Broxbourne student wins Royal Opera House Design Challenge award


Evelyn Pope receiving her award from Alex Beard CREDIT: Rachel Cherry

Submitted by royal opera

royal opera celebrated the 2022 winners of its Design Challenge on Wednesday, June 8, a national competition that provides students with invaluable practical insight into technical and production practices, encouraging them to apply their understanding to a professional context and develop the skills required to get started in a career in the technical professions of theatre.

Launched in 2011 and open to anyone studying art and design from GCSE to Foundation level, the challenge asks applicants to try their hand at designing sets, costumes, wigs, make-up or a marketing campaign for a designated opera or ballet production. Students research and produce design prototypes in response to the chosen director’s vision, relaying their ideas and process in a 90-minute portfolio.

This year’s awards event, held in the Linbury Foyer of the Royal Opera House, celebrated the winners of the 2022 challenge, including Evelyn Pope from Broxbourne School who won the Hair, wigs and makeup Category. Over 500 students signed up, from 20 schools and colleges across the UK.

The work of all finalists was seen and reviewed by juries of professional ROH designers and creators, including several senior staff from the Royal Opera House’s technical and production teams. The winners in each category were announced on Friday, April 22. General Manager Alex Beard presented the students with their awards.

Evelyn Pope of Broxbourne School in Broxbourne said: “Participating in the design challenge was a great experience; it allowed me to work alongside many incredibly talented young people, all passionate about art like me. I loved the creative process for my piece and it was amazing to experience a medium that I love in an academic environment.

“Winning the category was so unexpected and I was so excited when I found out. I’ve been experimenting with makeup, stage makeup and sfx makeup for a few years now, I knew I wanted to experience it more in sixth grade .I never thought this would lead to me winning the whole category and I’m so happy that my work has been recognised.To be awarded at the Royal Opera House has made me so proud of myself and I can’t wait to experiment more.

“I hope to continue experimenting with make-up for the rest of my A level and in my spare time. I am currently considering taking a make-up related course at university to help broaden my skills as I see myself working in the stage makeup and sfx in the future.”

Jillian Barker, Director of Learning and Engagement, said: “The Royal Opera House is delighted to have welcomed the winners of the 11th year of our Flagship Design Challenge. After spending the day at the ROH with our professionals and in their hospitality departments, young winners from across the country have received awards. Each of them expressed true originality, skill and creativity. We hope this will change their lives and be their entry into the imaginative worlds of ballet and opera.

The 2022/23 Design Challenge The magic flute will be launched with an online information event for tutors today – (Wednesday 22nd June).

Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.

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