Students win live design brief from Welsh National Opera

26 May 2021

Cardiff and Vale College and New College Swindon students gain real-world experience of designing theatre sets for a major opera company.

Now in its fourth year, Welsh National Opera Design Challenge is an opportunity for students to apply their skills and creativity to a set design task set by industry professionals working for Welsh National Opera and Cardiff Theatrical Services.

Students were asked to design a set for the opera Tosca, the entrants were judged on: an informed design process; creative interpretation; and technical and staging practicality: a basic overview of construction, build and operation has been considered and explained. This was the first year where judges actively encouraged submissions using immersive technology.

After an impressive range of entrants, the winners have now been decided: Barbara Green and Damian Porucznik from Cardiff and Vale College have won Category 1 (2D Design); and Cameron Paulizky-Bowie from New College Swindon has won Category 2 (Immersive Technology).

This was a fantastic opportunity for me to explore a different aspect of design. I've learnt so much about both opera and stage design, as well as experimenting with digital design software. I really enjoyed it!” - Barbara Green

"I really like the challenge of competitive designing a stage in which made it more enjoyable to do.” - Damian Porucznik

To really feel every part of the set I decided to use augmented reality with the help of Vectary… This really helped me immerse myself within the opera and helped me draw in the 1800s beauty and the experience I have gained through designing this set is something that I will be able to take with me. I had produced designs in various settings before but starting my set designing with such an iconic opera was incredibly enriching and rewarding.” - Cameron Paulizky-Bowie

The winners were awarded a framed print of the original Tosca poster from 1900, and a voucher for art supplies.

The Design Challenge is set exclusively for students in members of the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural. Applicants can be from any subject discipline and need no prior knowledge or experience of set design or theatre. They just need to follow the brief and develop a response showing their creative interpretation of a Director’s Vision. Judges were industry professionals from Welsh National Opera and Cardiff Theatrical Services, including members of the technical and design teams.

As industry professionals from Welsh National Opera, we were inspired to see the quality of entries submitted for this year’s design challenge. It is a huge credit to the students and tutors that our job in finding the winning entries was made particularly difficult this year. In a year in which it was extremely hard for everyone in the educational sector they have proven that creativity, skill and ability is trying to stream into our industry and can surpass all hurdles.
“The development towards digital presentations was inspiring to see as was the skill employed in making physical models and sketches for the presentations. This has been the strongest year of entrants and we would like to extend our thanks to everyone who has participated.
Jan Michaelis, Technical Director, WNO

The challenge is a great opportunity for our learners to have a chance to collaborate with industry professionals as well as opening them up to different area of design.
Liam Stanbury, Dean, Cardiff and Vale College

Cameron has achieved a great deal with this competition and has learned so much during the process. It has been a pleasure helping him explore the exciting technology of CAD and Augmented Reality. Taking on Tosca was an exciting adventure. As a textile course we were keen to be involved with this competition from a surface design perspective, broadening the students' experience. It was a wonderful opportunity to work across disciplines.
Daniel Hazelton, Course Leader for A level Graphic Design & Illustration, Product Design (3D), New College Swindon

Creative & Cultural Skills supports these live briefs as they give students a unique opportunity to gain practical experience in the creative sector and to put their skills to the test. They remain part of our work to create fair and inclusive opportunities for young people within the creative and cultural sectors.

Download Welsh National Opera live brief press release here

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Myfyrwyr yn ennill briff dylunio byw gan Opera Cenedlaethol Cymru

Myfyrwyr o Goleg Caerdydd a'r Fro a New College Swindon yn cael profiad go iawn o ddylunio setiau theatr ar gyfer cwmni opera mawr.

Mae Her Ddylunio Opera Cenedlaethol Cymru wedi cyrraedd ei phedwaredd flwyddyn, ac mae'n rhoi cyfle i fyfyrwyr ddefnyddio eu sgiliau a'u creadigrwydd mewn tasg i ddylunio set. Gosodir y dasg gan weithwyr proffesiynol yn y diwydiant sy'n gweithio i Opera Cenedlaethol Cymru a Gwasanaethau Theatraidd Caerdydd.

Gofynnwyd i fyfyrwyr ddylunio set ar gyfer yr opera Tosca. Beirniadwyd yr ymgeiswyr ar: broses ddylunio wybodus; dehongliad creadigol; ymarferoldeb technegol a llwyfannu; ystyriaeth sylfaenol i waith adeiladu, ac ystyried ac egluro'r gwaith adeiladu a gweithredu. Dyma'r flwyddyn gyntaf i'r beirniaid annog ceisiadau gan ddefnyddio technoleg ymdrochol.

Ar ôl derbyn amrywiaeth o geisiadau o safon uchel, mae'r enillwyr bellach wedi'u cyhoeddi: Mae Barbara Green a Damian Porucznik o Goleg Caerdydd a'r Fro wedi dod yn fuddugol yng Nghategori 1 (Dyluniad D2); ac mae Cameron Paulizky-Bowie o New College Swindon wedi dod yn fuddugol yng Nghategori 2 (Technoleg Drochi).

