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Richard I may have been King of England, but he rarely spent much time in the country kinging it over his people. What he really enjoyed was adventure and conquest in foreign lands. George Frideric Handel not surprisingly uses Richard as a cunning adventurer in his opera, Riccardo Primo. Costanza sails from Spain to meet her future husband, Richard. One shipwreck later, she's in Cyprus at the court of Isacio. He's besotted with the young beauty, and schemes to send his own daughter as a stand-in for Costanza so he can keep the princess for himself. Then a tall and dashing ambassador arrives, and he gives Isacio the option of peace or war with Richard. Isacio accepts, with the caveat that the winner gets to marry Costanza. As the ambassador is actually Richard in disguise, Isacio accepts the challenge and sets himself up for failure. Opera Theatre of Saint Louis presents the American premiere of Richard the Lionheart at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 7, at the Loretto-Hilton Center on Webster University's campus (130 Edgar Road; 314-961-0644 or www.opera-stl.org). Tickets are $25 to $125.
Sun., June 7, 7 p.m.; Thu., June 11, 8 p.m.; Sat., June 13, 1 p.m.; Sat., June 20, 8 p.m.; Wed., June 24, 8 p.m.; Fri., June 26, 8 p.m., 2015

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