Pamela Howard is a Director and Scenographer working primarily in opera and contemporary music theatre. Her practice encompasses large and small scale productions, in major opera houses and unloved and forgotten spaces.
Trained at the Slade School of Fine Art (1958/9) she has had full career as a theatre designer, developing a love of text and context with Fine Art. Since 2000 she has been the total creator of productions developing a scenographic language of beauty and simplicity on stage, where the performer is always ‘the carrier of the myth’. Sustainability and imaginative use of space are central to her practice. A compulsive observer of human life, she is never without a pencil and a sketchbook, notating the everyday, methodically storing her pencil sketches and reworking them on stage.
In 2013 she began a collaboration in Toronto with Librettist/actor Alon Nashman and composer Aleš Březina on the creation of the original Sing-Spiel, Charlotte –a Tri-Coloured Play with Music. This production uniquely translates some of Charlotte Salomon’s 800 gouache paintings from her graphic novel Life or Theatre into the three dimensional world of her memory of her former life in Berlin. This production was premièred in Toronto in June 2016 , and then presented at World Stage Design in July 2017 at the Experimental Theatre. In June 2019 Charlotte –a Tri-Coloured Play with Music began it’s world tour starting in Toronto, then to the Jaffa International Music Festival, Lviv and Kiev (in the concert version), Prague National Opera - Nova Scena and Lytomysyl International Music Festival (Czech Republic)
In 2018 Pamela accepted a Public Arts Commission from Arts Dream Selsey to create a large scale Mural Out of the Ashes funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Ferry Farm Community Grant Fund for a community Arts based project as a response to the fire in Selsey in August 2016 that burnt the School down. Out of the Ashes is a large scale 3-dimensional artwork visualising Arts Dream community memory project of the 50 years of the Selsey Academy, and made entirely from recycled materials.
In November 2019 as part of the UK wide year long Insiders/Outsiders Festival, Pamela with writer Philip Glassborow and music consultant Norbert Meyn, created an original music theatre sing spiel The Ballad of the Cosmo Café. A reprise is planned for 2022
Pamela is often the initiator and creator of collaborative projects that unite artists from many countries through Art and Music. Author of What is Scenography? now in 7 languages, 3rd edition published 2019. Routledge UK/USA
2008 awarded the OBE for ‘Services to Drama’
International Chair in Drama Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Visiting Professor Arts University Bournemouth
Professor Emeritus University of the Arts London
Honorary Fellow Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts
Photo Roni Hall
6-16 August 2022 “The Toledo Panorama” a music theatre workshop for World Stage Design, Calgary Canada
October 2018 Leonard Bernstein “Sing God a Simple Song” was part of ‘Bernstein in Chichester Festival’, a one off performance devised by Pamela Howard and Carl Davis. Chapel of the Ascension, University of Chichester
June 2017 Director/Scenographer Charlotte a Tri-Coloured Play with Music with Alon Nashman (Librettist/Performer) and Aleš Březina (Composer). Luminato Festival Toronto, World Stage Design Festival Taipei and International Tour 2018/19
September 2016 Tonight at the Museum - Charlie Chaplin! Co-Director with Gillian Plowman, choreographer Chris Butler. Performed in the former Workhouse, London now the Cinema Museum.
March 2016 Drawing Theatre - 6 works – an installation marking the opening of the Crab Drawing Studio Arts University Bournemouth.
January 2016 Staging of Last Train to Tomorrow (composer/Conductor Carl Davis), Chichester Cathedral. Holocaust Memorial Day 2016
March 2015 Carmen (Bizet) new production for National Opera Ljubljana, Slovenia. Director/scenographer.
August 2014 The End of the Journey an installation with performance for WW1 commemoration Selsey, West Sussex, UK.
2013 The New Jerusalem Original site specific music/theatre piece with music composed by Rod Paton, staged at the Pavilion Tea Rooms, Stansted Park, Hampshire UK.
2011/12 The Rise and Fall of Dr Pustrpalk the Charlatan Doctor — Three excerpts from opera Śarlatán (Pavel Haas) English libretto by Pavel Drábek. Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
2011 La Fabrika Contemporary Arts Centre Prague CZ. Installation/Performance The Marriage (Bohuslav Martinů) Opera sung in English from National Theatre Janáček Opera BRNO CZ (original creation 2008/9 for Martinů Revisited Festival) with adjacent Gallery exhibition.
2009/10/11 Project Designer The Great Game (Tricycle Theatre London/USA Tour) Director Nicholas Kent.
2010 Director/Scenographer The Excursion of Mr Brouček to the Moon (Leos Janáček) World Premiere of 1st version of the opera. National Theatre Janáček Opera, BRNO CZ for Janáček International Festival 2010.
2005 Director/Scenographer Greek premiere The Greek Passion Opera (Bohuslav Martinů/Nikos Kazantzakis) Staged in the Byzantine Citadel/former town’s prison Thessaloniki, Greece for Opera of Thessaloniki.
Author of What is Scenography? (Routledge 2009) 3rd Edition
for detailed design history please contact email@example.com