Architect, opera artistic director, set designer, chorus bass/baritone
John, Artistic Director of Opera South and Set Designer for many productions in the last two decades, almost became a professional oboist, having been the principal oboist with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for several years.
He played with leading conductors in all the major venues in Great Britain and on concert tours which took him to Germany, Russia, Sweden, Norway and Poland. In 1962 he was awarded the Bulgin Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians as the most promising musician in the orchestra. He was recently a Governor of the orchestra for four years.
John studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London
and has specialised in the design of many buildings for music.
He was awarded a Fellowship of the Institute of Acoustics in 1977.
With his wife, Nicki, who is also an architect, he has run an architectural
partnership since 1980 in Fernhurst, where they live on a farm which they also control.
Major clients include St Marylebone Church, Westminster School,
and Queen's College in London.
Their largest commission was the total design and reordering of St Peter's Church
in Eaton Square (where they used to live), after an arsonist destroyed the church in 1987.
The Braithwaite Partnership website
John joined Opera Omnibus in 1991 as a chorus member and became Chairman in 1994, only stepping down in 2005. His first set design with Opera Omnibus was for Count Ory in 1994 and he has been responsible for the set designs for nearly every major production since then. In particular, his design for Stanislaw Moniuszko’s The Haunted Manor was praised in Music & Vision.
John worked with the artist Joyce Conwy-Evans for Don Quixote, and with the mural artist Alan Dodd for A Masked Ball.
Photo and information derived from the programme accompanying The Elixir of Love (February 2007)