candide website picture
July 2018
Candide: Robin Bailey
Cunegonde: Fflur Wyn
Voltaire/Pangloss: Ben McAteer
The Old Lady: Katherine Marriott

Music by Leonard Bernstein
Book adapted from Voltaire by Hugh Wheeler
Lyrics by Richard Wilbury
New version by John Caird (1999 Royal National Theatre version)
With additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, John Latouche, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker and Leonard Bernstein
Performed by arrangement with
Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited

Director/ Designer Richard Studer
Conductor Jonathan Lyness
Sung in English

From its sparkling overture to its virtuoso arias, ‘Candide’ has attracted attention and controversy since its Broadway premier in 1956. The history of the work is as fascinating as its subject matter, based on the novel by Voltaire with contributions by literary luminaries such as Lillian Hellman and Dorothy Parker (with mixed success) to the outstanding version created by the Royal National Theatre in 1999 and staged here for the first time at West Green House Opera.

An essentially simple ‘rite of passage’ tale follows the young man Candide and his apparently perfect life in Westphalia through a round-the-world romp as he tests the theory that his life is, in fact, ‘the best of all possible worlds’. Bernstein’s outstanding score and the witty words of Hugh Wheeler make this satirical masterpiece of universal appeal, blurring the boundaries between opera and musical theatre to exhilarating effect. This fully staged production is presented as part of the Bernstein 100 Celebration, marking the centenary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein.