Candide
1982 New York City Opera Production
also known as the Opera House Version

Opened October 13, 1982 at The New York State Theater, NYC
34 performances in repertory from 1982 - 1984
8 performances from November 11 - 16, 1986

Production Credits | Cast | Musical Numbers | Recording | Synopsis

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Music by Leonard Bernstein
Book adapted from Voltaire by Hugh Wheeler
Lyrics by Richard Wilbur
With additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and John Latouche

Production Credits

Presented by The New York City Opera [Beverly Sills, General Director]
Directed by Harold Prince
Choreographed by Patricia Birch
Scenery Designed by Clarke Dunham
Costumes Designed by Judith Dolan
Lighting Designed by Ken Billington
Orchestrations by Leonard Bernstein and Hershy Kay
Musical Supervision and Additional Orchestrations by John Mauceri
Conducted by John Mauceri [later by Scott Bergeson]
Chorusmaster: David Leighton [later by Joseph Colaneri]

Cast

1982 Cast

John Lankston - Voltaire / Dr. Pangloss / Businessman / Governor / Second Gambler (Police Chief) / Sage
David Eisler - Candide
Erie Mills - Cunegonde
Scott Reeve - Maximilian
Deborah Darr - Paquette
Muriel Costa-Greenspon - Old Lady

Don Yule - Huntsman / Bulgarian Soldier / Don
Bonnie Kirk - Baroness / Calliope Player
Jack Harrold - Baron / Grand Inquisitor / Slave Driver / Pasha-Prefect
James Billings - Servant of Maximilian / Bulgarian Soldier / Don Issachar (The Jew) / Judge / Father Bernard / First Gambler
Andy Roth - Westphalian Soldier / Don / Sailor
William Ledbetter - Westphalian Soldier / Don / Pirate
Ralph Bassett - Heresy Agent / Don
Gary Dietrich - Inquisition Agent / Sailor
William Poplaski - Inquisition Agent / Sailor
Aurelio Padron - Don / Governor's Aide / Sailor
Michael Rubino - Don
John Henry Thomas - Pirate
Ivy Austin - Pink Sheep
Rhoda Butler - Pink Sheep
James Sergei - Lion

Cast on the 1985 Recording

John Lankston - Voltaire / Dr. Pangloss / Businessman / Governor / Second Gambler (Police Chief)
David Eisler - Candide
Erie Mills - Cunegonde
Scott Reeve - Maximillian
Maris Clement - Paquette
Joyce Castle - Old Lady

Robert Brubaker - Man / Lion
Ivy Austin - First Woman / Pink Sheep
Rhoda Butler - Second Woman / Pink Sheep
Don Yule - First Inquisitioner / Don / Judge
William Ledbetter - Second Inquisitioner / Don / Judge
Maria Donaldi - Rosary Vendor / Altar Boy
James Billings - Judge / First Gambler
Jack Harrold - Grand Inquisitor / Pasha-Prefect
Ralph Bassett - Don

1987 Cast

Joseph McKee - Voltaire / Dr. Pangloss / Businessman / Governor / Second Gambler (Police Chief) / Sage
Cris Groenendaal - Candide
Leigh Munro - Cunegonde
James Javore - Maximillian
Maris Clement - Paquette
Joyce Castle - Old Lady

Ruth Golden - Baroness / Calliope Player /
Jack Harrold - Baron / Grand Inquisitioner / Slave Driver / Pasha-Prefect
Don Yule - Huntsman / Bulgarian Soldier / Don
James Billings - Servant of Maximilian / Bulgarian Soldier / Judge / Father Bernard / First Gambler
William Ledbetter - Westphalian Soldier / Don / Pirate
Andy Roth - Westphalian Soldier / Don / Governor's Aide / Sailor
Ralph Bassett - Heresy Agent / Don
Gary Dietrich - Inquisition Agent / Sailor
Douglas Hamilton - Inquisition Agent / Sailor
Vasilis Iracledes - Don
Richard Smith - Don
Scott Evans - Sailor
John Henry Thomas - Pirate
Ivy Austin - Pink Sheep
Rhoda Butler - Pink Sheep
Robert Brubaker - Lion

