John B Read is largely responsible for establishing lighting as an integral part of dance presentation. He has lit productions for numerous dance companies throughout the world including London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Paris Opéra Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Nederland Dans Theater, Houston Ballet, Sadler’s Wells Ballet and Rambert Dance Company and designed the lighting for the National Theatre at the Old Vic, English National Opera Group and for plays and musicals including On Your Toes in the West End. Productions he has worked on are regularly revived in Covent Garden and around the world.
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. He was consultant lighting designer to the Royal Opera, the Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet from 1992 to 2005 and continues to work with each company regularly. Works for the Royal Ballet include Swan Lake, Nutcracker, The Snow Queen, Mayerling (also Hungary, Vienna and Moscow), Anastasia, Frankenstein, Enigma Variations (also Sarasota Ballet), Marguerite and Armand (also Milan, Bucharest, Paris and Moscow) La Bayadère (also DNOB, Finland and Milan) and The Prince of the Pagodas.
Other ballet productions include The Rite of Spring (la Scala, Prague National Ballet) Bayadère (DNOB), Song of the Earth (Munich, Scotland), A Month In The Country (Birmingham Royal Ballet), Manon (Hungarian State Opera, Stanislavsky Theatre, Sächsische Staatsoper, ROH), The Rite of Spring with L’Après Midi d’un Faune (English National Ballet), Marguerite et Armand (Bucharest, Mariinski, La Scala and ROH) 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.
He has 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, Ibsen’s Ghosts and The Trial at the National Theatre.
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) at the Royal Opera House, Aïda for the English National Opera, and many productions for the English Music Theatre and Opera Groups.