In 2016, selected secondary students from Albert Park College took part in an intensive workshop program inspired by the Stage Presence exhibition, and so was born our inaugural Design Academy!
Under the guidance of Arts Centre Melbourne creative learning producer, Joshua Cowie, lighting designer, Bernie Manchee, set designer, Crisane Fox, and costume designer, Amanda Silk, Design Academy students explored the romantic period in music, art and fashion, then set about responding to the design brief, “La Boheme, Paris 2066”.
To kick off the process, students experienced a night at the opera, attending a performance of Opera Australia’s La Bohème. Following this, they participated in a series of workshops at The Channel, Arts Centre Melbourne’s learning and participation venue. Over a series of weeks, the students unpacked the libretto to create mood boards, costume designs, set models, lighting plots and audio tracks in a bold new re-imagining of the quintessential opera lover’s old-school favourite.
The students’ work was exhibited in Arts Centre Melbourne’s Gallery One space, in conjunction with the exhibition Stage Presence: Design from the Australian Performing Arts Collection. Not only did students have the opportunity to work with industry professionals, they also had unique access to internationally significant collections as they designed their own exhibition in response to Stage Presence.
"The public exhibition was fantastic and a real tangible outcome for all students involved…it really helped focus their work. The students loved the program and really enjoyed working with industry professionals."