St Mary Magdalene and Southgate Youth Opera presents:
Candide by Leonard Bernstein
At St Mary Magdalene Church, Windmill Hill, EN2 7AJ
Voltaire’s short book “Candide or Optimism”, debunks an optimistic view of our world which was proposed by the German philosopher, Leibnitz, that as our world is the only world, it must be the best of all possible worlds (Q.E.D) and that whatever happens (however awful) is ultimately for the best.
It is not a realistic novel but rather pursues the path of the picaresque novel where the hero encounters different characters as he moves from place to place. Normally, the hero is a kind of loveable rogue but Candide is a naïve innocent.
In the words of Bernstein’s closing ensemble:
“Let dreamers dream what worlds they please/Those Edens can’t be found/The sweetest flowers, the fairest trees/Are grown in solid ground/We’re neither pure nor wise nor good/We’ll do the best we know/We’ll build our house and chop our wood/And make our garden grow!
Candide is an operetta with music composed by Leonard Bernstein, based on the 1759 novella of the same name by Voltaire. The operetta was first performed in 1956 with a libretto by Lillian Hellman; but since 1974 it has been generally performed with a book by Hugh Wheeler which is more faithful to Voltaire’s novel. The primary lyricist was the poet Richard Wilbur. Other contributors to the text were John Latouche, Dorothy Parker, Lillian Hellman, Stephen Sondheim, John Mauceri, John Wells, and Bernstein himself. Maurice Peress and Hershy Kay contributed orchestrations. Although unsuccessful at its premiere, Candide has now overcome the unenthusiastic reaction of early audiences and critics and achieved enormous popularity. It is very popular among major music schools as a student show because of the quality of its music and the opportunities it offers to student singers.
All profits go to the Noah’s Ark Hospice
Tickets on the door, or phone 020 8245 5503 or go to Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/candide-by-leonard-bernstein-tickets-42912545579