1994 Lyric Opera of Chicago Production

Opened November 26, 1994

Production Credits | Cast | Musical Numbers | Synopsis


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

Produced by the Lyric Opera of Chicago
Directed by Harold Prince
Conducted by George Manahan
Choreographey by by Patricia Birch
Orchestrations by Leonard Bernstein and Hershy Kay
Music Continuity and Additional Orchestrations by John Mauceri
Scenery Designed by Clarke Dunham
Costumes Designed by Judith Anne Dolan
Lighting Designed by Ken Billington
Associate Director: Arthur Masella
Chorus Master: Donald Palumbo
Ballet Director: Maria Tallchief

This revised opera house version formed the basis for the 1997 Broadway Revival


Timothy Nolen - Voltaire / Dr. Pangloss / Businessman / Governor / 2nd Gambler / Sage
Barry Banks - Candide
Elizabeth Futral - Cunegonde
Phyllis Pancella - Old Lady
Deborah Darr - Paquette
Dale Travis - Maximilian
Zale Kessler - Baron / Slave Driver / Pasha Prefect
Dorothy Byrne - Baroness / Calliope Player Wilbur Pauley - Huntsman / Bulgarian Soldier / Lion
James Billings - Bulgarian Soldier / Don Issachar, the Jew / Judge / Father Bernard / 1st Gambler
Elliot Jordan - Westphalian Soldier / Governor's Aide / Pirate
Charles Austin - Westphalian Soldier / Pirate
Philip Kraus - Heresy Agent
Patrice Michaels Bedi - Pink Sheep
Valerie DeBartolo - Pink Sheep

Dons - Philip Kraus, Charles Austin, Wilbur Pauley, Franco Ray, Elliot Jordan, Peter Mohawk, Timothy R. Toth
Sailors - Richard Knapp, Paul Stancato, David A. Scamardo, Franco Ray
Dancers / Gymnasts - April Brown, Paula Dudzik, Robert W. Kiser, Peter Mohawk, Paul Stancato, Timothy R. Toth
Dancers - Judith Danskin, Sherry Gilpin, Heather Haneman, Marilyn Luzzio-Bridon, Julie Primiano, August Tye, Richard Knapp, Edward Jones, Elliot Jordan, Franco Ray, David A. Scamardo

Musical Numbers

Act One

Act Two


Act One

Voltaire introduces characters from his celebrated novel: Candide — an illegitimate cousin who lives in the castle of the Baron of Thunder-Ten-Tronck; Cunegonde — the Baron's nubile daughter; Maximilian — the Baron's handsome son; and Paquette — an at­tractive young chambermaid.  During the course of the introductions [Life is Happiness Indeed] Voltaire has as­sumed the identity of Dr. Pangloss, the pedan­tic teacher of the young people.  Pangloss expounds the central theory of his philosophy: "This is The Best of All Possible Worlds."

Cunegonde comes upon Candide doing his physical exercises.  They exchange kisses and look forward to their wedding.  [Oh, Happy We]  This bliss is destroyed by the arrival of Maximilian, who is quickly joined by Pangloss, Paquette and Cunegonde's parents.  All are shocked by this scandalous behavior.  Deeming Candide in­eligible for marriage to Cunegonde because of the irregularity of his birth, they throw him off the premises.

Candide does his best to reconcile the treat­ment he has just received with Dr, Pangloss's philosophy.  [It Must Be So]  Two men arrive and offer Candide some wine; then they claim he has, by accept­ing it, enlisted in the Bulgarian army.  They abduct him.

Bulgarian soldiers attack the castle of Thunder-Ten-Tronck, stabbing the Baron, Bar­oness and Maximilian, abducting Cunegonde.

After being assaulted by the Bulgarian sol­diers, Cunegonde has gone from brothel to brothel and has wound up as the mistress of a rich Jew in Lisbon, Don Issachar, who shares her favors with the Grand Inquisitor.  [Glitter and Be Gay] 

An earthquake rocks Lisbon and environs, including the village where Candide has ar­rived after many adventures.  He meets Dr. Pangloss, and the pair engage in a philosophi­cal discussion with one of the few survivors, who turns out to be an agent of the Inquisition.  Candide and Pangloss are arrested for heresy.  To avert future earthquakes, the Inquisition holds an Auto-da-fé.  Following tradition, a village girl has been chosen to portray Our Lady of Opporto.  This year's choice bears an uncanny resemblance to Paquette.  A splendid­ly dressed Cunegonde, accompanied by an Old Lady, takes a conspicuous seat to watch the rituals.  Dr. Pangloss is brought forward and condemned to hanging; Candide, to flogging. [Candide's Lament] 

