Glasgow born mezzo-soprano Penelope Cousland completed a B.Ed (Hons) in Music Education at the RCS before continuing her studies at the RNCM, where she gained a Master of Music in Vocal and Opera Studies. She returned to the RCS to attend the Alexander Gibson Opera School where she studied with Scott Johnson.
Penelope is a 2016/17 alumna of the National Opera Studio in London where she was supported by the Scottish Opera Endowment Fund, the Glyndebourne New Generation Programme, a Help Musicians UK Tutton Award, the Robertson Scholarship Trust, the South Square Trust and the Mary Gillespie Trust. During her time at the National Opera Studio, she took part in residencies with Scottish Opera, Opera North and Welsh National Opera. Scenes performances include Mother Hänsel und Gretel; Miss Jessel Turn of the Screw; Leonora La Favorita; Giovanna Seymour Anna Bolena and Dorabella Cosi fan Tutte. She also sang the roles of Fatima My Beautiful Camel by Joanna Marsh and a solo scena entitled Tucha Songs from the Well by Elena Langer in a set of contemporary scenes directed by David Pountney at Wilton’s Music Hall.
Her operatic roles include Marcellina Le Nozze di Figaro (RCS); Misstress Quickly Sir John in Love (RCS); Popova The Bear (RCS); Mrs Noye Noye’s Fludde (Lammermuir Festival
and Aberdeen International Youth Festival); cover Pani Paskova Cunning Little Vixen (Glyndebourne Festival); Savitri Savitri (RNCM); Mother Goose and cover Baba the Turk The Rake's Progress (Opera GlassWorks); cover Mrs Grose Turn of the Screw (Bury Court Opera); Mermaid An Cadal Trom (World Premiere at the Lammermuir Festival); cover Mary Der Fliegende Hollander (Longborough Festival) and cover Marfa
Khovanshchina (WNO). Penelope has also appeared in scenes as Baba the Turk The Rake’s Progress; Charlotte Werther; Leonora La Favorita; Mistress Quickly Falstaff; Mme
de Croissy Dialogues des Carmelites; Irene Tamerlano; La Zia Principessa Suor Angelica and Madame de la Hautilere Cendrillon.
Penelope was a member of the 2016 Glyndebourne Festival Chorus and the Bayreuther Festspielchor at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany in 2017 and 2018.
Penelope was the recipient of the Joaninha Award 2016 and was awarded the John Cameron Prize for Lieder from the RNCM in 2014.
As an experienced concert and oratorio singer, her repertoire includes Elgar Music Makers and Sea Pictures; Handel Messiah; Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle; Mendelssohn
Elijah; Verdi Requiem; Wagner Wesendonck Lieder; Tippet A Child of our Time and Durufle Requiem. Penelope has also participated in masterclasses with Sir Thomas Allen, Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Nicholas Kraemer, Felicity Palmer, Donald Runnicles, James Gilchrist and Brigitte Fassbaender.
Penelope is represented by Patrick Allen at Connaught Artists.