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Royal Opera House

Encourage culturally engaged young people aged 20-30 to experience opera for the first time.


The Royal Opera House and AKA, the international entertainment marketing agency, are challenging you to create a campaign that will encourage culturally engaged young people aged 20-30 to experience opera for the first time.

What’s so great about opera?

According to Kasper Holten, Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House, it’s this: “Opera can make us see, feel and hear the world differently, and it reminds us about being in touch with the things beneath the surface, the things that really matter.” 

Basically, because it deals with the big human themes – life, love, death, loss, passion, joy, anger, humour – opera is relevant to everyone, and all can understand, appreciate and enjoy it. We believe in making this brilliant, powerful artform as widely available as possible, which is why we bring world-class composers, writers, artists, technicians, craftsmen, and administrators together in our iconic theatre to make it happen, and publicise what we do as broadly and inclusively as we can. 

The Problem

Despite this, we find that in some areas our audience is not as diverse as the population as a whole, and, in particular, young people are under-represented. This is a big issue for us, because we have to engage and inspire more young people to be part of our audience if we are to ensure the long-term survival of opera as an artform.

The people we’re talking about for the purpose of this brief are those aged between 20 and 30 who already attend plays, gigs, and exhibitions, but who don’t consider opera. Why? Because they simply think it isn’t for them.

We want to challenge this perception, and to invite these young people to give opera a try – which is where you come in. 

The Creative Challenge

We – that’s the Royal Opera House and our advertising agency AKA – would like you to come up with a creative concept or idea that dispels the myths, something that challenges our target audience’s preconceptions, and removes those preconceptions as a barrier to attendance. We’d like to you show them that opera as an artform isn’t what they think is it – and moreover that it is for them.

Our target audience currently think that:

• Opera is historic, dry, stuffy, formal and traditional and not relevant to contemporary life
• Opera is for posh, old people, not ‘people like me’
• You have to be musically educated or an opera buff to understand or enjoy it
• There are certain accepted opinions about opera, and open interpretation or appreciation of it is not welcome 
• Opera is mainly fat ladies singing for a long time about death and love in Italian

We would like to communicate to them instead:

• Opera can pack a huge emotional punch – it’s exciting and alive and a thrill to watch 
• Operas have been written for the last 400 years, but new ones are being created all the time – it’s a modern and energetic artform
• Because it deals with the big human themes – life, love, death, loss, passion, joy, anger, humour – it’s relevant to everyone, and everyone can understand it 
• Operas cover an enormous range of subject and stories and most productions, including those in English, have subtitles, so language isn’t a problem


You need to show how your idea will work as an advertising campaign – across digital, print, out of home and social media advertising .

Creative needs to feature the Royal Opera House logo (You'll find it in the Project Pack at the YCN website).

Deliverables & Additional Information

Find out more what the Royal Opera House does and to see for yourself how we talk about ourselves:

Please adhere to the Deliverables outlined in the Student Awards section of the YCN website. Any supporting information referenced in the brief can be found in the accompanying Project Pack at the YCN website.