1989 Cast

John Lankston - Voltaire / Dr. Pangloss / Businessman / Governor / Second Gambler (Police Chief) / Sage
Mark Beudert - Candide
Cyndia Sieden - Cunegonde
James Javore - Maximillian
Maris Clement - Paquette
Muriel Costa Greenspon - Old Lady

Christine Meadows - Baroness / Calliope Player /
Richard McKee - Baron / Grand Inquisitioner / Slave Driver / Pasha-Prefect
Don Yule - Huntsman / Bulgarian Soldier / Don
James Billings - Servant of Maximilian / Bulgarian Soldier / Judge / Father Bernard / First Gambler
William Ledbetter - Westphalian Soldier / Don / Pirate
Jose Traba - Westphalian Soldier / Sailor
Ralph Bassett - Heresy Agent / Don
Gary Dietrich - Inquisition Agent / Sailor
Kirk Griffith - Inquisition Agent / Sailor
Daniel Albert - Don / Governor's Aide
William Ward - Don
Joey R. Smith - Don
Scott Evans - Sailor
John Henry Thomas - Pirate
Andrea Green - Pink Sheep
Karen Ziemba - Pink Sheep
Michael Willson - Lion

Musical Numbers

Act One

Act Two

    * These numbers were not listed in the program, but were designated as such on the cast recording.
    + These numbers were listed in the program, but were not recorded for the cast recording.

Recording

Candide - New York City Opera

Recording produced by Elizabeth Ostrow
Engineered by Paul Goodman
Orchestra conducted by John Mauceri
Digitally recorded at the Manhattan Center, NYC in May 1985

Liner notes by Theodore Chapin, John Mauceri, and Harold Prince
Synopsis by Hugh Wheeler
Includes lyrics, bibliography, and a Leonard Bernstein theater music discography

  • Double Compact Disc, 1986 [New World NW 340/341-2] (91:43 mins.)
  • Double LP, 1986 [New World NW 340/341]
  • Double Cassette, 1986 [New World NW 340/341]

Further recording information

Television Broadcast

A live telecast of this production was broadcast November 12, 1986 on PBS's Live from Lincoln Center.  The conductor was Scott Bergeson and the cast included the principal performers of the 1982 production.

Synopsis
by Hugh Wheeler

Act One

In Westphalia, in the castle of Baron Thunder-Ten-Tronck, there lived four young people: Cunegonde, the Baron's beautiful daughter; Maximilian, his equally beautiful son; Paquette, a very obliging servant girl; and Candide, an obscure bastard cousin.  All four were thoroughly convinced that Life is Happiness Indeed.  The cause of this happiness was simple.  They had the great good fortune to be instructed by that legendary philosopher, Dr. Pangloss, who taught them that this is The Best of All Possible Worlds and that everything that happens in it happens for the best.  There is, however, one slight flaw in this idyll: the humble Candide and the exalted Cunegonde fall very unsuitably in love.  [Oh, Happy We]  Their love discovered, Candide is summarily thrown out of the castle.  [It Must Be So]  Forced to fend for himself in the real world, Candide, on the eve of war with the neighboring Bulgarians, is tricked into enlisting with the enemy army, and endures many other mishaps.  These ordeals sorely try but do not destroy his faith in Dr. Pangloss's philosophy. Cunegonde, too, has her problems.  After she is abducted during Mass [Chorale]  by a sergeant in the invading Bulgarian army, her sufferings come to a halt in a Lisbon brothel.  Reinforcing her faith in Dr. Pangloss, her beauty inflames the amorous attentions not only of an extremely rich Jew but also of the Grand Inquisitor himself.  These two gentlemen, sharing her, keep her in luxury and lavish rich gifts upon her, which more than makes up for her lost innocence, [Glitter and Be Gay]  even though, of course, her love for Candide remains totally untouched.

