Simone is an Essex-based theatre-maker and mezzo-soprano passionate about celebrating and sharing wonderful work that respects, reflects and affects the world we live in.
As a theatre-maker, 2019/20 saw the release of her short film for the English National Opera, What Do You Hope For?, exploring what it means to protest for the colour of your skin; the premiere of her “wild, witty… and painfully perceptive” (The Stage) and “fierce, fearless and cerebral” (The Guardian) debut play with Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong Shuck ‘n’ Jive at the Soho Theatre; and a successful short tour of her all-singing, all-dancing Il barbiere di Siviglia for Devon Opera. Next, she looks forward to writing the libretto for the Royal Opera House and Visualise’s immersive trap-opera experience mobilising us against the climate crisis, Munkination; working as Annabel Arden’s associate director on a new flagship production for Opera North; and directing educational works for The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and The Cramphorn Studio. She is an accomplished staff director who has assisted and directed covers for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and English National Opera, and refit shows on tour.
As a performer, she next looks forward to covering Annie for Theater an der Wien‘s Porgy and Bess; performing in two new digital operas raising climate crisis awareness; and premiering a piece written for her by trailblazer Odaline de la Martinez at the London Festival of American Music. Recent highlights include Grace in Bryony Kimmings’ Opera Mums (BBC Four); Passepartout in Around the World in 80 Days (West Green House Opera); Jo in Summerhall Award-winning Dead Equal, directed by Miranda Cromwell; One Woman in Olivier and Sky Arts Award-winning Porgy and Bess (English National Opera, Dutch National Opera); and Esther in Mamzer Bastard by Na’ama Zisser (in workshop, Royal Opera House). She is an Extra Chorister at the English National Opera; a Pegasus Opera mentee; and a performer with the Earth Ensemble, stirring hearts and minds to action around the climate crisis. Before training in classical voice, she sang backing vocals for artists including Mercury Award-winner Benjamin Clementine and BBC Folk Award-winner Sam Lee.
Simone is joint artistic director of Hera with Toria Banks and Linda Hirst, celebrating and sharing unheard music and stories by women and gender-minoritised folk right across the UK. With them she has worked on feminist gig theatre; anti-ablest electronic opera; and training and education about safe and consensual theatrical intimacy and the amazing, hidden women of classical music. In the past she worked for theatre companies Cheek by Jowl and Paines Plough, specialising in touring administration and accessibility.
Simone is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in the arts, and her work in this field has led her to a junior fellowship at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, a place as one of BBC Radio 3‘s Next Generation Voices, and consultancy engagements with a variety of arts organisations. She has appeared on the radio, podcasts and TV discussing opera, theatre, diversity and inclusion, and the climate crisis.
She trained at the University of York and The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where her studies were kindly supported by The Guildhall School Trust, Help Musicians UK, and the Opera Awards Foundation.
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Simone uses she/her pronouns.