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Twelve performing arts students studying BTEC first and second year production at Sussex Downs College secured a training day at The Royal Opera House in London as part of a National Skills Academy ‘Open Up’ day.

It was an opportunity to find out about the range of activities and careers that contribute to the running of a large arts institution. The Royal Opera House is one of the world’s foremost opera houses. The day enabled the students to interact with the experienced professionals responsible for making each performance a success.

Phil Rose, Performing Arts lecturer, said: “This was a great opportunity for our students to gain a practical insight into potential offstage careers. They were blown away by the day which has really inspired them.”


The event coincided with Colleges’ Week which sets out to highlight the broad range of learning and skills training that FE colleges like Sussex Downs offer. All the students involved had the chance to work back stage at the Opera House supporting key staff in lighting, stage management and set design. They experienced what it feels like to work in these key areas at the theatre.

Pauline Tambling, Managing Director, National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural, commented: “It is well known that the Royal Opera House has a long history of making first class productions of opera and ballet available to schools and young people. We are delighted that the Royal Opera House is now opening its doors to our network of Further Education Colleges across the country. Further Education offers access to education to the widest possible range of students across all abilities and has a strong focus on vocational learning and apprenticeships.”

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