John’s first play, which he wrote and directed while at Sussex University, won the Sunday Times Drama Festival, transferred to Oxford Playhouse and was filmed by the BBC. After graduating, he was invited to set up a touring theatre company in an area of Yorkshire that had had no theatre for thirty years. It was there that he learned, at first hand, about the performer-audience relationship and the persuasive power of language and the human voice.
He subsequently honed his management and marketing skills when he ran three theatre companies. In each, he created an ensemble of actors capable of doing a huge variety of repertoire: this taught him about leadership and managing team dynamics.
John has always loved opera and musical theatre. He directed at English National Opera and founded and ran the ground-breaking Mecklenburgh Opera Company whose work was awarded the Prudential Award for Opera and The Independent’s Opera of the Year. The BBC filmed his productions of THE EMPEROR OF ATLANTIS and BRUNDIBAR, two operas originally staged in the Nazi concentration camp of Terezin. This production was invited to the Czech Republic for the Janacek Festival. As part of the Millennium celebrations, John created a multi media staging of Haydn’s CREATION in the courtyard of Somerset House; it had a cast of four hundred singers, musicians, actors and children, bringing together music, theatre, opera and cosmology.
John has directed for many major companies: also at the National Theatre, Almeida Theatre, Royal Court, Glyndebourne Opera, South Bank Centre, Northcott Theatre, Oxford Playhouse, Stratford East and theatres and opera houses in Germany, Israel and New York.
His first novel, FOOLSCAP, was published by Faber. He has written for theatre, TV and radio and also translated operas from Czech, French and Polish.
With the new century, John wanted to create a richer work-life balance. He founded Craft of Communication in 2001. For many years, he has taught actors and singers. The skills he taught at RADA, Guildhall and the Royal College of Music Opera School have proved to be transferable to anyone who has to deal with any kind of audience. John’s understanding of the dynamics of performance, the power of language and the human voice, audience psychology and the people management essential to theatre and opera have proved to be a valuable resource to our many clients. After eight years’ growth and development, Craft of Communication now has over 150 clients and offers a wide variety of communication skills.
To meet the increasing demand, John has brought in several highly talented coaches whose skills complement his own.
John keeps a balance between his work as an international communications coach and his creative work. His latest production was a multimedia production of the Tango Opera, MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES. He negotiated the co production deal between five British Festivals and several European Opera Houses. The production toured to them all, winning five-star reviews. John has completed on his second novel, THE DAYS OF AWE. Another novel, titled THOUSAND YARD STARE will follow as well as LOS DESAPARCIDOS, a new Tango-inspired multimedia music-theatre production.