Penny Shaw

Penny studied has studied singing since the age of 14, and began her life as a professional singer in a jazz band which kept her in pocket money though out her school and college years. After leaving school she completed a degree in Human Sciences at Oxford University. Whilst at college she sang the title role in the British Premiere of ETA Hoffman's Undine for the Oxford University Opera, the role of Zerlina in Don Giovanni for Opera Exchange and Maria in West Side Story which was attended by Stephen Sondheim, visiting professor at the University at the time. 



After graduation she moved to London and secured her first professional operatic engagement as Papagena in The Magic Flute for European Chamber Opera, touring Britain and Hong Kong. She also played the role of Inez in Il Trovatore for ECO, and the opera was subsequently recorded and released on CD in memory of Freddy Mercury. Continuing with her interest in musical theatre she participated in Pimlico Opera's landmark production of Guys and Dolls performed in Wandsworth Prison and filmed for Granada Television. During this time she continued to gig regularly as a jazz singer.



Penny joined Travelling Opera as First Lady in The Magic Flute and understudying Violetta in La Traviata. Three years later, at 26, she was performing the role of Violetta at the Barbican theatre in London and then on tour throughout Great Britain and France, to universal critical acclaim. Other professional operatic engagements include Donna Anna in Don Giovanni also at the Barbican; Rosina in The Barber of Seville at The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith; Pamina in The Magic Flute; Micaela in Carmen; Leila in The Pearl Fishers; Musetta in La Boheme; Suzanna in Suzanna's Secret and Miss Silverpeal in The Impressario.
Companies include Travelling Opera, English Touring Opera, Pimlico Opera, In Camera Chamber Opera, European Chamber Opera and Holland Park Opera. 


In addition to her theatre work Penny also appeared in an operatic film called Hell for Leather which won numerous awards throughout Europe and was selected for many festivals including the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Penny was fortunate enough to be in involved in a minor way with the pop music industry and was one of the original crossover artists mixing classical and dance music in the way that has now become extremely popular. She had a hit in the UK in 1994 with the then unknown Dido and later sang on Faithless' highly acclaimed album Reverence. She was also invited to participate in Island Record's 1GiantLeap project, singing a track, Innocenti, that was written for her. Youtube videos of these can be found on the links page.



Shortly before moving to Australia Penny understudied and sang the role of Carlotta in Cameron Mackintosh's famous production of Phantom of the Opera. 


Since moving to Fremantle in 1999 Penny has produced four children and many more shows! Roles with the West Australian Opera include Queen Catherine in Nostradamus, Olga in The Merry Widow in 2003, understudies of Musetta in La Boheme, Adina in L'Elisir d'Amor, the High Priestess in Aida and in 2007 she played The Countess in The Marriage of Figaro for Yellow Glass Theatre. Musical Theatre roles include Dolly in Annie Get Your Gun at His Majesty's Theatre and The Stepmother in Stephen Sonheim's Into The Woods. 


Penny founded Daisy Productions in 2001 and has written and produced many concerts and shows including Aria for The Terrace Proms, Love, Death and Money at The Cottesloe Civic Center, A Taste of Opera at The Hyatt and Treachery and Seduction on the High C's at Fremantle Town Hall. Penny has also appeared in several shows for Cabaret Soiree at Downstairs at the Maj, including writing her own one woman show, "Songs in the City" and a number lunchtime concerts at His Majesty's Theatre. She was the soloist at the Mozart in the Park concert in 2003 and at the Vienna Pops New Year's Eve Concert 2003 and 2004 and was a member of the successful "a cappella group", Heaven. In 2006 Penny and two other performers were commissioned by His Majesty's Theatre, Perth, to write and perform a cabaret show, Ladies Who Lunch as part of the Brain Box Project. In 2007 she sang the soprano solo in Verdi's Requiem for Collegiem Symphonic at the Winthrop Hall. Penny supported Il Divo when they performed at King's Park.


In 2012 Penny was fortunate enough to appear in the Festival of Perth, singing the soprano solo for Maestro Morricone in his sell out concert at The Burswood. 


Penny's latest venture, Divalicious, has just made a splash on National Television with the lovely Fiona Cooper Smyth in Australia's Got Talent. Check us out at www.divalicious.net.au and see what we get up to next!
 





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