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 Glassboro and Norbert Meyn, Music Consultant created an original music theatre sing spiel The Ballad of the Cosmo Café. A reprise is planned for 2021
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