Music by Leonard Bernstein
Staged by Humphrey Burton
Jerry Hadley - Candide
Lyric Credits (taken from the liner notes of the recording)
Leonard Bernstein and John Wells: "Westphalia Chorale". "Universal Good", "Westphalia", "Universal Good (reprise)"
Stephen Sondheim: "Life is Happiness Indeed"
John Latouche: "The Best of All Possible Worlds", "Candide's Lament", "You Were Dead, You Know"
Richard Wilbur: "Oh, Happy We", "Dear Boy", "It Must Be Me", "Glitter and Be Gay", "Quartet Finale", "The Pilgrim's Procession/Alleluia", "Quiet", "Bon Voyage", "The Kings' Barcarolle", "Money, Money, Money", "What's the Use?", "Make Our Garden Grow"
John Latouche and Richard Wilbur: "Auto-da-fé", "My Love"
Leonard Bernstein: "I Am Easily Assimilated", "We Are Women", "Words, Words, Words", "Nothing More Than This"
Lillian Hellman: "The Ballad of Eldorado"
Richard Wilbur and Dorothy Parker: "The Venice Gavotte"
Lillian Hellman and Leonard Bernstein: "Universal Good (Life is Neither)"
Candide - Leonard Bernstein
Narrative written by Leonard Bernstein and John Wells
Telecast on the Arts & Entertainment Network on October 15, 1991
by John Wells
It is in Westphalia that our story opens, at Schloss Thunder-ten-Tronck. [Westphalia Chorale] Westphalia is a remote and backward land, inhabited by people who speak an incomprehensible language and eat pork all the year round. Candide is the illegitimate nephew of Baron Thunder-ten-Tronck. He is treated as a social inferior by the immensely fat Baroness and their amazingly vain son Maximilian, but is nevertheless in love with their beautiful daughter Cunegonde, who seems to return his love. The personification of wide-eyed innocence, Candide is very happy. [Life is Happiness Indeed] All the young people were happy, even Paquette, the pretty young serving maid who enjoyed the honor of undressing the Baron himself. If there was any cloud over the happiness of the Baron's son Maximilian and the Baron's daughter Cunegonde, it was the difficulty of deciding which of them were lovelier.
But if they are happy, it is because they are taught to be happy. And they are taught to be happy by the man they believe to be the greatest philosopher on earth, their tutor, Dr. Pangloss. [The Best of All Possible Worlds] Pangloss asks the young people to summarize what they have learned. [Universal Good]
In a secluded corner of the park Candide catches sight of Pangloss in the bushes giving Paquette some very intensive private tuition. Inspired by their example, Candide and Cunegonde declare their love to one another, and dream of the married joys that await them. [Oh, Happy We] The Baron and his family are outraged. Candide is an illegitimate cousin, a social inferior. How dare he embrace the daughter of a Westphalian Baron? He is brutally expelled from Schloss Thunder-ten-Tronck and wanders alone — with only his Optimism to cling to. [It Must Be So]
Discovered at dawn asleep in a field Candide is press-ganged into the Bulgar Army. He tries to desert, but is recaptured; he is made to run the gauntlet, and his loyal comrades-in-arm lay bare every nerve and sinew from the nape of his neck to his buttocks. He is just able to walk again when the Bulgars declare war on the Abars, their chosen battlefield Westphalia. The Baron and his family are at prayer. [Westphalia] Schloss Thunder-ten-Tronck is attacked. [Battle Music] Everyone is massacred: the Baron, Maximilian, Paquette, even Pangloss. The Baroness is cut to pieces, Cunegonde raped repeatedly before she is bayoneted to death. Among the ruins, Candide searches for her corpse. [Candide's Lament]
Time passes. Entirely alone in the world and starving, Candide impulsively gives the few coins he has begged to an old man with a tin nose, worse off than himself: syphilis has rotted away several of his fingers, and left him cruelly disfigured. It is Pangloss, brought back to life in the mortuary by the pain of the anatomist's scalpel. His faith unshaken by his experiences, he explains his condition. [Dear Boy]
They are offered employment by a merchant sailing to Lisbon. As they arrive, a nearby volcano erupts; in the resulting earthquake thirty thousand people are killed: Pangloss still argues that everything must be for the best in this best of all possible worlds. They are arrested as heretics, and brought to the auto-da-fé — public torture and execution surrounded by all the fun of a fair — to face the Grand Inquisitor. [Auto-da-fé] Pangloss is hanged, Candide flogged. Candide still believes Pangloss was right. [Candide Begins His Travels / It Must Be Me]
Meanwhile in Paris, a mysterious beauty has captured the hearts of two men, a rich Jew called Don Issachar and the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris. [The Paris Waltz] The Jew enjoys her on Tuesday, Thursday and his Sabbath; the Cardinal Archbishop on Wednesdays, Fridays, and his Sabbath. On Saturday night there is occasionally some dispute of the Sabbath as defined in the Judaic and Christian traditions. Sad at heart, the mysterious beauty sees herself compelled to Glitter and Be Gay.
