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John B. Read


John B. Read is one of the most distinguished lighting directors working in dance. He was consultant lighting designer to The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet 1992–2005. His innumerable lighting designs for The Royal Ballet include Frederick Ashton's Rhapsody and The Dream, Anthony Dowell's Swan Lake, Natalia Makarova's La Bayadère and Kenneth MacMillan's The Prince of the Pagodas, The Rite of Spring, Gloria and Romeo and Juliet, and for The Royal Opera, Götz Friedrich's production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, in addition to many redesigns for revivals.

Read was born in Burnham-on-Crouch and trained at the Rose Bruford College. He made his US debut in 1974 on the American premiere of Death in Venice at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and has since lit Aida for English National Opera, as well as working for many other opera companies. He has worked with ballet companies around the world, including La Scala Milan, Stanislavsky Theatre Moscow, and in Stuttgart, Berlin, Vienna, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Oslo and Netherlands, as well as for Canadian National Ballet, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Houston, San Francisco, K Ballet Japan, Rambert Dance Company, London City Ballet and London Festival Ballet. His work has also been seen in the West End and at the National Theatre.

Read has worked with many leading choreographers, including Antony Tudor, Glenn Tetley, Jerome Robbins, Rudolf Nureyev, David Bintley, Wayne Eagling, Alastair Marriott, Ulysses Dove and Ashley Page.

News and features

Making Moonshine: How theatres give the impression of moonlight

Making Moonshine: How theatres give the impression of moonlight

17 January 2014

In preparation for the magical moonlit act of Giselle, we take a look at history of moonlight on stage.