(Eloise Smith, stockroom assistant in the costume department at the Royal Opera House, photo by Ruairi Watson)
The Royal Opera House, home of The Royal Ballet, has launched a new university degree program in partnership with South Essex College and the University of the Arts in London. In order to address a dearth of costume makers in the performing arts industry, these three institutions will offer a joint degree that provides students with the opportunity to study costume construction.
The three-year program will teach students the skills they need to work everywhere from television to a ballet company. The courses concentrate on costume construction rather than design, in order to produce professionals who are highly skilled makers in their own right.
The ROH has a remarkable collection of costumes, historic costumes and wigs, which will be used as teaching objects for students. Congratulations to the ROH and its partners for addressing a major gap in the creation of theater magic. After all, behind every ballerina and her tutu there's a dedicated costume designer, and ballet lovers everywhere are indebted to their hard work.
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