Costume Supervisor

Award-winning Streetwise Opera is looking for a freelance Costume Supervisor to work with us on Re:Discover – our flagship festival taking place in summer 2024 in London (May), Manchester (June) and Nottingham (July).

Main Purpose of the Position

  • The Costume Supervisor will be responsible for the sourcing, and possibly some making, of costumes of the three different operas in each city.
  • The Costume Supervisor will work alongside the set and costume designer, Debbie Duru.
  • There will be circa 15-20 performers in each opera (numbers TBC).
  • The operas are all broadly set in modern Britain and costumes will broadly be standard, modern dress or relatively easily sourced uniforms (i.e. train ticket inspector or cleaner).

Relevant Dates

April – May 2024

The following activity would take place prior to rehearsals starting – dates and times to be agreed with the costume supervisor:

  • Costume meetings with the designer (these can be done remotely)
  • Measurements and fittings with the performers (in person)
  • Sourcing of costumes
Intensive rehearsal dates (exact dates and times of costume supervisor attendance TBC)
  • London, St John’s Waterloo: Monday 20 – Tuesday 21 May (final fittings) / Wednesday 22 May – Friday 24 May (rehearsals)
  • Manchester, Bridgewater Hall: Thursday 4 June – Thursday 6 June
  • Nottingham, Nottingham Playhouse: Mon 15 July – Wednesday 17 July
Festival Performances
  • London, St John’s Waterloo: Sunday 26 May (get-in); performances Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 May
  • Manchester, Bridgewater Hall: Thursday 6 June (evening get-in); performances Friday 7 and Saturday 8 June
  • Nottingham, Nottingham Playhouse: Thursday 18 July (morning get-in); performances Friday 19 – Saturday 20 July

The costume supervisor would be required to return any hires or coordinate the donation of the remaining costume to charity shops after the opera has finished in each town.

Person Specification

  • Professional qualifications and proven experience of working within a wardrobe department
  • Experience of working on live performances.
  • Ability to manage budgets and maintain schedules
  • Self-motivated with strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to problem solve both long-term and under pressure.
  • Ability to work collaboratively.
  • Previous experience of working with vulnerable adult (Desirable)

About Re:Discover

The Re:Discover Festival is celebration of our African and Caribbean heritage, through the voices of people with lived experience of homelessness. Inspired by the courage and the resilience of brilliant classical composers like British abolitionist Ignatius Sancho and French Revolutionary Joseph Bologne, this festival includes music and theatre performances, dance workshops, talks and an exhibition featuring artists of African and Caribbean heritage.

As part of Re:Discover, Streetwise Opera will premiere three new short operas, co-created by people with lived experience of homelessness working side-by-side with world-class artists, and inspired by the music of Ignatius Sancho, George Bridgetower, Joseph Bologne (Chevalier de Saint-Georges), Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Florence Price, Margaret Bonds and Dr Shirley J Thompson OBE.

About Streetwise Opera

Streetwise Opera is an opera company that enables people who’ve experienced homelessness to find inspiration and empowerment while they rebuild their lives and identities. We support participants to develop as creative people and, as we amplify their voices, change how society views homelessness.

We engage world-class artists, both established and emerging, to co-create bold new work and reimagine traditional repertoire. We create opera that is for everyone and, by bringing together diverse voices, change how society views opera.

We run a programme of singing and creative workshops in London, Manchester and Nottingham, that inspires and empowers people who are recovering from homelessness. As they engage with our work, Streetwise Opera performers improve their wellbeing and rebuild their social networks, and we have a robust evaluation system that helps us demonstrate the difference we make.

People who experience homelessness very often suffer from a diminished sense of self-worth and low expectations about what they can achieve and what they can expect from life. Streetwise Opera performers reinvent themselves as creators who make the world more beautiful and have the power to bring audiences to their feet. This gives them the confidence and inspiration to rebuild their lives.

Recruitment process

Applications for this role have now closed. 

Interviews will be held via Zoom on the week of 25 March.


Contract: Fixed term

Fee: There will be an all-inclusive fee of £3,615 for this contract, plus travel and accommodation costs of up to £700.