Candide, having arrived by happy coincidence in Paris, is amazed to recognize the mysterious beauty as his pure, his only love, Cunegonde. [You Were Dead, You Know] Their reunion is interrupted by Cunegonde's companion, the Old Lady. She warns them of the approach of the Jew, then of the Cardinal. In a flurry of dramatic activity Candide inadvertently stabs them both — to death. The Cardinal is entombed in a great cathedral, the Jew's body dropped in the nearest sewer.
Candide, Cunegonde, and the Old Lady escape to Cadiz, taking with them all of Cunegonde's jewels. The Old Lady tells them her entire life story. She is, she claims, the daughter of a pope, a Polish pope. She has been raped by a pirate captain, is the survivor of race riots in North Africa, years of slavery under various Turks, and a siege during which one of her buttocks has been cut off and cooked as emergency rations. Even as she recounts this spellbounding tale, they are robbed. The Old Lady offers to sing for their supper. [I Am Easily Assimilated]
With the French police in hot pursuit for the murders in Paris, Candide accepts a commission to fight for the Jesuits in South America, with a free passage for Cunegonde and the Old Lady. So it is they take ship for the New World. [Quartet Finale]
Still trusting that everything is for the best [Universal Good], Candide arrives in Buenos Aires with Cunegonde and the Old Lady. By coincidence, and unseen by them, Maximilian and Paquette — miraculously restored to life — arrive in Buenos Aires at the same moment, both disguised as slave-girls. The Governor of Buenos Aires, Don Fernando d'Ibaraa y Figueroa y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y Souza, whose moustache is even longer than his name, fall in love with Maximilian. Discovering his mistake, he proposes to Cunegonde. [My Love]
Maximilian is discreetly taken away by an amorous Jesuit father. Candide is taken off into the jungle by the Old Lady, who tells him the police have followed him to South America. Left alone the two women celebrate their conquest of the Governor, the triumph of their feminity. [We Are Women]
Candide, accompanied by a faithful half-caste, Cacambo, makes his way through the unexplored jungles of South America, where he encounters women who take monkeys as lovers and Jesuit-eating cannibals. Eventually they stumble on the Jesuit encampment, where they are urged by the Father Superior and the Mother Superior to join their penitent flock. [The Pilgrims' Procession / Alleluia]
By amazing coincidence, the Mother Superior is Paquette, the Father Superior, Maximilian. Candide tells them that Cunegonde too is miraculously alive, and that he is determined to marry her. Maximilian is outraged: Candide is socially unsuitable. Candide inadvertently stabs him to death, and flees into the jungle. Back in Buenos Aires, three years have passed; in the Governor's palace, Cunegonde and the Old Lady are sharing those miseries experienced only by the very rich and privileged. [Quiet]
Up country again, Candide and Cacambo are lost and starving in the jungle. They find an abandoned boat and float down-river, plunging into a great vaulted cavern. After twenty-four hours of darkness and the roaring of water, they emerge into a country entirely surrounded by unscalable mountains. It is Eldorado [Introduction to Eldorado] It is even more beautiful than Westphalia. The stones in the dust are precious stones, the dust, gold dust. There are fountains of rosewater, the squares of the city are paved with precious stones that smell of cloves and cinnamon. There are no palaces of justice because there are no lawyers, only palaces of science. They worship one God, not three as we do in Europe. Although he has finally discovered Pangloss's dream land, Candide is not happy without Cunegonde and wants to leave, taking with him some of the priceless golden sheep laden with precious stones in order to ransom her. The people of Eldorado think him foolish, but in their kindness construct a machine that will lift him, his companion, and the golden sheep over the mountains. [The Ballad of Eldorado]
