative industries.

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