As a theatre performer, Melanie Pappenheim has devised work with many leading multi-media groups such as Lumiere & Son, DV8 Physical Theatre (Strange Fish) and The Shout of which she is a founder member. She played a principal role in the youth opera Misper at Glyndebourne and sang in Marianne Elliott’s 2008 production of Saint Joan at the National Theatre. In June 2010, Melanie appeared in two works for the Operashots programme at the ROH Linbury Theatre: the solo singer/actress in A Ring A Lamp A Thing, by Orlando Gough with libretto by Caryl Churchill and Jocelyn Pook’s Ingerland. In 2011 She sang the part of Queen Elizabeth I in Dr Dee, a new opera by Damon Albarn and Rufus Norris at the Manchester International Festival and again at the ENO in 2012.
Further highlights in 2012 included her appearance in Home, a new work by Graham Fitkin and choreographer Jasmin Vardimon for Operashots and her highly acclaimed performance as singer/actress in Jocelyn Pook's Hearing Voices at the QEH with the BBC Concert Orchestra, directed by Emma Bernard and broadcast live by BBC Radio 3. Together with fellow Shout singer Rebecca Askew, director Emma Bernard and Orlando Gough, she founded the company Flam Productions in order to devise new, small-scale voice theatre works; FLAM (Orlando Gough) and JILTED (various composers) have been described as "Entertaining and virtuosic" and have been very popular at festivals both in the UK and abroad.
Melanie voice can be heard on many TV and film soundtracks including Derek Jarman's Edward II and The Garden, Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York. She garnered popular acclaim for her vocal contribution to the TV series Doctor Who and in 2009 appeared in a BBC prom dedicated to Doctor Who composer Murray Gold. She has featured on many CD recordings most notably by the composer Jocelyn Pook with whom she has collaborated for over two decades - Pook's most recent recording Desh on her the British Composer Award (stage works).
Film appearances include The Alien, Strange Fish (DV8 Physical Theatre - winner of the Prix Italia) and Warren Beatty’s Coat by Station House Opera.
As a composer Melanie has written and recorded music for several BBC radio drama productions, plays and sound installations.
Alongside her work as a performer, Melanie enjoys leading voice and movement workshops and is frequently employed in this capacity by many leading arts organisations; she has a special interest in assisting dancers who use voice in performance and has worked with Protein Dance, Volcano Theatre, Jasmin Vardimon, Arthur Pita and is the company vocal coach for DV8 Physical Theatre.