Composer: Leonard Bernstein
Librettist: Lillian Hellman
Other Artistic Personnel: Oliver Smith (Production Designer)
Irene Sharaff (Costume Designer)
Paul Morrison (Lighting)
Samuel Krachmalnick (Music Director)
Tyrone Guthrie (Stage Director)
Original Cast: Barbara Cook (Cunegonde)
Robert Rounseville (Candide)
Max Adrian (Dr. Pangloss & Martin)
Irra Petina (Old Lady)
William Olvis (Governor of Buenos Aires)
Boris Aplon (Marquis)
Louis Edmonds (Maximilian)
Joseph Bernard (Sultan)
Conran Raid (King of Hess)
William Chapman (Ferone)
Premiere Date: December 01, 1956
Producing Company: Ethel Linder Reiner and Lester Osterman, Jr.
Description: In the country of Westphalia, Candide is about to be married to the lovely Cunegonde. Dr. Pangloss, Candide's teacher expounds his famous philosophy, to the effect that all is for the best in "The Best of All Possible Worlds". The happy couple sing their marriage duet, "Oh, Happy We", and the ceremony is about to take place when war breaks out between Westphalia and Hesse. Westphalia is destroyed, and Cunegonde is seemingly killed. Candide takes comfort in Panglossian doctrine and sets out on his journeys.

In the public square of Lisbon, the Infant Casmira, a deranged mystic in the caravan of an Arab conjuror, predicts dire happenings. The Inquisition appears, in the persons of two ancient Inquisitors and their lawyer, and many citizens are tried and sentenced to hang, including Candide and Dr. Pangloss. Suddenly an earthquake occurs, killing Dr. Pangloss, and Candide barely escapes.

Candide, faced with the loss of both Cunegonde and Dr. Pangloss, starts out for Paris. He is unable to reconcile Dr. Pangloss's ideas with the bitter events that have occurred, but concludes that the fault must lie within himself, rather than in the philosophy of optimism.

Cunegonde turns up alive in Paris, a demi-mondaine in a house shared by a Marquis and a Sultan. A party is in progress. Urged by the Old Lady, who serves as her duenna, Cunegonde arrays herself in her jewels. Candide stumbles into the scene and is amazed to find Cunegonde still alive. In a duel, he kills both the Marquis and the Sultan, and flees with Cunegonde, accompanied by the Old Lady.

They fall in with a band of devout Pilgrims on their way to the New World and sail with them. Arriving in Buenos Aires, the group is brought to the Governor's Palace, where all except Cunegonde and the Old Lady are immediately enslaved. A street cleaner appears in the person of the pessimistic Martin, warning Candide of the future. The Governor serenades Cunegonde and she, abetted by the Old Lady, agrees to live in the palace, but Candide, fired by reports of Eldorado, escapes once more and sets off to seek his fortune, planning to return for Cunegonde later.

In the heat of Buenos Aires, Cunegonde, the Old Lady and the Governor display their fraying nerves, and the Governor resolves to get rid of the tiresome ladies. Candide returns from Eldorado, his pockets full of gold and searches for Cunegonde. The Governor, however, has had both Cunegonde and the Old Lady tied up in sacks and carried to a boat in the harbor. He tells Candide that the women have sailed for Europe, and Candide eagerly purchases a leaky ship from the Governor and dashes off. As the Governor and his suite watch from his terrace, the ship with Candide and Martin casts off and almost immediately sinks.

Candide and Martin have been rescued from the ship, and are floating about the ocean on a raft. Martin is devoured by a shark, but Dr. Pangloss miraculously reappears. Candide is overjoyed to find his old teacher, and Pangloss sets about repairing the damage done his philosophy by Candide's experiences.

In a luxurious palazzo of Venice, Cunegonde turns up as a scrubwoman, the Old Lady as a woman of fashion. Candide and Dr. Pangloss appear and are caught up by the merriment, the wine and the gambling, and Candide is swindled out of his remaining gold by the avaricious crowd. He is penniless, without friends and without hope.

