Candide (2014)

Candide Promo ImageMusic by: Leonard Bernstein
Libretto by: Hugh Wheeler
(Based on the novella by Voltaire)
Lyrics by: Richard Wilbur, John Latouche, Dorothy Parker, Lillian Hellman, Stephen Sondheim, John Mauceri, John Wells and Leonard Bernstein

Conducted by: Gordon Gerrard
Directed by: Brian Deedrick
Set & Lighting Designer: Patrice Strate
Costumer:: Betty Kolodziej

Eva O Howard Theatre,
Victoria School of the Arts

(One Kingsway Ave, next to the Edmonton Public School Board building)

June 20th, 22nd & 24th, 2014 @ 7:30 pm
June 21st, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

Sung in English.

Follow bright-eyed Candide in Leonard Bernstein’s music theatre masterpiece, based on the satire by Voltaire, as he travels the world searching for love, adventure and the meaning of life. From Westphalia to Paris to Buenos Aires to Venice, Candide meets a host of dubious and trustworthy characters as he searches for “the best of all possible worlds” and the love of his life, Cunégonde.


SPECIAL: $5 tickets for high school & post-secondary students
Click here for details (some restrictions apply)

Advance Tickets (Available May 1, 2014)
Adults $38
Students & Seniors $34
(Advance sales end 3 hours prior to the performance)

At the Door
Add $4 to the above ticket prices.

All performances are general seating.


Join us for insightful pre-show presentations by Stephen Bonfield before every Mainstage performance. These 20 minute talks will explore the history of our three Mainstage shows and give insight into Opera NUOVA’s productions of them. Pre-show talks are free of charge and take place in the lobby of the Eva O. Howard theatre beginning at 12:50 pm for 1:30 pm performances, and 6:50 pm for 7:30 pm performances.


Full Synopsis     

(From Wikipedia)

Act 1

The performance begins with an overture. The chorus welcomes everyone to Westphalia ("Westphalia Chorale") and Voltaire begins to narrate his story. Candide, the illegitimate nephew of Baron Thunder-ten-Tronck, lives in the Baron's castle Schloss Thunder-ten-Tronck. He is bullied by the Baroness and her son Maximillian. Paquette, a prostitute, also lives in the castle. However, Candide is in love with Cunégonde, the Baroness' daughter. Maximillian, Candide, Cunégonde and Paquette find their happiness in life ("Life is Happiness Indeed"). The four discover that Dr. Pangloss, a man thought to be the world's greatest philosopher, has taught them happiness ("The Best of All Possible Worlds"), and the philosopher asks his students to summarize what they have learned ("Universal Good"). Professing their love to each other at a park, Candide and Cunégonde dream of what married life would look like ("Oh, Happy We"). The Baron, however, is angered at what Candide has done to Cunégonde, as he is a social inferior. Candide is promptly exiled, wandering alone with his faith and optimism to cling to ("It Must Be So"). He is then recruited by the Bulgar Army, who plots to liberate Schloss Thunder-ten-Tronck. His escape attempt fails, and is recaptured by the Army. The Bulgar Army decides to attack Westphalia. In the castle, the Baron's family prays as the chorus joins in ("Westphalia"). However, the city is promptly attacked, and the Baroness and Cunégonde are both killed ("Battle Music"). Candide returns to the castle's ruins and searches for Cunégonde ("Candide's Lament").

Some time later, Candide becomes a beggar. He gives the last of his coins to Pangloss, who reveals that he was revived by an anatomist's scalpel. He then tells Candide of his syphilis condition brought on by Paquette ("Dear Boy"). A merchant offers the two employment before sailing off to Lisbon, Portugal. However, as they arrive, a volcano erupts and the ensuing earthquake results in the death of 30,000 people. Pangloss and Candide are blamed for their actions, arrested as heretics and publicly tortured to face the Grand Inquisitor. Pangloss is hanged and Candide is flogged ("Auto-da-fé"). Candide eventually ends up in Paris, France, where Cunégonde dances with Don Issachar and the city's Cardinal Archbishop ("The Paris Waltz"). She contemplates what she has done while in Paris ("Glitter and Be Gay"). Candide finds Cunégonde and reunites with her ("You Were Dead, You Know"). However, the Old Lady, Cunégonde's companion, forewarns Cunégonde and Candide of Issachar and the Archbishop's arrival. Candide inadvertently kills the two by stabbing them with a knife.

The three flee to Cadiz, Spain with Cunégonde's jewels, where the Old Lady tells Candide and Cunégonde about her past. The jewels are stolen and the Old Lady offers to sing for Candide's dinner ("I Am Easily Assimilated"). The French police arrive and attempt to apprehend Candide for murdering Issachar and the Archbishop. Candide soon befriends Cacambo, and accepts him as his valet. Accepting an offer to fight the Jesuits in South America against the Spanish government, Candide decides to take Cunégonde and the Old Lady to the New World, and the four begin their journey on a ship ("Quartet Finale").

Act 2

In Montevideo, Uruguay, Maximillian and Paquette, now revived and disguised as slave girls, reunite. Soon after, Don Fernando d'Ibaraa y Figueroa y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y Souza, the governor of the city, falls in love with Maximilian, but quickly realizes his mistake ("My Love"). Meanwhile, Candide, Cunégonde and the Old Lady also arrive in Montevideo, where the Governor falls in love with Cunégonde. The Old Lady convinces Cunégonde that her marriage to the governor will support her financially ("We Are Women"). Candide and Cacambo eventually stumble upon a Jesuit camp and are joined by the Father and Mother Superiors ("The Pilgrims' Procession - Alleluia"). Candide soon discovers that the Mother Superior is actually Paquette and the Father Superior is Maximilian. When Candide tells Maximilian that he will marry Cunégonde, however, Maximilian angrily challenges him to a fight. However, Maximilian is once again inadvertently stabbed to death by Candide. Candide is forced to flee into the jungle as a result.

Three years later, Cunégonde and the Old Lady discuss the miseries shared by the upper classes ("Quiet"). Meanwhile, Candide and Cacambo are starving and lost in the jungles. Finding a boat in the ocean, they float downriver into a cavern for 24 hours until they finally reach Eldorado, the city of gold ("Introduction to Eldorado"). The two discover that the locals worship one god as opposed to three, palaces of science, rosewater and stones with cinnamon and clove scents. Dissatisfied without Cunégonde, Candide steals the town's golden sheep and attempts to leave, but is stopped by the locals. They construct a lift that will guide him, Cacambo and the sheep over the mountain ("The Ballad of Eldorado"). One by one, the sheep die until only two remain. Unwilling to go back to Montevideo, Candide gives Cacambo one of the golden sheep to ransom Cunégonde, telling them that they will meet again in Venice, Italy.

Arriving at Suriname, Candide meets Martin, a local pessimist. He shows him a slave with one hand and one foot, which is the result of Europeans eating sugar. Candide is unable to convince Martin otherwise ("Words, Words, Words"). Vanderdendur, a Dutch villain, offers his ship, the Santa Rosalia, in exchange for the golden sheep. Candide is excited when he is told that the Santa Rosalia is to depart for Venice. The locals and Vandendur wish Candide a safe journey to Venice ("Bon Voyage"). However, the ship sinks, and Martin and Vandendur drown as a result. After reuniting with his golden sheep, Candide boards a galley, meeting five deposed kings. The galley is rowed by Pangloss, revived once again. The kings say that they will live humbly, serving both god and men, and Pangloss leads their debate ("The Kings' Barcarolle").

The ship arrives in Venice, where the Carnival festival is taking place ("Money, Money, Money"). While the kings play roulette and baccarat, Candide searches for Cunégonde and meets Maximilian, who is revived once again and now is the corrupt Prefect of Police and the town's leader. Paquette is now one of the town's prostitutes. Cunégonde and the Old Lady are employed to encourage the gamblers ("What's the Use?"). Pangloss celebrates a victory after winning roulette, and spends her money with the other ladies ("The Venice Gavotte"). Candide, however, begins to have doubts of his life ("Nothing More Than This"). Candide returns to Westphalia distraught, and the others purchase a small farm. Candide does not speak for several days and the chorus says that life is just life and paradise is nothing ("Universal Good"). Candide finally speaks and resolves to marry Cunégonde ("Make Our Garden Grow").