Meanwhile, Candide, also eternally faithful to his beloved, is washed up, more dead than alive, in a Portugese fishing village at the height of a tremendous earthquake.  In the ruins he sees only one wretched beggar.  This turns out to be none other than Dr. Pangloss, who has survived the Westphalian holocaust but has lost several fingers and appears to be wearing a tin nose.  Pangloss, cheerful as ever, explains to the Dear Boy that this disfigurement is merely a natural product of God's greatest gift to mankind--love.  Candide and Pangloss, both good Westphalian Protestants, are arrested by the Inquisition and dragged to a great gala Auto-da-fé, which the Holy Mother Church believes will, by burning heretics, discourage future earthquakes.  Cunegonde happens to attend this celebration, where, to her horror, she see her master hanged and her beloved Candide flogged.  Candide, abandoned, bemoans his lot.  [Candide's Lament]  Unexpectedly, an unknown Old Lady leads him away, tends his wounds, and eventually presents him to her mistress, who turns out to be — rapture! — Cunegonde.  [You Were Dead, You Know] 

Disaster now strikes lightning blows.  As Cunegonde and Candide embrace, the Jew breaks in.  Inadvertently, Candide kills him; then the Grand Inquisitor appears, and Candide (advertently) kills him too.  Candide, Cunegonde, and the Old Lady are forced to flee Cadiz where, having lost their money, the Old Lady tries to repair their fortunes by offering her body to the elderly Dons in the city square.  [I Am Easily Assimilated]  Her success is minimal, but, once again restoring their faith in Dr. Pangloss, an imposing Businessman appears and offers Candide the job of leading a military mission to relieve the Jesuits of Montevideo, who are sorely beset by the neighboring heathen. A miracle has occurred.  The three can leave their troubles behind in the Old World and enjoy a fresh start in the New.  [Quartet Finale] 

Act Two

Candide, full of hope, sets sail with Cunegonde and the Old Lady for the New World.  [Ballad of the New World]  Meanwhile, in the slave market of Cartagena, Colombia, Maximilian, disguised through mischance as a female slave, has an unexpected reunion with Paquette, who has also survived the Westphalian armageddon.  Embarrassingly, the lecherous Governor falls in love with Maximilian.  [My Love]  His true sex discovered, Maximilian is sold to the Jesuits of Montevideo.  At the same time, on the ship, the Old Lady regales her companions with tales of her many tribulations,  [Barcarolle]  accompanied on the cello by a friendly sailor.  Suddenly, marauding pirates attack the ship and carry off Cunegonde and the Old Lady. 

Candide arrives alone at the Jesuit convent in Montevideo.  Among those who greet him  [Alleluia]  are Maximilian and Paquette, who have been imported to serve the brethrens physical needs.  In a family tiff, Candide unintentionally kills Maximilian and has to flee with Paquette into the jungle.  Eventually, they stumble upon the legendary country of Eldorado, where the streets are paved with gold, eternal harmony reigns, and even the animals are eloquent.  [Sheep Song]  Soon, however, Eldorado bores them, and loading gold onto some singing sheep, they fight their way through the jungle until they reach Cartagena where the lecherous Governor, who now has the Old Lady employed as a Madam, is giving a ball.  [Governor's Waltz]  The Old Lady informs Candide that the pirates have taken Cunegonde to Constantinople, where blonde slaves get a particularly good price.  The Governor, coveting the Eldorado gold, tries to steal the sheep and tricks the eager Candide into setting off for Constantinople in a leaky ship with Paquette and the Old Lady.  As the Governor bids them Bon Voyage, the ship sinks.  The party is stranded on a desert island, where the two ladies squabble.  [Quiet]  The sheep, still burdened with the Eldorado gold, swim to the island and arrive on-shore to their delight.

Meanwhile, in Constantinople, Cunegonde has become an odalisque of a very rich Turk, who is entertaining his jaded associates in a private casino.  [What's the Use?]  The indomitable, ever faithful Candide, arriving with Paquette and the Old Lady, manages with all his remaining gold to buy Cunegonde (and Maximilian, who, miraculously restored from the dead, happens to be there as a house slave.)  The Westphalian friends are reunited at last, but they are also penniless.  The Old Lady suggests that they visit the Wisest Man in the World, who happens to live nearby, to ask his advice.  When they reach his cave, the Wisest Man has stepped out, leaving in charge of his wisdom his assistant who turns out to be none other than a now rather senile and muddleheaded Dr. Pangloss.  Through Pangloss, the group manages to learn the Wisest Man's recipe for a happy and tranquil life.  It is to return from the far-from-best-possible world to a simple bucolic farm and there cultivate the earth.  [Make Our Garden Grow] 

[from the liner notes of the cast recording]

Compiled by Michael H. Hutchins