Candide
2004 New York Philharmonic Concerts

Four performances from May 5 - May 8, 2004
at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, NYC

Production Credits | Cast | Musical Numbers | Synopsis

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A Comic Operetta in Two Acts
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Richard Wilbur
Additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, John Latouche,
Lillian Hellman and Leonard Bernstein
Book by Hugh Wheeler based on the satire by Voltaire
Book adapted for the New York Philharmonic by Lonny Price

Production Credits

Produced by Jay Good
Director: Lonny Price
Conductor of the New York Philharmonic: Marin Alsop
Assistant Conductor: Grant Sturiale
Choreographer: Casey Nicholaw
Stage Designer: James Noone
Costume Designer: Tracy Christensen
Lighting Designer: Kevin Adams
Director of the Westminster Symphonic Choir: Joseph Flummerfelt
Director of the Juilliard Undergraduate Workshop: Edward Berkeley
Orchestrations by Leonard Bernstein and Hershy Kay
Additional Orchestrations by John Mauceri

Director's Note: "[This production is a] hybrid; part Hal Prince's original cut down version, part the New York City Opera version, part the Scottish Opera House version, and part a standard concert version.  As Candide is satire, the tone we're after...is light comic..."

Cast

Paul Groves - Candide
Kristin Chenoweth - Cunegonde
Sir Thomas Allen - Dr. Pangloss / Narrator / Voltaire
Patti Lupone - The Old Lady
Michael McCormick - Baron / Inquisitor / Don Issachar / Cacambo
Gina Ferrall - Baroness / Sheep
Janine LaManna - Paquette
John Herrera - Judge / Aide / Prefect / Governor
Jeff Blumenkrantz - Maximilian
Michael McElroy - Judge / Captain / Crook
Ray Wills - Heresy Agent / Archbishop / Priest
Patty Goble - Sheep
Stanford Olsen - Vanderdendur / Ragotski
Westminster Symphonic Choir and the Julliard Undergraduate Workshop - Company

Musical Numbers

Act One

Act Two

Synopsis

Act One

As the stage narrator explains, the evening's entertainment is based on Voltaire's famed novella and concerns four pupils of the idealistic tutor Dr. Pangloss, who teaches that "all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds."  We are in 18th-century Westphalia at the schloss of Baron Thunder-Ten-Tronck, and the children are Cunegonde, the pretty daughter of the Baron; the Baron's son, Maximilian; Paquette, a saucy servant girl; and our wide-eyed hero, Candide, the Baron's bastard nephew.

Candide and Cunegonde fall in love, but once their feelings are discovered, he is banished.  Exiled from paradise, with only his optimism to cling to, he is soon railroaded into joining the invading Bulgarian Army.  When Candide finally returns to the besieged schloss Thunder-Ten-Tronck, he finds everyone apparently massacred; thus begin his worldly wanderings.

In Lisbon, he and Dr. Pangloss, who has resurfaced as a syphilitic beggar, face death in the Spanish Inquisition.  Then they go on to Paris, where the forlorn lover is reunited with Cunegonde, now the mistress of a wealthy Jew, Don Issachar, and the equally rich Archbishop.

When Candide kills Cunegonde's lovers, the couple must flee.  Joined by her companion/chaperone, The Old Lady, they escape to Cádiz, Spain and then to Montevideo in the New World.

Act Two

In Montevideo, South America, the couple is forced to separate again.  Cunegonde is taken under the protection of the Governor, who promises to wed her.

Candide, on the run again, finds himself in the jungles of South America, where he is reunited with Paquette and Maximilian.  When Candide apparently kills Maximilian, he and Paquette must continue wandering.  They are rewarded when they arrive in the wealthy land of Eldorado, where they find enough gold to resume their travels and Candide's quest to locate Cunegonde.

After a stop in Suriname, the pair learns that Cunegonde has been abducted by pirates and taken to Constantinople.  They secure a boat from a Dutch merchant, Vanderdendur, and sail for Turkey.  In Turkey, Cunegonde and The Old Lady work as slaves in the Gambling Palace of the evil Prince Ragotski.  Candide buys their freedom — as well as that of Maximilian (don't ask!).  The now-sobered group, sadder but infinitely wiser, resolve to live simply and "Make Our Garden Grow." 

Compiled by Michael H. Hutchins