Opera GR Collaborates with KCAD Fashion Studies


GRAND RAPIDS – 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.

Fashion Studies + OperaGR Collaboration from KCAD-TV on Vimeo.

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 more in alignment with our goal to be accessible to new audiences.”

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.

“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.

About Opera Grand Rapids

Located in the heart of West Michigan, Opera Grand Rapids is the state’s longest-running professional opera production company. Through the creativity and excellence of this timeless art form, Opera Grand Rapids enriches the West Michigan community and provides unique and powerful experiences that move people of all ages and backgrounds. Opera Grand Rapids’ productions are produced and presented locally in West Michigan. For the productions, Opera Grand Rapids engages a cast of internationally acclaimed artists, stage directors, conductors, choreographers, set designers, costume designers, and others, in addition to the regional Grand Rapids Symphony, and Opera Grand Rapids Chorus and Children’s Chorus.

Opera Grand Rapids Season April 8—June 12

“Orpheus and Eurydice” by Christoph Willibald Gluck, April 8 & 9, DeVos Center for Arts and Worship

“Romeo and Juliet” by Charles Gounod, April 29 & 30, DeVos Performance Hall             

“The Student Prince” by Sigmund Romberg, June 9, 10 & 12, St. Cecilia Music Center

About KCAD

Located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) is committed to creating lasting impact in West Michigan and beyond through collaborative partnerships, cultural innovation, and an educational model that develops the talent of individuals into a force for intellectual growth, individual creativity, and community engagement. For more information, please visit www.kcad.edu.

Ferris State University is an equal opportunity institution. For information on the University’s Policy on Non-Discrimination, visit ferris.edu/non-discrimination.



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