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date: 22 November 2019


  • Jon Alan Conrad


Comic operetta in two acts by Leonard Bernstein to a libretto by Lillian Hellman after Voltaire, with lyrics by Richard Wilbur, John Latouche, Dorothy Parker, Hellman and Bernstein, orchestrated by Bernstein and Hershy Kay; Boston, 29 October 1956 (New York, Martin Beck Theatre, 1 December 1956; revised in one act to a libretto by Hugh Callingham Wheeler, with lyrics by Wilbur, Latouche, Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, orchestrated by Kay, Brooklyn, New York, Chelsea Theater Center, 20 December 1973).

Candide (tenor), a Westphalian youth who believes fervently in the teaching of his tutor, Pangloss (baritone), that everything that happens must be for the best, plunges into travel and experiences an endless series of disasters, including the apparent death of the woman he loves, Cunegonde (soprano), and the execution of Pangloss in the Spanish Inquisition. Candide’s travels take him to the New World in the company of an Old Lady (mezzo-soprano) and the miraculously saved Cunegonde, to the fabled land of Eldorado, back to Europe surviving a shipwreck and eventually back to Westphalia. Here Candide finally repudiates Pangloss’s philosophy and resolves to try and build a good, honest life for himself and his companions....

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