"Penelope Appleyard and Angela Hicks improvised their own ornamentation with taste and skill, helping to give their interpretation a definite sense of spontaneity... Both were fully up to the demands of Handel's already intricate and regularly delectable vocal writing."
- Opera Magazine (Jan 2020)
"Stylish performers of early madrigal art with English folk music in their veins and a fine sense of humorous staging"
- Wien Konzerthaus (Jan 2020)
"Fresh, light voices that blended perfectly"
- theartsdesk.com (May 2021)
"A pair of light, silvery sopranos take Thomas Morley's canzonets as a starting point for a delightful programme...The two have beautifully clear, poised soprano voices, finely matched and with an ability to match intonation, timbre and mood. They rise finely to the challenge of Morley's twelve unaccompanied duets, moving from charm to something more expressive, and always able to capture a mood. Well matched and finely balanced, the two are spot on with their pitching and rhythms, making these duets a complete delight."
Robert Hugill (November 2021)
“The undoubted stars of the evening were the two young singers of Angela Hicks and Penelope Appleyard. Whether in their duo formation as Fair Oriana, or on their own accounts, they are young singers to watch out for....
Vocally Angela Hicks and Penelope Appleyard were as close to perfect ‘early music’ singers as you can get. Beautifully clear, focused, fluid, agile and unforced voices, with little or no interfering vibrato, spot-on intonation and clear diction were combined with exceptional communication skills...
Their use of stylistically appropriate ornaments and Da Capo elaborations were excellent...
they also seemed to be fine young actors.
Although I have seen some opera using period gesture, I have generally found them to be toe-curlingly awkward. But this was a delight. The two singers of Fair Oriana were completely natural and, indeed, elegant in their use of the stylised hand and arm movements.”
- Andrew Benson Wilson
"Extraordinary concerts that sparked unanimous enthusiasm"
- AMIA Alsace Early Music Series
"A moment of pure vocal beauty"
- Classic FM
"Performed with both conviction and delight... the singers have voices which manage to both blend and contrast with each other"
- The Early Music Review
Two Voices album review (Feb 2022)
"Light, natural voices... with such precision that one could get goosebumps"
- Clara Schmidt, Wien Konzerthaus Resonanzen Festival (Feb 2022)
"Working with Fair Oriana was a real delight. Their voices are ideally suited to the Baroque sound world which we work so hard to create - voices which are agile, clear, and beautiful; they can also blend their sounds so well that one often wonders where the one ends and the other begins. The intelligence, dedication, and artistry which they brought to our production was both impressive and inspiring."
- Leo Duarte (Opera Settecento)
"Imagination, innovation and intimacy are hallmarks of this vocal duo"
- Ryedale Festival (May 2021)
"Excellent and beautifully performed recording"
- Andrew Benson Wilson (Two Voices album review 2021)
"Fair Oriana were utterly captivating and gave a heartfelt & fascinating performance from start to finish!"
- Sherborne Abbey Festival August 2021