© Mark Thomas Ketterson – Opera News: “Caird’s production, in settings and costumes by Johan Engels, glowed resplendently under Duane Schuler’s lighting. The space was grounded by a raked disc, from which a series of luminescent, tubular trees grew during the prelude. Dancers befeathered in pure, iridescent white became a flock of swans suspended aloft via flight harnesses, and — in a nifty bit of stagecraft — also morphed into Kundry’s horse. Act II revealed Klingsor ensconced within a column of vapors and red neon, which subsequently exploded into a kaleidoscope of color as the Flowermaidens transformed the stage with undulating gowns of billowing gauze. (…) The show was generally lovely to behold, and the final tableau was ineffably moving, with Parsifal depicted surrounded by children, as one of those exquisite swans — subbing for Wagner’s designated dove — soared above him.”

© Dan Wang – Bachtrack: “(…) the production’s rich visual memory is not simply about reference. It is used to consistently and inventively fill the three axes of the stage space. The challenge in staging Wagner is to both create enough visual interest during often prodigiously long set pieces, and at the same time reserve enough visual novelty to structure the larger periods, the acts and the opera as a whole. Director John Caird and set designer Johan Engels find, time and again, gestures that are both expressively powerful and structurally clear. (…) Caird and Engels have a modern touch and a dramatic flair; Parsifal can use it.”

© MJ Chen – The Chicago Maroon: “(…) visually arresting set designed by Johan Engels; the sheer power of the staging is most obvious in the second and third acts.”

© Susan Hall – Berkshire Fine Arts: “John Caird and Johan Engels’ production of Parsifal at the Lyric Opera of Chicago is an unqualified success. (…) The set, in some ways simple and yet richly suggestive, seems to move with the music. (…) Without in any way diminishing the music, and in fact enhancing it, the setting captured Wagner’s religious sense, an evocation of ritual, and wish for redemption in one fell swoop.  It was done with a riot of color evoking wonderful images fitting the tone and musical line.”