Mathis de Maler

Theater an der Wien

Director: Keith Warner

Stage Design: Johan Engels

Costume Design: Emma Ryot

photo ©Werner Kmetitsch

Opera Lighting Design

Mark’s opera lighting experience

Mark has extensive experience in opera both in the UK and overseas. He was nominated for the Knight of Illumination award for Lulu at WNO in 2013 and subsequently won the award for Vanessa at Glyndebourne in 2018. His opera experience began on staff at Glyndebourne from 1978 -1992 and subsequently has taken him to the finest opera companies in Europe and the USA.

His work with opera directors includes Sir Thomas Allen, Woody Allen, Stuart Barker, Stephen Barlow, Jeff Clarke, Martin Constantine, John Cox, Daniel Dooner, Martin Duncan, Harry Fehr, Olivia Fuchs, William Friedkin, PJ Harris,  Juha Hemanus,  Max Hoehn, Netia Jones, Ruth Knight, Marie Lambert, Stephen Lawless, Martin Lloyd-Evans, Christopher Luscombe,  Stephen Medcalf, Elijah Moshinsky, Annilese Miskimmon,  Ashley Page, Orpha Phelan, Oliver Platt, Sir David Pountney, Kelly Robinson, John Savournin, John Schlesinger, Daniel Slater, Stephen Unwin, Keith Warner, John Wilkie.

Click here for a full list of Opera Credits

Opera Companies Mark has designed for

Mark has collaborated with many of the greatest opera companies across the world, for more details go to the Opera Credits section.

  • Glyndebourne

  • Longbrough Festival Opera

  • Garsington Opera at Wormsley

  • Welsh National Opera

  • Scottish Opera

  • Buxton Festival

  • Opera Holland Park, London

  • British Youth Opera

  • Opera Northern Ireland

  • Liceu, Barcelona

  • Washington National Opera

  • Bayerische Staatsoper

  • The Royal Swedish Opera

  • Royal Danish Opera

  • Danish National Opera/Den Jyske Opera

  • Theater an der Wien

  • Teatro Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

  • Los Angeles Opera

  • Finnish National Opera

See a full list of opera credits

Opera video

You can get a quick overview of some of Mark’s productions on the video trailers below which include Scottish Opera’s Barber of Seville, Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, Marriage of Figaro, The Mikado, Glyndebourne’s Vanessa and Madama Butterfly, Theatre an der Wien’s Rape of Lucretia, Giulio Cesare, Mathis der Maler, WNO Lulu, BRB’s Beauty and the Beast, Sylvia, Den Jyske’s Don Quichotte, I Puritani, Jenufa, Askepot (La Cenerentola) Royal Swedish Opera’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Royal Danish Opera’s Dead Man Walking as well as Nicholas Nickleby at Chichester Festival along with excerpts from the Royal Ballet’s Sylvia, Sleeping Beauty and the Tales of Beatrix Potter.

View all videos

Opera reviews

Often critics either don’t have enough space or they don’t realise the contribution that lighting may be making to a production. That’s beginning to change and I have quite a portfolio of great reviews.

Here’s a taster of just the reviews we got for Vanessa at Glyndebourne; I was really proud to receive The Knight of Illumination for this production. Click further down to read all of my 146 opera reviews!

  • Vanessa


    With Mark Jonathan’s wonderful lighting illuminating images within, behind and in front of the mirrors, the visual beauty of Ashley Martin-Davis’s remarkable designs recalls those black and white photographs on which subtle colouring was occasionally superimposed. A wonderful evocation of the passing of time.

    Mark Ronan,

  • Vanessa


    There’s more than a whiff of Hitchcock in the scenario and this is the route that the director Keith Warner goes down in his visually stunning 1950s-set production. The Dior-type frocks are gorgeous, so are the platinum-blond wigs. Ashley Martin-Davis’s tarnished silver designs, complete with snowy projections, are wonderful, beautifully lit by Mark Jonathan.

    Neil Fisher, The Times

  • Vanessa


    Near-monochrome designs by Ashley Martin-Davis evoke the suspense of film noir and the opacity of Last Year at Marienbad; vast heavy-framed mirrors loom over the characters and reveal more than just their reflections thanks to award-worthy lighting by Mark Jonathan and projections by Alex Uragallo.

    Mark Valencia, What’s on Stage

  • Vanessa


    The stunning set by Ashley Martin-Davis, beautifully lit by Mark Jonathan with projections by Alex Uragallo, should get an award in itself.

    Claire Colvin, Sunday Express

  • Vanessa


    Ashley Martin-Davis’s muted designs, dominated by sweeping staircase, interlocking mirrors and huge picture frames, with Alex Uragallo’s projections and Mark Jonathan’s lighting, help maintain the tension and look magnificent.

    Fiona Maddocks, The Observer

  • Vanessa


    ​In monochrome shades the design by Ashley Martin-Davies is ravishingly lit by Mark Jonathan.

    Claudia Pritchard, Culture Whisper

  • Vanessa


    ….Warner went for Hitchcockian aesthetics. Ashley Martin-Davis’s set was dominated by giant, tarnished mirrors that sometimes reflected nothing at all and sometimes showed the truths the characters were reluctant to face, and the monochromatic, film-noir look sometimes took on actual cinematic fluidity in the video projections—of the chapel, snowstorm and so on—by Alex Uragallo that were integrated into the stage picture. Mark Jonathan’s lighting evoked a world in which time had been suspended. 

    John Allison, Opera Magazine

  • Vanessa


    Past and present are brilliantly fused by Ashley Martin-Davis’s designs and Mark Jonathan’s lighting.

    …As Jonathan flecks the monochrome palette, dramatized by chiaroscuro, with sepia and blue tints, reflections of the opera’s characters merge with ghosts of the past glimpsed through the deceiving glassy surfaces, in a surreal dance of time which conjures unsettling and unanswerable questions about history and identity. 

    Claire Seymour, Opera Today

  • Vanessa


    Frightened of what she might see ‘through a glass darkly’, she looks only into herself. So Warner dwarfs her with gigantic moving mirrors, their reflections inescapable. Past, present and future merge – sometimes simultaneously. Noirish filmed projections heighten the surreal, dreamlike quality and take us obliquely into the world of Rebecca, Vertigo and Marnie. Lighting designer Mark Jonathan even lights it like a film noir.

    Edward Seckerson, Gramophone

See all 146 other Opera Reviews