The mezzo, Penka Dilova, was born February 18, 1943 in Sofia. She studied at the State Academy of Music with Anna Todorova and Iliya Jossifov. During her third year of study she became a soloist of the State Ensemble in Sofia where in addition to performing in Bulgaria she toured Hungary, Poland, Eastern Germany and the USSR.
She became a member of the Ruse Opera in 1971; in 34 years there, she performed 55 mezzo-soprano roles. In 1980 she was invited to audition at La Scala but due to an auto accident, which confined her to a hospital for two years, she had to cancel. Later in 1985 she was successful in her audition with La Scala and concerts were scheduled for 1986. Again disappointment struck as she was denied an exit visa.
Penka Dilova died unexpectedly on 17 September 1998 of a heart attack. She was proud and loved her homeland Bulgaria. Even though artists were paid much higher wages in other countries she chose to remain at home. Major roles in her career included Eboli, Leonora in La Favorita, Azucena, Santuzza, Dorabella, Joan in Joan of Arc by Tchaikovsky and Amneris in addition to having a successful career as a concert singer.
Donizetti: La Favorita O mio Fernando -
Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana Voi lo sapete
Tchaikovsky: Maid of Orleans Prostite vi, kholmi, polya rodniye