Inspired by Voltaire’s classic 18th Century satirical novella of the same name, Leonard Bernstein’s Candide takes audiences on a whirlwind international tour in the company of our hitherto sheltered and naïve young hero.
Confronted by disaster, displacement, death, disease and all of the best and worst aspects of the human condition, Candide and his love, the fair Cunegonde, each ride the tide of disappointment and disillusionment, until reuniting and returning home with fresh philosophies of their own, informed by life’s learnings and experience.
One of the great legacies of Bernstein’s career, Candide premiered on Broadway, at the Martin Beck Theater in New York on December 1, 1956.
It met with mixed reviews but over the coming decades Bernstein collaborated on five versions of his operetta, each time adding to the show’s song list, and further enhancing the work’s reputation.
Today Candide is acclaimed by music-lovers around the globe who relish its stellar songs: Glitter and Be Gay; The Best of All Possible Worlds, and Make Our Garden Grow.
Presented as part of a global celebration of the centenary of Bernstein’s birth, this Sydney Philharmonia production brings together a star-studded Australian cast including Caroline O’Connor, Alexander Lewis, Phillip Scott, Annie Aitken and Kanen Breen.
Directed by Mitchell Butel and presented for the first time in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, the Sydney Philharmonia concerts also feature the young artists from Sydney’s acclaimed Pacific Opera, performing the additional soloist roles, alongside more than 450 singers from Sydney Philharmonia’s Symphony Chorus and 80 musicians from Sydney Youth Orchestra, all brought together under the baton of Brett Weymark.
Possibly the largest concert version of Bernstein’s Candide ever presented, the Sydney Philharmonia performances proudly showcase some of Sydney’s premier young artists and musicians, making it a fitting tribute to one of the 20th Centuries most prodigious and lauded composers, who also dedicated much of his career to education.