Tim Reed


"stylish sets by Tim Reed"

Hugh Canning, Sunday Times

"Tim Reed's sets and costumes promiscuously straddle the Victorian and Edwardian periods...it looks a sumptuously colourful treat"

Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph

Tim Reed has an international reputation as an opera and theatre designer. His opera credits include production for Paris Opera (Docteur Faustus), Netherlands Opera (L’Ormindo), English National Opera (The Merry Widow), Welsh National Opera (Die Fledermaus) and Opera Holland Park (Madam Butterfly). He has worked extensively in Sweden, designing Don Giovanni for Gothenburg Opera, and The Coronation of Poppea amongst others for Norrlands Opera. In Ireland he has worked for Wexford Festival Opera and Opera Northern Ireland where designs have included Il Mondo della Luna, Macbeth and Falstaff. He designed Le nozze di Figaro for Kirov Opera and La Traviata for New Israeli Opera and his productions have also been seen in Madrid, Monte Carlo and Marseilles.

He works regularly with prominent theatres in London’s West End and beyond, designing Stephen Bill’s Curtains, (Hampstead & Whitehall Theatres), Frank McGuinness’s Bag Lady (Traverse Theatre Edinburgh), The York Mystery Cycle with Steven Pimlott (Gate Theatre Dublin), a Tom Murphy series at Irish National Theatre and the premiere of Anthony Minghella’s Two Planks and a Passion (Northcott Theatre Exeter). For The Grange Festival he has designed Albert Herring, The Abduction from the Seraglio and Le nozze di Figaro.

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Le Nozze di Figaro

The Grange Festival (June 2019)

On the face of it this Marriage of Figaro is a faithful period production. The overture opens in bucolic bliss. In the Almaviva palace, its rooms painted a handsome brown, Figaro is measuring up the marital bed. Yet an unsettling darkness gathers here [through Tim Reed's designs] too, echoed by the vines, fruits and flowers sprawling across those interior walls... The Academy of Ancient Music's colour palette is as earthy as Tim Reed's autumnal costumes

Rebecca Franks, The Times

It’s refreshing to encounter a Marriage of Figaro set in period and – even more precisely – in Seville. Designer Tim Reed creates elegant interiors

George Hall, The Stage

I came to appreciate the clever simplicity of the set design

Andrew Neill, Classical Source ****

Gimmick-free, the design gives us a slightly scuffed and distressed aristocratic mansion, all faded duns and tans but decorated with poisonous-looking wreaths of foliage and flowers. Even if the shadow of the guillotine doesn’t quite fall across the Count’s domains, as it can in more didactic productions, this ancien régime has apparently neared the end of its days. Which seems apt for a show mounted in the practical theatre built within this famously grand but shabby Baring-family property, hidden deep in the Hampshire countryside. You can imagine the action of Figaro unrolling through this very house and park

Boyd Tonkin, Arts Desk ****

The set itself is largely bare – this is not a mansion that is full of the frills and frippery of the nobility of the time – and the lavish backdrops are faded, the furniture old and the doorways chipped. Rather like their marriage, the Almaviva home is neglected and crumbling

Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack ****

A 21st-century take on a classical piece, re-imagined without recourse to cliché, with beautifully appropriate costumes and elegant sets

Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH ****

Despite the elegant period costumes and conventional designs mostly of flats and screens, contemporary resonances abound

David Truslove, Opera Today

The Abduction from the Seraglio

The Grange Festival (July 2018)

Tim Reed's designs gave us an attractive period nod to Ottoman style, enhanced by a beautifully lit sea-and-sky backdrop, and his costumes boldly riffed on Eastern-promise stereotypes of turbans, extravagant gowns, Janissary uniforms, pointy sandals et al.

Peter Reed, Opera Magazine

Albert Herring

The Grange Festival (June 2017)

Tim Reed’s sets and Prue Handley’s costumes perfectly recreate the rural-period ambience.

George Hall, The Guardian ****

In Tim Reed’s beautiful, mobile sets and 1940 costumes, Copley’s staging had a fluidity that recalled Peter Hall’s classic Glyndebourne staging of 1985, yet the scene changes were effected in front of the audience.

Hugh Canning, Opera Magazine​

Tim Reed’s Production List

Production List

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