Wednesday, 22 February 2012

lyric Opera Madama Butterfly

I had a very enjoyable night out last Saturday at Lyric
production of Madama Butterfly at the
National Concert Hall.
The NCH does not have an orchestra pit which necessitates
the setting of the orchestra at auditorium floor level between the audience and
the stage apron. This can prove challenging for both the vocalists and the
audience; for the vocalist in projecting over the sound of the orchestra and
for the audience in receiving a balanced sound from both. Having said that, both
the vocalists and the orchestra were of accord and sounded super.
Staging a production in the NCH also poses staging
challenges for the Set Designer, in so far as it does not have the staging
facilities associated with an Opera House or Theatre. In such circumstances, Lyric
Opera’s director/designer CAV. Vivian Coates acquitted himself reasonably well in
devising an appropriate setting to evoke a supportive visual ambiance and
atmosphere to the production while the scenic elements remained unobtrusive or
distracting to the audience. The slow paced resetting of the dressing props and
hand props by the choreographed and costumed stage crew during the interval was
quite poetic. Equally important to creating the appropriate visual ambiance and
atmosphere is the Lighting Designers contribution and then of course, the
Already I am looking forward to Lyrics next production “La
Boheme” May 19th, 21st & 23rd.
Patrick M

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Equipping graduates for working abroad

Is it not about time that we accepted the fact that Ireland cannot provide employment for all of its graduates and that a large portion of them are going to emigrate? What we do need to look at is how best to equip them to travel abroad to find employment, to test their learning, develop greater understanding and for those who wish to, to return to Ireland with enhanced knowledge which they can add to Ireland’s growing knowledge society/smart economy.

Have our Careers Guidance Counsellors got sufficient support and knowledge to advise school leavers and graduates on the opportunities of foreign experience and what they need to know to make a success of working abroad?  

Learning to teach and learn

To support the realisation of a knowledge economy through education, creativity and innovation is it not timely for a review of the core activity of teaching and learning at third level education? This is, to insure that all our lecturers and tutors are equipped with contemporary knowledge of teaching and learning theory and practice.

Currently, it is estimated that less than 20% of third level academic teaching staff have any recognised qualification in Teaching & Learning, Theory and Practice.

Without a knowledge of teaching and learning theory and practice it is difficult to see how our third level educators can support students learning how to learn, so as to enable the students to become independent life long learners, knowing how to go about up-skilling or reskilling and how to go about revitalising their knowledge capital to meet the challenges of a changing national and international workplace?

We need to insure that our graduates are equipped with the skills for lifelong learning, for research, for communicating, that they have developed enquiring, inventive, adaptive minds and have an understanding of how innovation and creativity happen. Without this joined up, constructive alignment of process we are not doing our best for our academics, our learners and our graduates to face the current and future, national and global, social and economic challenges.