John B. Read is generally
considered to be one of the most outstanding lighting designers working
internationally in dance, opera, theatre and music stage. He was born
in Burnham-on-Crouch in Essex and trained at the Rose Bruford Training
College in Sidcup, Kent. Before being appointed consultant lighting
designer to The Royal Ballet in 1981, Read worked widely as a freelance
designer. He has worked with every major choreographer in London. Notable
collaborations have been with Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan,
Antony Tudor, Glen Tetley, Jerome Robbins, Rudolf Nureyev, Anthony Dowell,
David Bintley, Ronald Hynd, Wayne Eagling, Ulysses Dove and Ashley Page.
Works for Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet/Birmingham Royal Ballet include
Papillon, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Median,
The Snow Queen, Allegri diversi and One by Nine.
For The Royal Ballet, his works include Field Figures, Laborintus,
Voluntaries, Isadora, Requiem, Valley of Shadows,
The Tempest, Varii Capricci, Fleeting Figures,
Galanteries, The Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast,
Pursuit, The Prince of the Pagodas, Illuminations
and the televised ballet tribute to H. M. Queen Elizabeth II, Fanfare
Abroad, Read has worked with the ballet companies of Munich, Stuttgart,
Berlin, Paris, Lyon, Nancy, Copenhagen, Oslo, Gulbenkian in Portugal,
Netherlands, two Israeli companies, the National Ballet of Canada, New
York City Ballet, Houston, San Francisco, Cincinnati, and the Alvin
Ailey Dance Company. Recently, his work for The Royal Ballet has been
seen in Korea and Australia.
In the area of contemporary dance, Read works regularly with London
Contemporary Dance, and designed the Royal Gala and a new Cohan work
in 1985-1986. He worked with Dance Advance in the Summer of 1989.
For other British ballet companies -- Rambert Dance Company, London
City Ballet, English National Ballet and the Scottish Ballet in particular
-- Reads designs have been seen both in Britain and abroad, as
well as at the Sadlers Wells and the Coliseum and Dominion theatre
seasons in London. Much of his work has been televised or is available
on video, including Manon, The Nutcracker, Galanteries,
Still Life at the Penguin Cafe, Hobsons Choice,
La Bayadère and The Prince of the Pagodas.
In Londons West End, Read designed the lighting for On Your
Toes with Natalia Makarova, The Nerd, The Mystery of Edwin
Drood and Who Plays Wins. In 1990, he designed the lighting
for the second West End and Manchester runs of Song and Dance.
In 1991, he did his first lighting assignment, Stephen Berkoffs
adaptation of Kafkas The Trial, for the Royal National
His many opera credits include Goetz Freiderichs Ring of the
Niebelungen, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Anna Bolena,
Tosca, and Die Meistersinger and La Cenerentola
for The Royal Opera, Aida for the English National Opera, and
many productions for the English Music Theatre and Opera groups.
Other companies who have used Reads lighting designs include the
Prospect Theatre Company, the Greenwich Theatre, the Buxton Opera House
and the Young Vic.
The lighting for The Dream is Reads fourth work for American
Ballet Theatre since Glen Tetleys Gemini (1975) and The
Rite of Spring (1976), and Sir Kenneth MacMillans Anastasia