Accessibility links


Sign In

Due to the ongoing effects of closure at the Royal Opera House, information about artists is only updated periodically during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

David Hersey

Lighting designer


David Hersey made his Royal Opera debut in 1975 on Peter Grimes. He has since returned to light We Come to the River, La fanciulla del West, The Ice Break, Lohengrin, Idomeneo, Parsifal, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Albert Herring and Porgy and Bess. He has also lit Mayerling for The Royal Ballet.

Hersey grew up in New York and lives in London. He has designed the lighting for hundreds of plays, musicals, operas and ballets. He was Lighting Consultant to the National Theatre for ten years and is a past Chairman and current Fellow of the Association of Lighting Designers. His many awards include Tony Awards for Evita, Cats and Les Misérables and Olivier Awards for Burning Blue, The Glass Menagerie and Twelfth Night. He received Tony nominations for The Life and Times of Nicholas Nickleby, Starlight Express, Miss Saigon, Oklahoma! and Equus (Drama Desk Award for Best Lighting Design) and Olivier nominations for Oliver, Glengarry Glen Ross, Martin Guerre, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, My Fair Lady (Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production) and The Coast of Utopia. Further productions include Merrily We Roll Along (Menier Chocolate Factory and West End; Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival) and Show Boat (West End).

Hersey has designed lighting extravaganzas at the Mirage, Treasure Island and Belaggio hotels in Las Vegas, and his work can be seen in theme parks in Florida and Italy. In 2002 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Middlesex University. He is the founder of DHA Lighting, and a keen yachtsman.