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Show Concept and History

The life of Francesco told in dramatic form to enlighten and inspire persons throughout the world was first envisioned by Francesco ‘s creator Richard C. Leach who sought to bring the story of Francesco to life for all audiences via the musical art form. Dick Leach’s passion for this creation began in 1986 and attained acute form in 1997 after a tour of Assisi in the wake of the earthquakes which devastated the area. In cooperation with the city of Assisi, a theater (the Lyrick Theater) was built specifically to house Francesco for all those who come from throughout the world to hear his story as well as for all those tourists interested in viewing an absolutely unique spectacular which happens to be about a world revered poet/philosopher and saint. Concurrently, a group of renowned artists were gathered for the work of creating the finest show possible for the stage. The show was put into a format appealing to eclectic audiences, from the spiritually motivated to those interested in excellence in music and drama, to those interested in a very extraordinary human story, this show delivers over a spectrum of interests as we travel the episodes of Francesco’s life.

The show was produced and opened in 2000 to critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences throughout the season.

Capturing the Audience

The episodes of Francesco’s early life are interwoven beautifully in episodic form by the Oscar award-winning writer, Vincenzo Cerami. We view the youthful reveler, aristocrat and soldier who transformed into a man of the greatest convictions with regard to the brotherhood of mankind and peace among all humanity. The central episode of the show is Francesco’s trial before his family and a church tribunal, where he stands the foremost rebel, but in reality, the foremost patriot of the Christian philosophy, adhering to the strictest tenants of Christianity, sacrificing all the fruits of his former life, at the height of contemporary society, to labor in poverty for his faith.

The Parallel

The essence of Francesco’s life is made accessible by the parallel character development of the novitiate Leonardo, who is told of the many actions of Francesco even as he is deciding whether to join in the early days of the fellowship.

He is the oracle through which we see the brilliance of Francesco’s life, philosophy and humanity. Leonardo is the everyman of the show, curious in his pursuit of life and subject to temptation even as he is pursuing a path of consciousness and virtue.

Leonardo struggles to comprehend this great man even as the audience does. The audience is illuminated by the tale viewed through Leonardo’s eyes and life’s circumstances.