This is not an easy opera. It is important to keep this in mind. A good amount of effort will be needed in order to enjoy this music, especially if you are not fond on modern classical music or of the music composed by Messiaen. After saying this, if you are still interested in this kind of music, i got to say this is an impressive opera-. Don't expect passion like in the italian operas or lots of sound like Strauss but slowness and spirituality. It seems that nothing happens but when you enter into the opera you'll feel the hipnotical quality of the music and the introvertion that keeps going on along the opera. There are some really extraordinary moments such as when Saint Francis meets his angel when you can have an insight of Heavens. Well, that's what Messiaen tries to do it and he really gets it. The belgium baritone Van Damn is extrordinary as saint Francis, altough i still the old Orfeo performance with Fischer Dieskau. Some of the other singer, altough, are not french native speakers and you feel the difference. I mean, lots of times they don't sound french at all. The american conductor Nagano was a close friend of the composer and they worked together on this score, so he knows perfectly well the score ( i want to make clear i'm not a great fan of Nagano, he is at his best here but i think this score really deserves a better conductor). Saint Francis has been a legend for many years. It's an opera that any really opera lover should, at least, know. This is an excellent opportunity to get to know this difficult but wonderful work.