Bernstein Candide



Co-presented by Sydney Opera House

Saturday 29 September at 8pm
Sunday 30 September at 1pm
Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House

Book by Hugh Wheeler
Based on the satire by Voltaire
Lyrics by Richard Wilbur
With additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, John LaTouche, Dorothy Parker, Lilliam Hellman and Leonard Bernstein
Orchestration by Leonard Bernstein and Hershy Kay
Musical continuity and additional orchestration by John Mauceri

Brett Weymark conductor
Mitchell Butel director

Caroline O'Connor The Old Lady
Alexander Lewis Candide
Phil Scott Pangloss
Kanen Breen Maximilian 
Annie Aitken Cunegonde

With Nicholas Jones, Adam Player and Katherine Allen

Symphony Chorus
Festival Chorus

Sydney Youth Orchestra
With members of Pacific Opera

Bernstein’s musical comedy is a wickedly tuneful romp for the best of all possible worlds.

Our gormless hero Candide and his fiancée Cunegonde are raised by the philosophical windbag Professor Pangloss to believe that all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds. Disaster, separation, disease, unpleasant journeys and attempted burning at the stake soon follow, until, thoroughly disillusioned, all the characters reunite at home and resolve to make some sense of life. Think of it as the fun-house mirror version of Handel’s Saul, one where tragedy is played as farce – with a happy ending, of course.

From its rollicking overture to its string of affectionate parodies of opera, Gilbert and Sullivan, tango and Broadway glitz, Candide is a delight from start to finish – one that might just make you think. While the overture and showpieces like the bravura ‘Glitter and Be Gay’ have become concert-hall fixtures, the complete Candide is rarely mounted.

If there’s one thing that drives Bernstein’s work, it’s the belief that while we might be ‘neither pure, nor wise, nor good, we'll do the best we know.

Watch Director Mitchell Butel and Conductor Brett Weymark in discussion on our Youtube channel. 

Pre-concert talk: Held 45 minutes prior to the performance in the Northern Foyer, presented in association with Fine Music FM and Sydney Opera House.

Running time: 2 hours and 30 minutes including a 20 minute interval

   Seniors card holders: please use your discount code when booking tickets

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