Reviews 2011-2020

Opera Triple Bill – Silk Street Theatre London & live stream
Directed by Stephen Medcalf, Designed by Cordelia Chisholm, Lighting by Simon Corder

  • “… this classy evening of sex and violence ingeniously negotiates the limits of social distancing.” – Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 7 November 2020

Un ballo in maschera – Oldenburgisches Staatstheater, 2019
Directed by Rodula Gaitanou, Set & Lighting by Simon Corder, Costumes by Gøje Rostrup

  • “The designs, by Simon Corder, were impressive: a bar (with Oscar on serving duty) in Act 1; a ruined brick archway in a sinister wooded setting for Act 2; and an opulent library for the scene in Renato’s house.” – Wolfgang Denker, Opera Magazine, March 2020
  • “The ingeniously versatile skeleton of the stage set is made up of a few brick arches, which in the first picture serve as booths in the bar, in the second act serve as ruinous catacombs in which homeless people spend the night and in which the unhappily in love Amelia meets a dealer for her lovesickness. As Renato’s study, Simon Corder populates the arches with bookshelves before they become a subtle backdrop in the final image.” – Jochen Rüth, 6 January 2020

Un ballo in maschera – Opera Holland Park, 2019
Directed by Rodula Gaitanou, Designed by takis, Lighting by Simon Corder

  • “…Simon Corder turns the timber transparent, and through the eerie blue mists we watch a menacing dumb-show of murder.” Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 11 June 2019
  • “The ball scene with its bloody denouement, powered with tremendous verve by Matthew Kofi Waldren in the pit, is a triumphant meld of lighting, design, and choreography, with Gaitanou’s direction never putting a foot wrong.” – Michael Church, The Independent, 9 June 2019

Don Quichotte – Wexford Festival, 2019
Directed by Rodula Gaitanou, Designed by takis, Lighting by Simon Corder

  • “Simon Corder’s lighting is hypnotically enchanting: purple merges with indigo, which slithers into emerald, then blurs into gold, then orange.” – Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 28 October 2019
  • “…a wonderful, simple staging, aided by takis’ beautiful designs and Simon Corder’s elegant lighting.” – Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, 23 October 2019
  • “A large part of the success was also down to the brilliant lighting designs of Simon Corder… At times, Corder flooded the stage in a blaze of colour which conjured the Spanish light of our imaginations, while at other times he darkened the stage to capture the heavier emotional atmosphere of the drama.” – Alan Neilson, Opera Wire, 4 November 2019
  • “And the whole evening benefits from the way Simon Corder’s lighting bathes the stage in atmospheric hues.” – Michael Dervan, The Irish Times, 23 October 2019
  • “Nor wonderfully is there anything workman-like about the Wexford Festival Opera production in terms of musical excellence, singing performances or the stage direction of Rodula Gaitanou. Everything is of the highest quality, also living up to the fundamental nature of the work, showing it for its true worth. Even the use of lighting and colour by Simon Corder could be seen to feed in and contribute to the whole mood of the piece, a stormy sunset in the background hinting at the end of an era. It was simply – although there’s nothing simple about such artistic excellence – outstanding.” – Keris Nine, Opera Journal, 4 November 2019

Dorilla in Tempe – Wexford Festival, 2019
Directed by Fabio Ceresa, Set Design by Massimo Checchetto, Costume Design by Giuseppe Palella, Lighting by Simon Corder

  • “The well-defined colours of Simon Corder’s lighting and Giuseppe Palella’s luxurious costumes, and the extravagance of the whole design, remind us how important the visual dimension of Dorilla in Tempe would have been in 1726,…” – Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 28 October 2019

La Traviata – Opera Holland Park, 2018
Directed by Rodula Gaitanou, Designed by Cordelia Chisholm, Lighting by Simon Corder

  • “Each member of the production team deserves credit. The director, Rodula Gaitanou, essentially tells the story of Verdi’s dying courtesan with clarity and a lack of sensation, but there is a lot more going on than that, as the characters are well defined, the chorus groupings perfectly handled, and every detail of the staging is a delight. Designer Cordelia Chisholm’s fin-de-siècle set is a cleverly versatile shape that can become a ballroom, a conservatory or a bedroom with ease, while always looking beautiful and helping to throw the voices forward. Even Simon Corder’s lighting, a tricky prospect at Holland Park where part of the performance takes place in daylight, works a treat. It is a long time since any La traviata looked and felt as beguiling as this.” – Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 30 May 2018
  • “…doubly strengthened by Simon Corder’s expressive lighting” – Geoff Brown, The Times, 31 May 2018
  • “In the final Act, a black dress signals her doom, while Simon Corder’s garish lighting overwhelms the day-light lucidity with the ghoulish purple excess of Flora’s party. The orangery doors come into their own in this last Act: half-open, they admit both lurid light and tumbling crowds of raucous revellers…” – Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 29 May 2018
  • “The ending is equally emotive when, under Simon Corder’s evocative lighting, we see Violetta die in Alfredo’s arms.” – Sam Smith, MusicOMH, 1 June 2018
  • “Designer Cordelia Chisholm’s spare set of metal-framed glass doors, beautifully lit by Simon Corder, is reminiscent of a 19th-century railway station where everyone is rushing to catch a train.” – Clare Colvin, Daily Express, 3 June 2018

Lucia di Lammermoor – Hedeland, 2018
Directed by Rodula Gaitanou, Set & Lighting by Simon Corder, Costume Design by Gøje Rostrup

  • “The scenography of Simon Corder fits perfectly” – Henriette Devantier – Ungt Teaterblod, 6 August 2018.
  • “The scenography of Simon Corder fits so well into the landscape that we almost believed that this Celtic cemetery was always there. In addition, a small pond has been constructed where a young girl is drowned. A long wall also serves as a wedding table when a white tablecloth is pulled over. At the same time, the little island in the lake behind the scene is red-blooded – it is a fantastic effect created by Simon Corder.” –, 6 August 2018

Guillaume Tell – Victorian Opera, 2018
Directed by Rodula Gaitanou, Set & Lighting Simon Corder, Costume Esther Marie Hayes

  • “Rodula Gaitanou directs in a way that is paradoxically restrained and bold, an attitude that filters into every aspect of the production. She encourages her villains to push into the grotesque but then reins in some of the opera’s most melodramatic turning points. It’s a tricky balancing act, executed with great skill. Esther Marie Hayes’ costumes play like a kaleidoscope of the 20th century, encompassing the gas masks of WW1, the sexual fetishism of the Nazis, and the militarism of communist Cuba. Simon Corder’s set – with its raked mossy hills and cut-out mountain – is simple but effective, constantly shifting mood under his brilliant lighting design. The whole thing is smart and unfussy, leaving plenty of room for that glorious music. – Tim Byrne, Time Out Melbourne, 16 July 2018

Ariadne auf Naxos – Göteborg Opera, 2017
Directed by Rodula Gaitanou, Designed by George Souglides, Lighting by Simon Corder

  • “If I could only use one word to describe this new production the word would be “inspired”. Director Rodula Gaitanou was an inspired choice for the Gothenburg Opera and together with a superb team, she created one of the most memorable and beautiful opera productions I have ever seen… mesmerizingly lit by Simon Corder’s lighting…” – Niklas Smith, Seen and Heard International, 11 February 2018

The Consul – Guildhall School of Music & Drama, 2017
Directed by Stephen Medcalf, Set & Lighting by Simon Corder, Costumes by Susannah Henry.

