Candide

  • Saturday JUNE 29 8:00 PM
  • Sunday JULY 7 2:00 PM
  • Wednesday JULY 10 7:30 PM
  • Friday JULY 12 7:30 PM
  • Saturday JULY 20 7:30 PM
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THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS

Sparkling with wit and humor, Candide is part opera, part musical and entirely irreverent, drawing on everything from European operetta to Latin American dance rhythms. Bernstein’s score abounds with spectacular music, including a famous overture, the soprano showpiece “Glitter and Be Gay,” and the soaring finale, “Make Our Garden Grow.”

Voltaire’s philosophical spoof becomes a brilliant and breathless operetta that bumbles about from the Old World to the New and back again. Young Candide’s tutor told him that this was “the best of all possible worlds” and through war, plague, earthquake, shipwreck and the Spanish Inquisition, he steadfastly believed it. You will, too, when you see our remarkable cast, starring Jonathan Johnson as Candide and Deanna Breiwick (pictured above) as Cunegonde, tell this fantastic new production with frenzy, fabulous color and flair!

MUSIC BY
Leonard Bernstein

BOOK BY
Hugh Wheeler, after Voltaire

LIBRETTO BY
Richard Wilber, Stephen Sondheim, John La Touche, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker and Leonard Bernstein. Utilizing the Scottish Opera version.

PREMIERED
1 December 1956
Marvin Beck Theatre, NYC

SUNG IN
English (with English supertitles)

PREVIOUS PRODUCTIONS
2002

Cast/Creative

Jonathan Johnson Candide View Website
Deanna Breiwick Cunegonde View Website
Emmett O'Hanlon Maximilian View Website
David Neely Conductor View Website
Michael Shell Director View Website
Steven C. Kemp Scenic Designer View Website

Synopsis

ACT I

Candide, a wide-eyed youth from Westphalia, sets out on his travels around the world (Lisbon, Paris, Buenos Aires, Venice) firmly believing what his tutor, Pangloss, has taught him; that all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. Disillusionment follows as the woman he loves (Cunegonde) is apparently killed and Pangloss is hanged by the Inquisition.

ACT II

His travels continue to the New World, accompanied by an old lady and the miraculously rescued Cunegonde. After visiting Eldorado, surviving shipwrecks, earthquakes and other natural disasters, he returns to Westphalia where he abandons the teachings of Pangloss and decides to lead an honest and simple life together with Cunegonde.

The Music

"In Candide, Bernstein Fuses Philosophy and Comedy" by Marin Alsop

"Leonard Bernstein often said: "Every author spends his entire life writing the same book." The same could apply to composers.

Probing the existential questions that haunt us was a hallmark of Bernstein both as a person and composer. He was not satisfied unless he was immersed in major issues, upending and questioning the status quo, often with irreverence and insouciance. That was what made Bernstein so much fun to be around and imbued his music with such depth for me.

How many people would even consider turning Voltaire's satirical novella from 1759, Candide, into musical theater, let alone jump at the opportunity?"

READ THE FULL ARTICLE