Last year, Lee Cavaliere from the Sixteen Trust charity, arranged for five Year 12 students from The Royal Harbour Academy, to be mentored by Helen Johnson, via a series of zoom meetings. Helen works at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and has worked as a costume designer all over the world.
On 16th November, our Head of Art, Maggie Johnson, was invited to take the students to the Royal Opera House to see a dress rehearsal by the Royal Ballet. As part of the visit, students were given a tour of all the different departments including set design, haberdashery, fabric dyeing and printing, hat and jewellery making, costume and hair design. The armorer, Max Brown, also showed students around the armory and showed them a selection of weapons he has made in his workshops, where they do woodworking and metalworking to make weapons for a variety of shows. Max explained how lighter copies of the weapons need to be made for the dancers to hold as the actual weapons would be far too heavy to hold while dancing.
The students were shown how the props and costumes are stored and made and where the dancers practise and work out prior to the performance. The students were given seats in a box to watch the ballet and one of the students, was so moved by the show that she burst into tears.
Mrs Johnson said, “We cannot thank Helen and Max enough for giving their time so generously, as the students gained a fantastic insight into the many jobs available in the arts.”