Riccardo Primo, or Richard the Lionheart, has opened to glowing reviews at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Directed (and translated) by Lee Blakeley and with set and costumes designed by Jean-Marc Puissant, it has been described as ‘in all aspects, the most perfect production of an opera that I’ve ever seen’ by Broadway World. They noted ‘Stage director Lee Blakeley (who also partnered in the new libretto) fills the production with grace. Every instrumental passage is filled with meaningful action by the performers. Lovely graceful turns are used to fill a wine glass or to take it away.’ and praised Puissant for the costumes authenticity ‘They are as King George himself would have seen them. (Richard, bewigged in disguise, resembles nothing so much as an ancient Voltaire.)’.
In an equally enthusiastic review The Belleville News-Democratthe costumes particularly are praised ‘Jean-Marc Puissant designed both the sparse but effective set and expertly detailed costumes, with gorgeous, ovation-worthy royal attire in the finale’. While The Chicago Tribune celebrated the production as a ‘triumph for all concerned’.