arbeitet seit 1983 als Bühnenbildner und Lichtdesigner für Oper, Tanz und Schauspiel.
Unter anderem für William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Pierre Audi, Christof Nel, Peter Greenaway, Stefan Pucher und Stefan Bachmann in Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris, New York, Oslo, Peking, Tokio und Zürich.
Als Regisseur kooperierte er zuerst mit Heiner Goebbels 1990 am TAT Frankfurt, um ab 1992 in den Sparten Schauspiel und Oper an Theatern in Basel, Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Graz, Hannover, Karlsruhe, München, Paris und Wien zu inszenieren. 2017 arbeitete er in China und für das National Ballet und den Choreographen Fei Bo an dem Ballett DUNHUANG und für Shakespeares LEAR am National Center of Performing Arts, Beijing in der Regie von Li Liuyi. Die Zusammenarbeit wurde 2018 am gleichen Ort fortgesetzt mit HAMLET.
Von 1998 bis 2004 war er Professor für Szenografie an der Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe. Von 2008 bis 2021 leitete er die Bühnenbildausbildung an der ZHDK Zürich zuerst als Master Studiengang und ab 2017 zusätzlich als Bachelor Studiengang.
is a german designer and director for ballet, drama and opera. His designs have been seen all over the world from Australia to Canada and the US, from Japan to China and throughout Europe.
He has worked for many years with the choreographers Jiri Kylian and William Forsythe. The titles of some of the works are Gänge, Isabel's Dance, Impressing the Czar, Limb's Theorem , Kaguyahime, Stepping Stones, Whereabouts Unknown, Wings of Wax, Arcimboldo, One of a kind, Doux Messonges and Zugvögel. His working relationship as stage designer with Pierre Audi, director of the Amsterdam Opera started in 1990 with Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria and continued until 2011 with the production of the two Iphigenie operas by Gluck.
Amongst many other designs the most important were Writing to Vermeer, directed by Peter Greenaway and Saskia Boddecke in the Amsterdam opera (1999), Wozzeck at the Brussels opera, directed by David Freemann (2008), Claudel's drama Tête d'or directed by Anne Delbee at Comédie Française, Paris (2006), Die Blinden by Arno Schreier directed by Stephan Müller at Zurich Opera (2011), The Peony Pavilion (2008), and Dunhuang, the light of heart (2017), two ballets by Fei Bo for the National Ballet of China, Beijing. Shakespeare's Lear (2017) and Hamlet (2018) at the National Center of Performing Arts, Beijing, directed by Li Liuyi.
Michael Simon developed and directed in collaboration with the composer Heiner Goebbels productions like Newtons Casino (1990) and Roman Dogs (1991) for Theater am Turm in Frankfurt. He directed and designed two Ballets for the Bayrischische Staatsoper, In the country of last things (2006), and Der Gelbe Klang (2014). The first contemporary opera he directed was Die Menschen in Basel (1993), followed by Moses and Aron in Bremen (1995) and Fliegender Holländer in Darmstadt (1995). Between 1998 and 2002 his collaboration with conductors and composers like Beat Furrer continued at the opera in Bonn. He staged the world premiere of L'espace dernier by Matthias Pintscher at the Paris Opera Bastille (2004). His latest opera productions were Salome in Braunschweig and Freyschütz in Bern both 2013. Since his debut as drama director with Black Rider 1994 in Dortmund he has been invited to theaters like Schaubühne Berlin, Volksbühne Berlin, Burgtheater Wien, Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Residenztheater München and many more theaters in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
The question how to reach the audience with political issues became most virulent for Michael Simon in 2014 facing the drama of boat refugees drowning in the Mediterranean Sea. His production of Elfriede Jelineks "Die Schutzbefohlenen" in Freiburg reflected the issue successfully. One year later "Das Schweigende Mädchen" by Jelinek documented the trial of Beate Schäpe, member of the NSU, a german neonazi terrorist group who killed nine immigrants and a german police officer. In 2018 "Kudlich" by Thomas Köck focused on the rightwing populist movement in Austria.
Since 2019 the climate change and political realty around the world led to the "New Green Land" project, which is ongoing in the californian desert two hours outside Los Angeles.
Michael Simon has been teaching stage and lighting design 1998 to 2004 as Professor at HfG Karlsruhe and from 2008 until 2021at ZHdK Zurich. He appeared as guest lectures in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Singapore, Beijing, Växjö, Schweden, and Taipeh.