The Phantom of the Opera
Her Majesty's Theatre, London

Tim Howar interview: 'Sometimes persistence and dedication far outweigh talent and ability'

After a short break from the musical to tour with his band Mike and the Mechanics, Tim Howar recently returned to Her Majesty's Theatre in the West End to lead the cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera.

As he settles back into his West End dressing room, we caught up with Howar to ask him a few questions about the role, the differences between performing with a rock band and in a musical, and if there were any venues on his bucket list he'd like to tick off. 

The Phantom of the Opera is currently booking at Her Majesty's Theatre until April 2020. 

The Phantom of the Opera tickets are available now. 

How does it feel to return to an iconic West End role?

It feels wonderful as I love my cast and crew and the show itself is a dream come true for me.

If you could perform any song in The Phantom of the Opera which isn’t sung by your character, what would it be and why? 

"Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again": “Help me say goodbye” is a heart-breaking lyric and has such a beautiful melody and wonderful orchestration. 

Why do you think The Phantom of the Opera continues to resonate with audiences today? 

It continues to be relevant because it is a timely love story with soaring melodies and excellent, exciting staging and unmatched beauty. The characters are relatable and real, and the drama is magical and heartfelt. 

Do you have any backstage rituals before going on stage?

I drink a lot of water early in the day and warm up mentally and physically and get eight hours sleep a night (hopefully... as I have an awesome one-year-old son... ha!).

The Paris Opera House is a grand location - if there was one place/venue you could perform at that you have yet to, where would it be and why?

Anywhere with an excited and expecting audience and I’m on... I’ve ticked a lot off my dream theatres to play so I like to leave it up to where the winds will take me next and not worry about anything other than creating the best show in the moment night after nigh! But Her Majesty’s Theatre is a huge honour to play!

The Phantom of the Opera began in the West End in 1986. Where were you in 1986 and what future words of wisdom would you give to your past self?

I was in grade 11 in Edmonton Alberta at Ross Sheppard Composite High School in Canada. The words of wisdom that I would give myself are: “Keep going no matter what and keep learning and making mistakes, they are the foundation for getting it right in the end." Sometimes persistence and dedication far outweigh talent and ability. Although I would say I wouldn’t have got as far as I have without learning how to use my talents to the best of my abilities. I still am and will never stop learning about stagecraft and storytelling. I love it.

Do you feel a difference when performing in Mike and the Mechanics and performing in a musical?

Yes, but in a way the task is the same: tell a good story from your heart and put on a great show in the moment. I don’t like "honing it in" ever on stage and my goal every night is to put all I have into the show whether it’s in Mike and the Mechanics or Phantom. I love to come home to Phantom though and am so lucky I get to play this iconic role and tell this mesmerising story night after night here in London! Cheers and thanks to all the company and fans.

Looking for the best seats...