Opera Company of Philadelphia Student Film Winner Announced

Opera is the original multi-media art form, and in recent seasons, the Opera Company of Philadelphia has been excited to inspire visual and creative artists from many differing genres to consider the cross-section between their art, and opera. From dance to scenic and costume design, the Opera Company has delighted in collaborative projects such as Fidelio and Madama Butterfly with famed artist Jun Kaneko, which gave the opportunity for Philadelphia's art community to showcase some of the artist's epic work, and last season's Romeo & Juliet, which gave area college design students the opportunity to create original costumes that were featured in a high-fashion premiere.

February's production of The Abduction from the Seraglio from Artistic Director Robert B. Driver depicts the delightful romantic adventure as a spy intrigue in the 1920s, set against a backdrop of some of the decade’s most memorable black and white films. With clips from such famous titles as Mata Hari, Our Dancing Daughters, Wings, and several others, film figures prominently into the atmosphere this production of Mozart’s timeless comedy where the girl saves the boy.

In conjunction with this, the Opera Company of Philadelphia invited the city's renowned film programs to participate in a film competition, challenging student filmmakers to create a short opera film of their own. Since Mozart’s opera is a classic adventure story, students were invited to create their own adventure-based, silent film, set to some of opera’s most memorable melodies.

To critique these student films, the Opera Company of Philadelphia assembled our Distinguished Film Panel, including Robert B. Driver, Artistic Director of the Opera Company of Philadelphia; Michael Lerman, Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Film Society; Sharon Pinkenson, Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office; Steven Rea, Movie Critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer; and Nick Stuccio, Production Director of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe

The judges selected four creative finalists from the student entries, and on Saturday, February 4th, 2012 at the Opera Company’s annual fundraising gala, the Black & White Ball, University of the Arts student Nikkita Patterson was announced as the PNC Grand Prize winner of $2,500. Nikkita’s film was the unanimous first prize choice of the film panel for its daring interpretation of the famous drinking chorus from Verdi’s La traviata, highlighting the excesses of love, drinking, and food. Philadelphia Inquirer critic Steven Rea writes “Crazy costuming, deft editing, a bold sense of humor in a rich and raucous celebration of excess. Let them eat cake!”

View Nikkita's winning film below, along with the other three finalists! 

Nikkita Patterson (University of the Arts)

Untitled from Rebecca Adair on Vimeo.


Amanda Conlan (University of the Arts)

Le Perle Ambite from amanda conlan on Vimeo.

Rebecca Adair and Michael Mizrahi (University of the Arts)

Ô vision! Ô rêve! from Michael Mizrahi on Vimeo.


To Pleasure's Intoxication Yield - Submission for the Opera Company of Philadelphia from Nikkita Hamar Patterson on Vimeo.