"Roedd hwn yn gyfle gwych i mi archwilio agwedd wahanol ar ddylunio. Rwyf wedi dysgu cymaint am opera a dylunio llwyfan, yn ogystal ag arbrofi gyda meddalwedd ddylunio digidol. Mwynheais yn fawr!" - Barbra Green

"Rwy'n hoff iawn o'r her o ddylunio llwyfan mewn cystadleuaeth. Mae'n gwneud y gwaith yn fwy diddorol." - Damian Porucznik

"Er mwyn uniaethu â phob darn o'r set, penderfynais ddefnyddio realiti estynedig gyda chymorth Vectary... Helpodd hyn i mi ymollwng fy hun ym myd opera, a chynnwys harddwch yr 1880au. Byddaf yn gallu defnyddio'r profiad rwyf wedi'i ennill drwy ddylunio'r set hon yn y dyfodol. Roeddwn wedi cynhyrchu dyluniadau mewn amrywiaeth o amgylchiadau o'r blaen, ond roedd dechrau fy ngwaith dylunio setiau gydag opera mor llewyrchus yn ddiddorol a gwerth chweil.” - Cameron Paulizky-Bowie

Cafodd yr enillwyr brint wedi'i fframio o boster gwreiddiol Tosca o 1900, a thaleb ar gyfer offer celf.

Gosodir yr Her Ddylunio'n benodol ar gyfer myfyrwyr gan aelodau'r Academi Sgiliau Cenedlaethol i'r Diwydiannau Creadigol. Croesewir ymgeiswyr o unrhyw ddisgyblaeth pwnc, ac nid ydynt angen unrhyw wybodaeth neu brofiad blaenorol o ddylunio set neu theatr. Y cyfan sydd angen iddynt ei wneud yw dilyn briff a datblygu ymateb iddo sy'n dangos eu dehongliad creadigol o Weledigaeth Cyfarwyddwr. Roedd y beirniaid yn cynnwys gweithwyr proffesiynol o'r diwydiant o Opera Cenedlaethol Cymru a Gwasanaethau Theatraidd Caerdydd, yn ogystal ag aelodau o'r timau technegol a dylunio.

"Fel gweithwyr proffesiynol o'r diwydiant o Opera Cenedlaethol Cymru, cawsom ein hysbrydoli ar ôl gweld ansawdd y ceisiadau a gyflwynwyd ar gyfer her ddylunio eleni. Roedd yr her a gawsom i ddod o hyd i'r enillwyr eleni yn glod enfawr i'r myfyrwyr a'r tiwtoriaid. Yn ystod blwyddyn a oedd yn anodd iawn i bawb yn y sector addysg, maent wedi profi bod creadigrwydd, sgil a gallu yn ceisio bwydo i mewn i'n diwydiant, ac yn gallu goresgyn unrhyw rwystrau.
"Roedd gweld y datblygiad at gyflwyniadau digidol yn ysbrydoledig, yn ogystal â'r sgiliau oedd eu hangen wrth wneud modelau ffisegol a darluniau ar gyfer y cyflwyniadau. Eleni, cawsom y ceisiadau gorau erioed, a hoffem estyn ein diolch i bawb sydd wedi cymryd rhan."
Jan Michaelis, Cyfarwyddwr Technegol, WNO

"Mae'r her yn gyfle gwych i'n dysgwyr gydweithio gyda gweithwyr proffesiynol yn y diwydiant yn ogystal â'u cyflwyno nhw i faes dylunio gwahanol."
Liam Stanbury-Dean, Tiwtor, Coleg Caerdydd a'r Fro

"Mae Cameron wedi cyflawni cymaint o fewn y gystadleuaeth hon, ac wedi dysgu cymaint yn ystod y broses. Mae wedi bod yn bleser ei helpu i archwilio technoleg gyffrous megis CAD a Realiti Estynedig. Roedd gweithio ar Tosca yn antur gyffrous. Fel cwrs tecstilau, rydym yn awyddus i gymryd rhan yn y gystadleuaeth hon o safbwynt dylunio arwyneb, ac ehangu profiad y myfyrwyr. Roedd yn gyfle hyfryd i weithio gyda gwahanol ddisgyblaethau."
Daniel Hazelton, Arweinydd Cwrs Dylunio Graffeg a Darlunio a Dylunio Cynnyrch (3D) Safon Uwch, New College Swindon

Mae Sgiliau Creadigol a Diwylliannol yn cefnogi'r briffiau byw hyn gan eu bod nhw'n rhoi cyfle unigryw i fyfyrwyr ennill profiad ymarferol yn y sector creadigol a rhoi eu sgiliau ar waith. Maent yn parhau yn rhan o'n gwaith i greu cyfleoedd teg a chynhwysfawr i bobl ifanc o fewn y sector creadigol a diwylliannol.

Myfyrwyr yn ennill briff dylunio byw gan Opera Cenedlaethol Cymru

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