British mezzo dies, aged 57

British mezzo dies, aged 57


norman lebrecht

December 01, 2021

The British mezzo-soprano Pamela Helen Stephen, widow of the conductor Richard Hickox who died in 2008, has succumbed to a long illness.

In recent years, Pamela was the life partner of Stephen Lumsden, head of the Intermusica artists agency.

After early immersion at Opera North and Welsh National Opera, she sang leading roles at Opera Australia. Latterly she has sung at English National Opera and Covent Garden and recorded extensively.



  • Cantantelirico says:

    Wonderful lady and superb artist. Pamela and Richard were a great couple. So sorry to hear of her passing. Rest In Peace Dear Pamela.

  • Una says:

    This is dreadfully sad news. I had no idea she was so ill. The last time I heard her sing was superbly in Dido and Aeneas for Opera North – must have been about seven years ago. It was double-billed with Lesley Garrett equally singing superbly in Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine. I knew Richard as I worked with him, but didn’t know Pamela that well as she wasn’t his wife then. Beautiful singer, and a great colleague apparently to those who sung along with her. What a loss. May she rest in peace.

  • Roboe says:

    So sad to hear this, a lovely singer and a person I worked with many times with Richard H.

  • Lee says:

    “Distinguished mezzo soprano dies” would’ve been a more fitting tribute to this lovely lady.

  • David Arulanantham says:

    Lovely lady. Knew her from her youth as I was friendly with her family and witnessed her passage from school to Conservatoire and to professional life. So sad to loose her so young.

  • Griff Griffith says:

    So the first two paragraphs tell us who her partners were. Is that the main story of her life? Appallingly sexist.

  • Patrick says:

    Such sadness, as this wonderful couple (Pamela and Richard) were delightful to work with. Their recordings shall be their legacy. RIP

  • Catherine Miller says:

    RIP Pamela, may God be with your children.

  • Anna says:

    I’m pleased to see the headline has changed but I’m still not sure why her marital/partnership status and details are considered to be the most important information and worthy of the first paragraph. If they are to be included for context, put them at the end. Pamela Helen Stephen happened to be married to a well-known conductor but it’s irrelevant to who she was and what she achieved.

  • Cerddor says:

    She was Welsh actually

    • SMH says:

      Pamela Helen Stephen was born in Solihull in 1964. She grew up in Scotland, and studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in musical performance in 1986.