Vocational students take to the stage at Pinchgut Opera placement

13 December 2018

Putting their NIDA skills to the test with Pinchgut Opera, CUA50415 Diploma of Live Production and Technical Service students completed a secondment at City Recital Hall in Sydney.

Above: Zac White and Jordan Anderson dismantle a chandelier as Palace Guards on stage at Pinchgut Opera.
Photo: Brett Boardman.

The students had the experience of a secondment with Pinchgut Opera on their production of Arteserse. Unusually, the students also found themselves on stage, having to fulfill the roles of palace guards as they dismantled a chandelier while the production was live.

The intensive Diploma course prepares students for technical roles in the live production and events industries, including theatre, dance, opera, concerts, functions, ceremonies and events.

Jordan Anderson said the secondment gave him both the chance to see all the different roles in action and a chance to think about his future in the industry. ‘I’ve always been interested in directing, I have a music background and I am interested in audio, specifically sound design. So it’s been amazing for me to watch Artistic Director Erin Helyard and Assistant Conductor Keiren Brandy-Sawdy work together to balance a blend of instruments and voices that aren’t being amplified. And this opportunity has broadened my knowledge of baroque instruments and how they’ve evolved into the instruments we see in a more modern symphony.’

‘Having the chance to work with a company such as Pinchgut for a secondment has been incredibly rewarding. It’s given me the chance to observe not only working backstage on a production but how a professional rehearsal room runs.’

‘I’ve also become a lot more familiar with the role of an ASM (Assistant Stage Manager) and how they work together with the SM (Stage Manager).’

‘The best feeling for me was knowing that my work helped to produce such an incredible production. At the same time I was afforded the opportunity to learn and grow from others while putting skills I’ve learnt at NIDA to the test.’

Zac White is aiming to find a future in staging and automation, and said the Pinchgut experience will certainly help him in that. ‘Working with the Pinchgut Opera Company has been such a fun experience, everyone is great to work with and super supportive,’ said Zac White. ‘This secondment taught me what was expected from everyone in their roles onstage or offstage. A challenge that I had was that I don't know how to speak Italian so it was hard to remember any verbal cues for my role as a palace guard!’

Vocational Education and Training (VET) at NIDA provides diploma level qualifications in core NIDA capabilities: theatre, film and television. To apply to student NIDA’s Vocational Diploma Courses in 2020 applications open from 2 July 2019. Register your interest here.