"Soprano lifts COT’s uneven double bill of wartime works... the two young lovers, the Soldier and Bubikopf, William Dwyer and Emily Birsan brought a fleeting moment of tender humanity. Yet soprano Emily Birsan in the title role of the unnamed “Clever One” brought terrific vocal gleam and the kind of superbly expressive singing that has been largely absent at COT in recent seasons. Mitisek’s static treatment of her character as robotic archetype offered few dramatic opportunities yet Birsan’s lovely singing of her lullaby to the narcotized king was the high point of a rather uneven evening."
- Lawrence Johnson, June 01, 2014
"For sheer vocal splendor, however, Emily Birsan’s bright, agile singing as the clever girl crowned the night"
- Chicago on the Aisle
"...But one had no reservations whatsoever about Birsan's fully dimensional performance in the title role. This superb Ryan alumna floated her high-lying music with exquisite vocal sweetness and purity."
- John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, June 1, 2014