Creating Digital Art with NCAD

Tuesday, 2 July, 2019
NCAD Magic Flute

Opera is an art form encompassing all the senses, from the magical sounds of the orchestra and singers to the visual alchemy of movement, lighting, costumes and sets. As a company, INO is always looking for new and innovative ways to communicate this exciting and unique art form to new audiences.

Last April, we collaborated with students from the National College of Art and Design in a new project that saw 2nd year visual communications design students create a series of digital moving posters in response to Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute.

We were thrilled to welcome 30 NCAD students, many of whom have never experienced opera before, to the Royal Irish Academy of Music to launch the project. During the launch they got the opportunity to hear two arias from The Magic Flute, performed by soprano Aoife O’Connell and répétiteur Dearbhla Collins, followed by a presentation of the opera and its design by INO Studio and Outreach Producer James Bingham and assistant director Sarah Baxter. As this was, for many, their first exposure to opera, the introduction gave them the context needed to set about the project. Later that day, students were invited to a performance of INO’s production of Madama Butterfly to allow them to experience first-hand the powerful effect of a full scale opera.

NCAD-1.jpg#asset:2604Aoife O’Connell introduces students to the music of The Magic Flute

Each student carried out their own research on The Magic Flute, combining what they learned with the insight they gained during the project launch to devise their own unique response to opera. The project allowed the students to showcase their understanding of the opera and to explore a new and dynamic format. The brief encouraged them to utilise their visual communications design skills to tap into a younger demographic, making opera and The Magic Flute more accessible and relevant to young people who have never been to an opera before.

Working with students across all ages is a key part of our education and outreach programme led by INO Studio and Outreach Producer James Bingham. “It’s of vital importance that Irish National Opera engage with young artists who may never have otherwise considered a career in opera. By its very nature, opera is multi-faceted, and we as a company should be turning young graduates on to the numerous and varied jobs out there in the world of opera. I’m also really curious to see how a collection of young enthusiastic designers will respond to a world that’s very new to them. Their perspective is unique and promising.”

At INO, we are passionate about pursuing new and exciting digital mediums of communication (whether it be via online streaming platforms like the RTÉ Player or Operavision, or finding innovative digital marketing channels to pique the interest of more diverse audiences), but more importantly we are passionate about our art form and committed to sharing this extraordinary experience with as many people as possible. Partnerships like this help make that possible.

Check out some of the students submissions in the videos below.

Samanta Baland

Kinga Strama

Giusy Ascoli

Alex Ryan

We are very grateful to NCAD for taking part in this project, the Royal Irish Academy of Music for allowing us the use of their gorgeous facilities for our project launch, Aoife O'Connell and Dearbhla Collins for their performances on the day and Sarah Baxter for talking us through our new production of The Magic Flute and of course to all the NCAD students for sharing their digital interpretations of the opera.