Maria Björnson is the real unsung hero of this piece. She doesn’t get enough credit. She made the costumes, she made the set, the props, the hair, the makeup. She was the designer for all of this, which is very rare in musical theatre. Usually you have one person who does each of those things and to have one lady take on all those and it was just her vision…I think a lot of people - when they leave Phantom of the Opera - they feel like they have been transcended into an area and into history. And it’s Maria who did that and I think she doesn’t get enough credit for the success of the show.
— Brad Little, in praise of Maria Björnson from the Morning Brew radio interview in Hong Kong last December 16, 2014 (audio at the source)