The Madam Butterfly Fashion Show was a multi-media extravaganza involving fifteen schools and colleges from across the capital which culminated in a fabulous performance on 5th March 2007 on the spectacular set of Madam Butterfly. Learning & Participation worked with BBC 21CC (the BBC's digital learning centre) and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to host this incredible fashion, music and VJ event.
The show was directed by fashion designers Kevin Freeman and Lisa Ducie, Choreography was arranged by Gordon Murray and the music was conducted and arranged by Duncan Chapman.
This project was funded by the Royal Albert Hall.
All of the garments modelled at the show had been designed as part of students' coursework - be it GCSE, A Level, National Diploma or Foundation Degree. At whatever level all students had the same design brief - to construct a garment that was based on the themes of Puccini's Madam Butterfly. The end results were incredibly varied and when all 174 models took to the stage in the finale the Hall was filled with a riotous assembly of colour and styles reflecting the students' imagination and ingenuity.
The schools who produced designs were:
Addington High School, London Borough of Croydon
Barnet College, London Borough of Barnet
Battle Abbey School, East Sussex
Brentside High School, London Borough of Ealing
Darrick Wood School, London Borough of Bromley
Harris Academy, London Borough of Southwark
Hastings College of Art and Technology, East Sussex
Holland Park School, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Mulberry School for Girls, London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Paddington Academy, City of Westminster
Pimlico School, City of Westminster
Queen Elizabeth's Girls' School, London Borough of Barnet
St George's RC School, City of Westminster
Sion-Manning School, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
South Camden Community School, London Borough of Camden
Mulberry School for Girls and Paddington Academy worked with BBC 21CC in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and composer Duncan Chapman to create a new score for this unique show. During sessions both at school and at the 21CC studios students worked alongside professional musicians exploring ideas for the music. The resulting score was impressive and the use of traditional Japanese instruments added to the atmosphere of the event.
The VJ's were students from Brentside High School and Sion Manning School for Girls who were supported by the technical team at 21CC and VJ artist Ben Mason. They worked with new software to create the images that were the background to the show. Then during the performance they manned the cameras providing live footage during the show and mixing these images with the pre-recorded footage to provide a dynamic and flamboyant backdrop to the show.
21CC is BBC Learning’s digital learning centre in London dedicated to exploring creative ways of using multi-media and new technology in teaching and learning. It works with schools to drive online learning opportunities and to develop a dynamic rolling programme of innovative digital projects that draw on expertise from across the BBC, from film, radio and music through to web design, digital art and animation.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
In 1993, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was the first London Orchestra to establish a Community and Education Department. Since its inception, musicians from the Orchestra have delivered hundreds of pioneering projects, allowing the RPO to gain an unrivalled reputation for its work in many community settings. The music for the Madam Butterfly Fashion Show was developed through a series of workshops involving BBC 21CC and members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra education team and led by sound artist specialist Duncan Chapman. It explored traditional Japanese instruments and music as well as other contemporary music styles. Young people and a team of Royal Philharmonic Orchestral players then created 40 minutes of original music to accompany the show.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Website
Freelance Composer & Sound Artist regularly works with many leading music organisations in the UK including The Philharmonia Orchestra, The Royal Albert Hall, London Sinfonietta, RFH, CBSO, BCMG, Wigmore Hall, Huddersfield Contemporary music festival, BBC and Sonic Arts Network. More exotic locations include projects and performances in Tokyo, Singapore, Budapest and throughout Europe. Much of his work involves collaborations resulting in sound installations, CDs and multi-media performances.
Recent projects include You Are Hear for Trinity College of music, film soundtrack projects at the BFI, sound installations at Kings Place (Sinfonietta) and live electronics for at the 2008 RFH Stockhausen festival.
Duncan Chapman's Website.