Reviews 2011-2020

Guildhall School Opera Triple Bill, Silk Street Theatre & live stream, 2020 
Directed by Stephen Medcalf, Set & Costumes 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.

“Simon Corder designed impressive sets: At the beginning, a bar in which the Page Oscar served behind the counter, and in which the blonde and seductive Amelia appeared. The second act shows dilapidated arches in a creepy forest, and the third act leads to a truly opulent library in the house of Renato. The costumes by Gøje Rostrup in the style of the 90s also fit in seamlessly.” – Wolfgang Denker,, 9 December 2019

“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

“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

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

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 a 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

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

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

“Like the light filtering in through the large French windows (Simon Corder is responsible for the lighting and a fine job he does), so love and regrets sometimes filter through the irony of the music, especially at the very end of Act I. – Suzanne Daumann,, 9 October 2012

“Simon Corder responsible for the lights, presents us the different faces of the blue, marrying 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.

“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