BA (Hons) Stage Management student Ibraheem Hamirani spoke to us about his industry placement experience and gave advice about how to get the most out of your placement.
Where did you complete your work placement?
I completed two placements: one with the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROH Oman) and the other was a British tour with Opera Up Close.
What kind of things did you get involved in at your placements?
My first placement was with ROH Muscat; I was shadowing the stage management team and helping out with all sorts of events. I got to have a front row seat in seeing how the industry differs from the UK, and met professionals from all over the world. One of the most valuable experiences of the placement was being heavily involved with an inaugural concert, which was a celebration of the opening of a second concert hall. The concert consisted of two parts; the first part was with the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra and they played iconic traditional Omani classical music; the second part was the Czech National Symphony and they played a wide range of operatic music. I was also very lucky to shadow the stage management team during Puccini's Madama Butterfly. It was remarkable because it was a festival, which meant I got to see how stage management teams work from different countries. It was interesting to talk to the people that worked there and to see how they started their careers. The whole placement was an unforgettable experience and I cannot wait to return there!
My second placement was with Opera Up Close. I worked as an Assistant Stage Manager (ASM) on the revival tour of La Boheme (which was the winner of the 2011 Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production). As ASM, it was my duty to look after the props and assist the Stage Manager. It was another amazing experience; I got to understand what it was like to be on tour and to go to places that I had never been to before!
Has the course helped with your placement?
Definitely! The course did a fantastic job of instilling the skills that I have learned over the past three years and I was able to use these skills effectively on my placements. The placements built my self-confidence and gave me more experience in the industry.
What was the best piece of advice you took from your placements?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Also take every opportunity to network, because it’s so important to your career.
What advice do you have for other students thinking about placements?
Don't be afraid to ask or to send emails out to everybody! To secure my Opera Up Close placement, I emailed lots of opera companies to ask if they had any placement opportunities. Also, make sure that the placement that you choose is something you care about and are interested in. There is no point in doing something that you don't actually like.
Did you make any good industry links that could help you in your career?
From doing my placements at the ROH Muscat and Opera Up Close, I managed to meet Stage Managers from around the world. After my successful placements I have been invited to continue doing tours with Opera Up Close, and I’ve secured a 9-month contract to return to ROH Muscat when I graduate!