The Old Lady rescues the half-unconscious Candide.  She leads him to Cunegonde.  [You Were Dead, You Know]  Don Issachar surprises the happy couple.  In his at­tempt to slay Candide, Don Issachar trips, falls on his own sword and dies.  The Grand In­quisitor enters and in a fit of jealous rage orders Candide and Cunegonde to be burned at the stake.  Candide has no alternative but to kill the cleric.  The Old Lady counsels flight to Cadiz.

The trio awaken in Cadiz to find they have been robbed of Cunegonde's jewels and money.  The Old Lady tries to seduce some elderly Spanish gentlemen to raise funds for their travels.  [I Am Easily Assimilated]  She fails.  A stranger suggests to Candide that he enter the service of the Jesuits of Montevideo, who are beset by the neighbor­ing heathen.  The three accept the offer.  [Quartet Finale] 

Act Two

Aboard ship, Candide and the crew con­template a new life in the New World.  [Ballad of the New World] 

The lecherous Governor of Cartagena greets the arrival of two "female" slaves, who turn out to be Paquette and Maximilian in female attire.  The Governor rejects Paquette but buys Maximilian, to whom he makes amorous advances [My Love]  which Maximilian resists with "maidenly" modesty until his true identity is discovered. 

Meanwhile, aboard a ship, the Old Lady regales Candide and Cunegonde with the sad story of her life.  Pirates attack the ship and carry off the two women.

Candide arrives in Montevideo and presents himself at the Jesuits' stronghold.  He meets Paquette and Maximilian in clerical garb.  They have miraculously survived and are jubilant to leam that Cunegonde is also still alive.  When Candide declares his intention to find her and marry her, Maximilian bristles at the thought of tarnishing his family's bonor with such an alliance.  During a scuffle between the two men, a statue of St. Francis is over­turned and crushes Maximilian.

Candide and Paquette flee through the jungle and eventually emerge in Eldorado where there is no war, no hunger, no greed.  A flock of sheep interrupts its grazing to sing, "Here each man is each man's brother."  [Sheep Song]  After joining in the song, Candide and Paquette begin picking up gold ingots and rubies strewn around the ground and load them on the backs of the sheep.  They say farewell to Eldorado and set off in search of Cunegonde.

The travelers emerge from the jungle in Cartagena and meet the Old Lady in the Governor's palace.  [Governor's Waltz]  She tells them that Cunegonde has been taken to Constantinople by the pirates.  The Governor gazes covetously on the laden sheep and offers the trio passage on his ship which is about to sail for Constan­tinople.  He has his assistant take charge of "placing the sheep on board."

The Governor and the Cartagenians wish Candide, Paquette and the Old Lady Bon Voyage as they board the skiff which will take them to the ship.  In the distance, the small boat with its occupants sinks.

Marooned on a desert island, Paquette and the Old Lady exasperate Candide with their complaining.  [Quiet] 

The scene shifts to the private gaming room of the Prefect of Constantinople.  The Prefect offers an evening with Snowflake (nee Cunegonde) to the highest winner.  The Prefect and individual gamblers alternate with the en­tire assembly in satirical stanzas about the futility of chicanery if one must pass along the ill-gotten gains.  [What's the Use?]  Candide, Paquette and the O1d Lady come in, carrying bags of gold and jewels.  Candide and Cunegonde quickly recognize each other.  Candide gambles all his gold for a chance to win Cunegonde.  Thanks to a friendly croupier — none other than Maxi­milian — Candide wins.  Paquette comes up with another bag of gold to liberate Maximilian from the service of the now-bored Prefect.  Bewildered as to how to proceed now that they are penniless, they decide to seek counsel from the Wisest Man in the World.  Cir­cumstances force them to settle for the Wisest Man's assistant.  This is their old teacher, Dr. Pangloss.

He tells them not to seek happiness but to merely fulfill the natural function of Man.  Can­dide discovers the definition of this natural function on a piece of paper dropped by Pangloss.  [Make Our Garden Grow] 

[from the program of the Lyric Opera of Chicago production, provided by Bill Konczyk]

Compiled by Michael H. Hutchins