  • Simon Corder’s designs catch the drab post-War atmosphere moving flexibly from a dingy kitchen to the Consulate, stacked high with filing cabinets and chairs. The subtle lighting delineates the different layers of grim reality and surreal otherness. –  John Johnston, Bachtrack, 31 October 2017
  • “The settings alternate between a depressing kitchen, complete with sink, and an immigration office where hopeless people sit forever.” – Michael Tanner, The Spectator, 4 November 2017
  • “Simon Corder, impressive as ever on a relatively low budget, designs a stage for him which keeps the Sorels’ kitchen in line with the suppliants at the consulate, the floor strewn with waiting tickets, until the room swivels round to reveal the secretary’s desk.” – David Nice, The Arts Desk, 31 October 2017

Norma – Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, 2014
Directed by Stephen Medcalf, Designed by Nicky Shaw, Lighting by Simon Corder

  • “The tragedy of souls, Bellini’s “Norma” – in the Cagliari setting directed by Stephen Medcalf, with scenes and costumes by Nicky Shaw and the beautiful lighting design by Simon Corder – lives again in a new postmodern era, between the eighteenth and nineteenth century, in a hypothetical Spain invaded by French troops, between echoes of Francisco Goya’s art and the pictorial suggestions of Romanticism.” – Anna B, Opera World, 16 May 2014
  • “…Nicky Shaw has created the disturbing scenes inspired by the alienating and misty landscapes of the German painter Caspar David Friedrich, well dramatized by the lighting of Simon Corder, who exploited the few and rough elements with special sharpness and refinement. A staging, therefore, with a great atmosphere to enhance the unusual characteristics of Norma…” – Myriam Quaquero, GBOPERA Magazine, 28 April 2014

San Giovanni Battista – Milton Court Theatre, 2014
Directed by Rodula Gaitanou, Set & Lighting by Simon Corder, Costumes by Cordelia Chisholm

  • “The staging and lighting moved from the brightly lit froth of the first part to a dark, twilit world of perversion and gore. There is a lot to live up to in the experiences of contemporary listeners, given Richard Strauss’ almighty take on the story. There is plenty of power here, though. The excellence of the lighting really created the feel of a pagan, ancient World in which St John stoically sticks to his Christianist-God-with-a-capital-’G’ guns with fatal, and remarkably bloody, results… The staging of the death of St John was grizzly and effective.” – Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International, 13 June 2014

Les Deux Veuves – Angers Nantes Opéra, 2012
Directed by Jo Davies, Designed by Joanna Parker, Lighting Simon Corder

  • “Simon Corder est responsable de la belle lumière.”– Suzanne Daumann, Una Voce Poco Fa, 9 October 2012
  • “With the beautiful sets and refined costumes by Joanna Parker, and showing a great economy of means as well as undeniable scenic intelligence, we are in front of a set of noble simplicity and casual elegance. In the same vein, Simon Corder, responsible for lights, presents the different faces of blue, blending perfectly with the pink humour of the work.” – Sabino Pena Arcia, Applaudir, 21 October 2012

A Village Romeo and Juliet – Wexford Festival, 2012
Directed by Stephen Medcalf, Designed by Jamie Vartan, Lighting by Simon Corder

  • “Stephen Medcalf’s production, beautifully and economically designed by Jamie Vartan, and just as beautifully lit by Simon Corder,…” – Opera, January 2013
  • “Most touching of all were the transcendent final moments when Simon Corder’s evocative, shimmers of green light enwrapped the house in the shifting waters which embrace the fated pair.” – Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 10 November 2012

L’Arlesiana – Wexford Festival, 2012
Directed by Rosetta Cucchi, Designed by Sarah Bacon, Lighting by Simon Corder.

“… effectively lit by Simon Corder in Sarah Bacon’s lofty sets…” – Pat O’Kelly, Irish Independent, 26 October 2012

Rumi in Flammen – Landestheater Linz, 2011
Choreographed by Jochen Ulrich, Set & Lighting by Simon Corder, Costume by Michaela Buerger

  • “The stage is a wooden arena, with benches on all sides including one before the audience. Above the arena sits a drummer who immediately begins to beat a large skinned drum. Talented deep rhythms, slightly foreign to our ears… Simon Corder’s Lighting is consistently detailed… the tones tend towards the strong,…” – Alec Kinnear,, 19 June 2011
  • He runs everything in a kind of fitness centre, which Simon Corder built as an almost cosy room and illuminated with warm light tones.” – Große Sprünge,, 20 June 2011