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John Harrison

Lighting designer

Biography

British lighting designer and former Royal Opera House Technical Director John Harrison designed the lighting for The Royal Opera’s production of Simon Boccanegra, directed by Elijah Moshinsky.

Harrison began his career in lighting design as an assistant to Richard Pilbrow. In this capacity he worked on many West End musicals and plays including Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. He joined Sadler’s Wells (later English National Opera) as a Production Manager and Technical Director, and later became Technical Director for Welsh National Opera. During his time in Wales he set up the commercial scenery facility Cardiff Theatrical Services, and also spent some time working as Technical Director of Vancouver Opera. For Welsh National Opera he designed lighting for Harry Kupfer’s production of Elektra and Elijah Moshinsky’s production of I puritani. He subsequently became Technical Director of the Royal Opera House, and was their Commercial Director from 1999 until his retirement in 2004.

Along with other work at the Royal Opera House, Harrison developed the Big Screen showings, now an annual event sponsored by BP, and the in-house television system. He also developed Big Screens for opera and commercial companies in the USA, Europe and the Far East.