John Bishop Lighting Designer

John Bishop Lighting Designer

  • AGE: 62
  • EDUCATION: Stonyhurst College, Lancashire
  • FURTHER EDUCATION: Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff
  • DRIVING LICENCE: Full Clean Licence; Full Clean Motorcycle Licence
  • EMAIL ADDRESS: [email protected]
  • TEL: +44 (0)7785 333428

I left school with ten G.C.E. O’levels and three G.C.E. A’ Levels and briefly studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Wales in Cardiff before commencing professional theatrical training at the Welsh College of Music and Drama. The earlier experience gained while working in local theatres during my school holidays enabled me to excel in my studies of Scenic and Costume and Lighting Design at the Welsh College of Music and Drama, where I won the Fred Adams Award for Outstanding Contribution and Achievement in Drama and the 1982 Amoco Bursary to Welsh National Opera. On completing my studies and professional training, I was invited to join Welsh National Opera as an Assistant Electrician. Within a few months I was promoted to Deputy Chief Electrician and in this capacity supervised a substantial lighting crew and was responsible for the rigging and operation of one of the largest permanently touring lighting rigs in the United Kingdom. I was later appointed to the position of Chief Electrician for the National Tours of Threepenny Opera, Cosi Fan Tutte, The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro.

After four and a half years touring with Welsh National Opera around Britain, and to Wiesbaden, Germany on two occasions, I determined to expand my flourishing career as a Freelance Lighting Designer.

Since then I have designed the lighting for more than 200 shows including acclaimed productions of I Pagliacci and Il Tabarro for the Korean National Opera, Seoul; Doktor Faust and The Great Gatsby for Semperoper, Dresden; Notorious for the Göteborg Opera, Hänsel und Gretel for Oper Frankfurt, Tannhäuser and Le Roi Arthus for National Opéra du Rhin, Strasbourg; Don Giovanni and Tristan und Isolde for Den Jyske Opera, Aarhus, Denmark; The Marriage of Figaro for the National Opera of Poland, Warsaw; Ernani for English National Opera; The Most Beautiful Man from the Sea, La Traviata, West Side Story and Cinderella for Welsh National Opera; Albert Herring for Opera North, Leeds; Jenufa, Der Fliegende Holländer, Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung for Den Norske Opera, Oslo; Cosi fan Tutte, Falstaff, The Cunning Little Vixen, Don Giovanni, Tosca and Hänsel und Gretel for Opera Zuid, Maastricht; Don Giovanni in Sao Paulo; Brand for Bill Kenwright in the West End; La Colombe, La Princesse Jaune, La Finta GiardinieraMaiden in the Tower, Kaschey the Immortal, Intermezzo, Jephtha, Maria di Rohan, Mignon, Saul, Luisa Miller, Veronique, Lucrezia Borgia, Samson, The Poacher, Roberto Devereux, Bluebeard, Merry Wives of Windsor, Maria Padilla, Semele, La Périchole, The Green Children, Fierrabras and Un Giorno di Regno and many more for the Buxton Festival; the Spanish premier of Peter Grimes and Le Revenant in Madrid, and the world premier of a new rock-opera Demones in Athens. Earlier in my career I was also involved in the installation and subsequent touring of many West End musicals including Evita, Cats, Song & Dance, Anything Goes, Aspects of Love, Showboat, Moby Dick, Barnum, Sunset Boulevard, The Rocky Horror Show and Fame.

I have been trained by Vari*lite Europe in the use and operation of their automated lighting equipment, and as such have toured Europe with Eric Clapton, Tina Turner and Toto and also worked on the recordings of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by Nigel Kennedy and the English Chamber Orchestra.

I was earlier involved in the design and costing of the Cardiff Summer Festival 1990 for Cardiff City Council and through my production company, Totalshow, supplied all the technical services required on their behalf.

I am a Professional Member of the Association of Lighting Designers and the Society of British Theatre Designers.


  • Summer 1988 – Present: Freelance Lighting Designer
  • Autumn 1984:  Deputy Chief Electrician, Welsh National Opera
  • Summer 1983: Assistant Electrician, Welsh National Opera
  • Summer 1983: Production Electrician for Music Theatre Ensemble
  • Autumn 1982: Temporary Assistant Electrician, Welsh National Opera
  • Summer 1982: Production Electrician for Music Theatre Ensemble
  • Summer 1982: Chief Electrician at St. Donat’s Arts Centre, Llantwit Major
  • Summer 1981: Sound Transmission Engineer for Swaziland Television
  • Summer 77-79: Assistant Electrician & Stagehand, Tunbridge Wells