Simone is an Essex-based theatre-maker and mezzo-soprano passionate about making work that respects, reflects and affects the world we live in.
As a theatre-maker, 2019/20 saw her “wild, witty… and painfully perceptive” (The Stage) and “fierce, fearless and cerebral” (The Guardian) debut play with Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong Shuck ‘n’ Jive come to the Soho Theatre, and the release of her short film for the English National Opera, What Do You Hope For?.
Over the last year she also assisted on Il barbiere di Siviglia for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, OperaSquad and Luisa Miller for English National Opera, and a workshop of a new Annabel Arden production for Opera North; and directed I Capuleti e i Montecchi for Goodenough College, Il barbiere di Siviglia for Devon Opera, and Hansel & Gretel for the Cramphorn Theatre. She is a published playwright.
As a performer, she trained at the University of York and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, made possible by kind support from the Opera Awards Foundation, Help Musicians UK and the Guildhall School Trust. Recent and upcoming highlights include singing a step out in the ensemble for the Olivier and Sky Arts Award-winning Porgy & Bess at English National Opera and Dutch National Opera; Esther in Mamzer Bastard by Na’ama Zisser in workshop for the Royal Opera; Passepartout in Around the World in 80 Days for West Green House Opera; Jo in Palmer & Hall’s Summerhall Award-winning Dead Equal, directed by Miranda Cromwell; and Grace in Bryony Kimmings and Vahan Salorian’s Single Mums Do Opera for BBC Four.
She is an Extra Chorister at the English National Opera, and a member of the Earth Ensemble, stirring hearts and minds to action around the climate crisis. Before studying classical voice, she was a backing vocalist for artists including Mercury Award-winner Benjamin Clementine and BBC Folk Award-winner Sam Lee.
Simone is a co-founder of HERA with Toria Banks and Linda Hirst, celebrating and sharing unheard music and stories by equity-seeking artists right across the UK. HERA’s recent programmes include workshops on consent and intimacy in the rehearsal room, and masterclasses on operatic repertoire by womxn; operatic gig theatre Generation by Toria Banks, Sabrina Mahfouz and Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian, starring Linda Hirst; and Sarah Taylor Ellis’ The Trojan Women starring Maria Friedman and Gweneth Ann Rand. Next up is the premiere of Amble Skuse and Toria Banks’ electronic opera We Ask These Questions of Everybody, sharing disabled people’s experiences under austerity in the UK, with radical, surprising and utopian disabled perspectives on self, society and the body. Before starting HERA, she worked for theatre companies Cheek by Jowl and Paines Plough, specialising in touring administration and accessible performances, and co-directed a cappella collective VOX.
Simone has appeared on the radio and television discussing opera, theatre, diversity and inclusion, and the climate crisis. She is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, and her work in this field has led her to a Junior Fellowship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and a place as one of BBC Radio 3’s Next Generation Voices.
Last updated: 13th July 2020