Humphrey Bower


“As his partner in crime, soprano Penny Shaw was a deliciously comic Despina, with a subversive consciousness of her status as a maid, exploited by (and here taking revenge on) the ruling class. This is Shaw’s first principal role with the company after having served in the Chorus for twenty years. Judging by the audience’s response, one can only hope that it will be the first of many such engagements.” 

Rosalind Appleby 


“Penny Shaw’s hilarious and immaculate performance of the maid Despina was the comic icing on the cake” 

David Cusworth


“To this scene Penny Shaw’s Despina brought wit and vigour — the perfect foil to Clayton’s masterly deceit — and symmetry too: the servant controlling the rich sisters just as Alfonso runs the officer-class Ferrando and Guglielmo.”

“Shaw: mirror-image to Clayton, with warmth and humour, a florid voice and what Shakespeare might call an “antic face”.” 

Divalicious Reviews

Gautam Jadhav, Colosoul Magazine.

“Opera is often assumed to appeal to few people, people who have a deep understanding of the art, or have acquired this understanding by frequenting the opera. Divalicious, however, are here to prove this wrong. Their show, full of sharp satire and tongue-in-cheek humour, can be enjoyed the same by an amateur opera-goer or the most seasoned and discerning viewer.” 

Paul Nolan – Sydney Arts Guide 2015

“Smyth and Shaw blend terrifically together. The essence of major operatic or stage moments are enhanced but never compromised. Their vocal control and colour allows for snappy sketch-like delivery, choreography and imposed humour to be built like a scaffold around the traditional structure. Mozart’s transformed ‘Queen of the Night’ aria is a worthy example of such creativity and mix of performance skill.” 

William Yeoman (The West Australian, Books Editor and Arts Writer)

“Fiona Cooper Smyth and Penny Shaw had me in stitches as they rolled out one hilarious musical tableau after another. Perfect for opera newbies as well as aficionados who relish fine singing but just want a good laugh now and again. Loved it.” 

Ben Elton on DivaLicious – Opera Rocks!

"Two rival sopranos! Dramatic, funny, even poignant. A treat for those who love good singing and a good laugh. Go Divalicious!"  

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