Music Meets Art for Mise en Scène

Mise en Scène, a unique theatrical experience combining music and art, takes place at the RNCM on Thursday 2 July.

The project is an exciting collaboration between the RNCM’s School of Vocal Studies and Opera and design students from Manchester School of Art. Here, Fabrizio Cocchiarella, Senior Lecturer Interior Design, talks more about the partnership…

How did the collaboration between the RNCM and MMU come about?

Stefan Janski (RNCM Head of Opera) was keen to work with the Art School on a project and approached us through MMU’s Theatre School. Saoirse Higgins and I were developing a project for our yearly Art School wide collaborative unit (Unit X) and were really happy to work with the College on something that would cover different year groups and disciplines.

We developed it in two parts: one involving first and second year undergraduates on the BA (Hons) Interior Design and Creative Multimedia courses who created performance-based interventions at an Art School exhibition at Federation House (part of the Castlefield Gallery new art spaces) and on city centre trams as part of Manchester After Hours; and one with MA students who have developed these themes as part of their professional platforms unit for the performance in the RNCM Concert Hall.

How important is it for students of different art forms to work together?

The professional world outside of university is collaborative, and I think it’s important for creatives, whether in music, art or design, to learn to work with others rather than in isolation. The project has seen some really insightful connections between art, design, music and theatre – the translation of the works from the music to experience based and visual narratives has been profoundly rich for the students. It’s been a wonderful experience to put specialisms into practice as part of a multi-layered cohesive project.

What obstacles, if any, have you had to face in the creation of Mise en Scène?

Everyone involved has been tremendously accommodating. A great thing about doing this kind of project in Manchester is that so many external companies and organisations are really keen to make collaborative projects happen.

When working in the city there may be moments when students need to present to the city council or write risk assessments for work they propose to stage in the public domain, but overall these are all part of the professional working environment. All external agencies, including Transport for Greater Manchester who we worked closely with for the first part of the project, have been fantastic with the students and welcomed their creativity. So, no particular obstacles just layers of professionalism that students have had to engage with to make their work real.

What have you enjoyed most about the project?

Working with everyone involved at the Art School and RNCM, both staff and students as well as external companies and organisations on the project. It’s been fantastic seeing art students develop their practice and professionalism. The project has helped them to realise essential professional skills and given them a platform in which to work as aspiring young creatives. It’s been rewarding to see BA students develop their individual creative identities early on in their education as well as seeing MA students perfect and apply their skills, giving all an excellent foundation from which to develop the rest of their creative careers.

Can we look forward to future collaborations?

Most definitely. Working with the RNCM has been fantastic. It’s been hugely creative for everyone involved. Students have gained an invaluable experience in applying their skills to a professional context, learning through exchanging their knowledge and creativity in a supportive and developmental environment.


Book tickets for Thursday’s show here

30 June 2015