The English baritone, Neil (Baillie) Howlett, studied at Cambridge University (MA), St. Paul's Cathedral Choir School; King's College, Cambridge. He won the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship while at Cambridge University, and consequently studied in Vienna, Milan and at the Hochschule für Musik, Stuttgart.
Neil Howlett made his debut in the World premiere of Benjamin Britten's Curlew River at Aldeburgh in 1964. His successful international career includes performances of major roles with Sadler Wells, English Opera Group (with B. Britten), Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Welsh National and Scottish Operas, and English National Opera, where he was leading baritone for seventeen years. International appearances cover Italy, Spain, France (Nantes, Bordeau, Toulouse, Nice, and Marseille), Germany (Hamburg, principal member of Bremen Opera), Holland, Scandinavia, Russia, South America and the USA.
Neil Howlett has performed well over eighty roles, covering a wide range of repertoire. He has sung most major baritone roles; notable examples include Scarpia, Iago, Macbeth, Rigoletto, Boccanegra, Renato, Amfortas, Golaud, Almaviva, Jokanaan, and Wotan. He sang title roles in premieres of Toussaint (Blaik) and The Story of Vasco (Crosse). He has appeared at most major festivals. He sang Hector in King Priam with the Royal Opera (Athens, 1985) and Amfortas in Buenos Aires in 1986. He sang Scarpia in Tosca with the English National Opera from 1987 to 1990. He appeared at the Holland Festival in 1990, as Ruprectr in The Fiery Angel by Prokofiev. Other roles include Goland (Pelléas), King Fisher in The Midsummer Marriage and Wagner's Dutchman. He is also a recitalist, and in his concert repertoire he has sung with all the major British orchestras. His concert and recital repertoire includes baroque, classical, romantic and contemporary composers.
Neil Howlett was a professor of singing and lecturer and examiner in vocal pedagogy at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama from 1974 to 1992. In 1991-1992 he also taught at the Trinity College of Music, London - producer of opera workshops, French song master-classes, and lectures in career building. In 1992 he was appointed Head of Vocal Studies and later Director of Repertoire Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, and from 1996 to 2000 was Director of Repertoire Studies. There he introduced technical standards for undergraduate course, lectured in vocal pedagogy, history of opera and the bel canto tradition, presented master-classes in operatic repertoire, Italian song and Lieder, and produced operatic excerpts. Since 1998 he has received critical acclaim for his performances as Wotan/Wanderer and continues to teach privately in London and Lincolnshire. He has ex-students in opera houses and opera studios throughout Europe.
Neil Howlett is also a regular broadcaster. His hobbies: Sports, jogging; cycling; languages, reading, host, theatre. He is married with Elizabeth Robson and has 2 daughters.