The English contralto, Penelope Walker, studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama from 1974 to 1978 (AGSM and advanced studies); National Opera Studio in 1979-1980. Her honours and awardss include: Winner of 6th Triennial, Young Welsh Singers Competition in 1979; Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship in 1980; Royal Society of Arts Scholarship in 1980-1981; Friends of Covent Garden Scholarship; Miriam Licette Scholarship.
Penelope Walker made her concert debut at the Royal Albert Hall in 1976; her Prom debut as Grimgerde in Die Walküre with Gwyneth Jones and The National Youth Orchestra in 1989. She appeared in BBC TV and Radio - including Edward Elgar documentary with Simon Rattle and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. She made her operatic debut in Paris in 1982 with Opéra-Comique; her London debut at Camden Festival in Maria Tudor (Pacini) with Opera Rara. She appeared with the English Nationl Opera as Siegrune in Die Walküre, Kate Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly and Madame Sosostris in Midsummer Marriage; with Opera North as Madame Sosostris; with Welsh National Opera as Fricka in Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, Anna in The Trojans; with Scottish Opera as Madame Sosostris and Erda in Das Rheingold. She has sung oratorios with all major British Orchestras; George Frideric Handel’s Messiah with Berliner Philharmoniker in Berlin, conducted by Zubin Mehta (December 1981). She has sung at major British Festivals including Edinburgh, Three Choirs, Llandaff, Fishguard, City of London, Cambridge, Camden, Ely, etc. She sang G.F. Handel operas during tricentenary year, with Sadler's Wells, Tirinto in Imeneo, Tangia in Pora at Barber Institute, Birmingham; Arsace in Teseo for English Bach Festival, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Herodes Atticusin Athens, Siena and Sadler's Wells Theatre in London. She sang in the premiere of Tornrak by John Metcalfe with the Welsh National Opera in 1989-1990; Midsummer Night's Dream with Sadler's Wells in 1990; Die Zaubeflöte in Monte Carlo in 1991. She made her
debut in Vienna at Konzerthaus in 1990, Milan for RAI in 1991, Florida with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Florida in 1991. In 1991, she joined (as Principal) Zürich Opera for 3 year contract.
Her recordings Include: Bach Cantata BWV 53; Lennox Berkeley: Four Poems of St Teresa; Opera Rara - Mayr -Trio and Aria; Mathias: Lux Aeterna (Chandos) (Bach Choir, London Symphony Orchestra under David Willcocks); Midsummer Night's Dream with Sadler's Wells (Virgin Classics).