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Opera Grand Rapids and KCAD Partner for “The Student Prince”

Posted March 4, 2016 in StudentFashion Studies

Opera Grand Rapids and Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) are partnering to create new costumes for Opera Grand Rapids’ upcoming production of “The Student Prince,” June 9, 10 and 12 at St. Cecilia Music Center. The partnership is an extension of last spring’s successful collaboration, when KCAD Fashion Studies students designed costumes for Opera Grand Rapids’ production of “Tosca.” This time around, the students will both design and construct the costumes, actively participating in the creative process from start to finish.

The entire process requires that the students stay abreast of the storyline and characters, and update the costume styles to fit Stage Director Scott Skiba’s modern interpretation of the 1920s operetta.

“Not only do the students get the exceptional experience of creating original costumes for a staged opera production, the project also provides the students and artistic team more creative freedom to adapt the costumes for our 21st century interpretation of the production,” said Anne Berquist, Opera Grand Rapids General Director. “It makes the opera experience much more interesting for everyone involved.”

After performing a character analysis, the students in KCAD instructor Stephanie Wood’s Fashion Design/Construction IV class will work with Skiba and the rest of the Opera Grand Rapids production team to develop costume design illustrations, select appropriate fabrics, and build modernized costumes for the incoming cast.

Fashion Studies students collaborating with Opera Grand Rapids(above and below): Fashion Studies students presenting their design concepts

Fashion Studies students collaborating with Opera Grand Rapids

“Our partnership with Opera Grand Rapids provides our students with valuable learning experiences that enhance the students’ curriculum and career prospects,” said Lori Faulkner, KCAD Assistant Professor and Chair of the Fashion Studies program. “The project allows the students to design for a real-world client, including a variety of artists in a staged production that require garments with flawless performance while portraying the specified aesthetic for each scene.”

Opera Grand Rapids’ production of “The Student Prince” will feature not just modernized costume styles but staging as well, representative of a real-world story today, with local scenery celebrating the craft beer culture in West Michigan.

Fashion studies students will be blogging about their experience creating costumes for “The Student Prince.” Learn more about their journey at the KCAD blog.

Tickets for Opera Grand Rapids 2016 season, including “The Student Prince,” are available through Ticketmaster and the Opera Grand Rapids Box Office, (616) 451-2741 or 1320 East Fulton Street. For additional details, including cast lists and production synopses, visit operagr.org.

Learn more about KCAD’s Fashion Studies program at kcad.edu/fashion.