Royal Opera House to close in-house design

The Royal Opera House has closed its in-house graphic design department one month before theatre and film director Richard Eyre reports to Culture Secretary Chris Smith on the ROH’s future. An open pitch will be held in May or June to find a consultant.

As plans stand, the ROH will reopen in December 1999 after its refurbishment. In the interim M&C Saatchi will handle its advertising account and Rufus Leonard the design of material for productions.

Nicholas Blosch, the out-going designer, will continue to work with the company as a private consultant, according to ROH marketing head Judy Graham.

Graham, who recently joined the opera house, is involved in a wide-ranging overhaul that aims to promote better cost-effectiveness. She says, “In my experience quality is important. By out-sourcing you get a range of skills.”

Blosch, whose work with the ROH won two ISTD awards in 1996, says the in-house department’s strength was its ability to understand the company and bring a consistent yet responsive approach to its design.

“We are by no means as stylish as the English National Opera, but that was never my aim,” says Blosch.

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