Utterly disillusioned, he returns to the ruined Westphalia. Cunegonde, Pangloss, and the Old Lady appear and within them a spark of optimism still flickers. Candide, however, has had enough of the foolish Panglossian ideal and tells them all that the only way to live is to try and make some sense of life and to Make Our Garden Grow.
Character List (Major): Candide(t)
Old Lady(mz)
Dr. Pangloss(t or bar)
Character List (Minor): Voltaire(t or bar)
Businessman(t or bar)
Governor(t or bar)
Second Gamber & Police Chief(t or bar)
Sage(t or bar)
Bit Parts: 3 Judges(t, bar & b)
6 Dons(3t, 3bar)
1st Gambler(bar)
1st Pink Sheep(s)
2nd Pink Sheep(s)
Huntsmen, Baron, Servant of Maximilian, 2 Bulgarian Soldiers, 2 Waestphalian Soldiers, Don Issachar the Jew, Grand Inquisitor, Heresy Agent, 2 Inquisition Agents, Governor's Aide, Slave Driver, Father Bernard, 4 Sailors, 2 Pirates, Baroness, Calliope Player
Length: 02:15
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: Chorus
Orchestration: 2 fl(picc), 1 ob(Eng Hrn), 2 cl(Ebcl, ssax, ad lib), 1 bsn - 2 hrn, 2 tpt, 2 tbn, 1 tba - timp, 2 perc(SD, TD, BD, tamb, bongos, maracas, hand drs, tgl, susp cym, cyms, tam-t, cast, wdbls, gourd, xyl, glsp, vib, glass harmonica(opt), chimes) - hp, str
Contact: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
E-mail Address:
Phone: 212-358-5300
Publisher Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
Candide (Bernstein)
Saturday, April 6, 2013 - Amarillo Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Friday, May 11, 2012 - Portland Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Friday, April 15, 2011 - Mercury Opera Rochester
Candide (Bernstein)
Friday, October 22, 2010 - Mobile Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - Seagle Music Colony
Candide (Bernstein)
Saturday, February 28, 2009 - Manitoba Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Friday, September 26, 2008 - Lyric Opera San Diego
Candide (Bernstein)
Saturday, June 21, 2008 - LOOK Music Theatre
Candide (Bernstein)
Tuesday, April 8, 2008 - New York City Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Friday, March 4, 2005 - New York City Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Thursday, February 24, 2005 - Illinois Opera Theater
Candide (Bernstein)
Saturday, July 3, 2004 - Opera Saratoga
Candide (Bernstein)
Saturday, June 29, 2002 - Des Moines Metro Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Saturday, May 11, 2002 - Portland Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Friday, April 19, 2002 - Dayton Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Friday, September 7, 2001 - Fort Worth Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Saturday, April 28, 2001 - Townsend Opera Players
Candide (Bernstein)
Wednesday, March 21, 2001 - Augusta Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Friday, September 15, 2000 - Lyric Opera San Diego
Candide (Bernstein)
Saturday, July 1, 2000 - Central City Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Friday, January 14, 2000 - Austin Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Saturday, June 15, 1996 - Opera Roanoke
Candide (Bernstein)
Saturday, June 8, 1996 - Vancouver New Music
Candide (Bernstein)
Thursday, November 16, 1995 - Opera Carolina
Candide (Bernstein)
Thursday, March 9, 1995 - Peabody Opera Theatre (Peabody Conservatory of Music)
Candide (Bernstein)
Wednesday, March 8, 1995 - Boston Lyric Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Saturday, November 26, 1994 - Lyric Opera of Chicago
Candide (Bernstein)
Friday, November 19, 1993 - Madison Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Wednesday, May 6, 1992 - Skylight Music Theatre
Candide (Bernstein)
Friday, April 3, 1992 - Anchorage Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Tuesday, December 31, 1991 - Eugene Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Friday, December 6, 1991 - Dayton Opera
Candide (Bernstein)
Friday, November 1, 1991 - Michigan Opera Theatre
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