John B Read was consultant lighting designer to the Royal Opera, the Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet from 1992 to 2005. He is largely responsible for establishing lighting as an integral part of dance presentation.
He has worked with major choreographers worldwide, notably Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Anthony Tudor, Glen Tetley, Jerome Robbins, Rudolf Nureyev, Anthony Dowell, David Bintley, Natalia Makarova, Christopher Bruce, Wayne Eagling, and Ashley Page. Works for the Royal Ballet include Swan Lake, Nutcracker, The Snow Queen, Mayerling, Anastasia, Frankenstein, La Bayadère and The Prince of the Pagodas.
He has also lit contemporary dance for Rambert Dance, London Contemporary Dance Theatre, and Scottish Ballet.
West End work includes On Your Toes with Natalia Makarova, The Mystery of Edwin Drood with Ernie Wise, Elaine Paige’s Romance and the Stage, and Ibsen’s Ghosts. He made his début at the Royal National Theatre in 1991 with Stephen Berkoff’s The Trial (Kafka).
His opera credits include Götz Friedrich’s production of Der Ring des Niebelungen, Andreas Schaaf’s Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro, Colin Graham’s Death in Venice (also the Met, New York), Madama Butterfly (also Seville), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Anna Bolena, Tosca, Die Meistersinger and La Cenerentola, all at the Royal Opera House and Aïda for the English National Opera, and many productions for the English Music Theatre and Opera Groups.
Recent productions include Manon (Stanislavsky Theatre, Moscow), The Rite of Spring with L’Après Midi d’un Faune (English National Ballet); Marguerite et Armand (Mariinski, St Petersburg and La Scala, Milan) and L’Histoire de Manon (Opéra/Ballet National de Paris), as well as revivals in Russia, Japan, Korea, USA, Norway, Czech Republic, Germany, Scotland, Belgium, Austria and Hungary.