Look at how I look, say leading ladies

All Souls Amateur Operatic Society have joined forces with students from Huddersfield University to create costumes for their upcoming show “Die Fledermaus”.

The society approached the University back in September 2013, to offer a student the opportunity to design and make a costume for one of their principal cast. The selection process included students submitting a letter of interest and CVs to the societies committee, followed by a telephone interview.

Two students shone out above the rest and the society were delighted to invite Emily Spreadborough and Charlotte Neave to design Act Two ball gowns for the two leading ladies Rosalinda, played by Amy Ellison, and Adele, played by Jessica Butterfield.

“Emily and Charlotte stood out with their enthusiasm and obvious love of Theatrical Costume design, so the society decided to involve both young ladies” said show producer, Cathy Sutcliffe.

Emily and Charlotte are both in the third year of their degrees studying Costume and Textiles. The course teaches historical and contemporary cut and construction techniques, current textile and modern design, and its application to characterisation, for use in theatre, opera, dance, film, TV, music videos and commercials.

Emily, 20, has recently undertaken a placement with Scottish National Opera. “Having the opportunity to create a bespoke gown from scratch has been a wonderful opportunity.”

Emily will be undertaking further placements with National Theatre and Northern Ballet later on this year. “My

aspirations for the future are to complete a post graduate course in Theatre Design and hopefully become a designer,” said Emily.

Charlotte, 22 has also been on placement earlier in the year with Opera North and will be taking up further opportunities with Nicola Killeen Textiles, London. Charlie is also awaiting confirmation of a further exciting design placement, working in Ireland with the Galway Festival.

“Working with All Souls’ has been extremely rewarding, the society has been so welcoming and the whole experience has really increased my confidence. I would highly recommend this initiative to any other students wanting to get involved with local groups and charities. My future aspirations are to finish my degree and find a full time position as a designer” Said Charlotte.

“It’s such a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of our local talent. Emily and Charlotte have been a delight

to work with and we are truly astounded by the professionalism, quality, attention to detail and commitment both girls have shown.” Said Chairperson Amy Ellison.

All Souls Amateur Operatic Society was originally founded in 1960 and has traditionally performed an annual show in spring at the Halifax Playhouse followed by their autumn ‘Accent on Song’ concert.

“Die Fledermaus is one of the most stunning operettas available for amateur performance. The music, written by Johann Strauss, is simply beautiful, with well known numbers such as ‘Champagne’, ‘Brother Mine’ and ‘Homeland’” said musical director, Colin Akers.

Die Fledermaus will be performed at the Halifax Playhouse from April 8 to 12. Tickets online from www.halifaxplayhouse.org.uk or by calling 01484 721617.