Golden sheep after golden sheep plunges to its death among the dizzying precipices, until only two golden sheep remain. Candide, unwilling to return to Buenos Aires where he believes he is under sentence of death for murder, sends Cacambo back with one golden sheep to ransom Cunegonde. He will meet them in Venice. So Candide arrives in the Dutch colony of Surinam and meets Martin, a professional pessimist. As evidence for his pessimism, Martin shows him a slave whose hand and foot have been cut off by the owner of a sugar plantation. This, Martin says, is the price of our eating sugar in Europe. Candide tries to argue with him, quoting Pangloss, but Martin refuses to be convinced. "If hawks by nature have always preyed on doves, what makes you think that men will ever stop preying on one another?" [Words, Words, Words]
A local Dutch villain, Vanderdendur, espies Candide's last golden sheep, and offers him, in exchange, a splendid sailing ship, the Santa Rosalia, which happens by coincidence to be leaving that afternoon for Venice. Candide is delighted. Pangloss was right, he tells Martin, everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds. The good people of Surinam gather at the water's edge with Vanderdendur to wish Candide a safe journey. [Bon Voyage]
The ship sinks. Martin is drowned. So, subsequently, is Vanderdendur. Reunited with his golden sheep in mid-ocean, Candide boards a passing galley and meets five deposed kings. The galley is rowed by a pathetic slave: it is Pangloss, again miraculously restored to life. The kings have learned their lesson. If they ever reach land they will live humbly, serving God and Man. Pangloss chairs their debate, following the proper parliamentary procedures. [The Kings' Barcarolle]
The galley arrives in Venice. It is Carnival time, and the Casino is ablaze with lights. Everyone is masked. [Money, Money, Money] The kings scamper off to the simple life of baccarat and roulette. Candide, clutching all his wealth, his one remaining golden sheep, goes ashore in search of Cunegonde. Paquette is the reigning prostitute. Maximilian, also miraculously restored to life for a second time, is now Prefect of Police, corrupt and running the city. Cunegonde and the Old Lady are employed to encourage the gamblers, the Old Lady occasionally pressing a lever under the table to control the roulette wheel. [What's the Use?]
Cunegonde and the Old Lady bemoan their troubles in the boudoir, while Pangloss celebrates a big win before squandering it in the company of the ladies of the night. [The Venice Gavotte] In light of the present circumstances, Candide begins to have doubts about the meaning of life. [Nothing More Than This]
For many days after, Candide does not speak. They have just enough money among them to buy a small farm outside Venice. Cunegonde's nagging gets worse and worse, and the Old Lady's temper is as bad as Cunegonde's. Pangloss pines for a German university. Paquette pursues her chosen vocation, but no longer earns any money. From time to time, they see, impaled on spikes above the city gates, the heads of unsuccessful politicians. And still Candide does not speak. [Universal Good]
At last, Candide speaks. They are not what they were, nor do they wish to be. The way they have loved, they will not love again. They love now for what they are. He asks Cunegonde to marry him. [Make Our Garden Grow]
|Compiled by Michael H. Hutchins|