Walker, Penelope English mezzo-soprano; b. Manchester, Oct. 12, 1956. She studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London (1974-78) and the National Opera Studio (1978-80), and received vocal instruction in Munich from Fassbaender and in Paris from Souzay. In 1976 she made her concert debut at London’s Royal Albert Hall. After winning the Kathleen Ferrier Prize in 1980, she made her operatic debut at the Paris Opéra-Comique in 1982. Her London operatic debut followed in 1983 as Pacini’s Maria Tudor with Opera Rara. In 1985 she sang Sosostris in The Midsummer Marriageat the English National Opera in London. She portrayed Fricka in the Ringcycle at the Welsh National Opera in Cardiff in 1986. In 1989 she made her first appearance at the London Promenade Concerts singing Grimgerde in Die Walküre. In 1991 she was engaged at the Zürich Opera. She appeared as Grimgerde at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in 1994, and also sang at Milan’s La Scala and at London’s Covent Garden. In 1996 she portrayed Handel’s Riccardo Primo at the Göttingen Festival. Her concert engagements have taken her to many European music centers. She married Phillip Joli.
— Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire