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Music Text

Book by Hugh Wheeler, after Voltaire. Lyrics by Richard Wilbur, Stephen Sondheim, John La Touche, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker and Leonard Bernstein (E).


Major roles: S,2M,T,T/Bar,Bar; minor roles: 2S,4T,6Bar,2B; chorus
2(II=picc).1(=corA).2(I=Ebcl,ssax ad lib).1-
TD/BD/tamb/bongos/maracas/hand drs/tgl/susp.cym/cyms/tam-t/cast/

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes, Sole Agent

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


World premiere of version
Theatre Royal, Glasgow
Jonathan Miller, director
Conductor: John Mauceri
Company: Scottish Opera


CAPTAIN Baritone
VOLTAIRE Baritone or Tenor
PANGLOSS Baritone or Tenor
MARTIN Baritone or Tenor
CACAMBO Baritone or Tenor
THE OLD LADY Mezzo-Soprano
Cosmetic Merchant High Tenor or Contralto
Doctor Tenor
Bear Keeper Tenor
Alchemist Tenor
Junkman Baritone
Señor I Tenor
Inquisitor I/Judge Tenor
Inquisitor II/Judge Baritone
Inquisitor III/Judge Bass-Baritone
Sultan Achmet Tenor
Hermann Augustus High Baritone
Charles Edward Tenor
Ragotski Tenor
Tsar Ivan Bass-Baritone
Crook Tenor
Croupier Tenor
Señor II Tenor
Chorus SATB

In the castle of Baron Thunder-Ten-Tronck in Westphalia, Dr. Pangloss tutors four children based on his philosophy that "all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds." The children are Cunegonde and Maximilliam, the beautiful daughter and son of the Baron, Paquette, a servant girl, and Candide, a bastard cousin. Candide and Cunegonde fall in love and once their feelings are discovered, Candide is banished from Barony and tricked into joining the Bulgarian army to ravage his own homeland. After many misadventures, Candide is borne to Portugal where he discovers Cunegonde raped and almost dead. Pangloss, who is now a begger, is also discovered and they are reunited and sentenced before the Spanish Inquisition and Pangloss is hanged. Candide manages to escape with Cunegonde, thanks to the Old Lady, and they set forth on a harrowing journey to the New World. There they are reunited with Maximilian (disguised as a woman) and Paquette, whom the Governor of Cartagena, Colombia has purchased as concubines. The Governor falls for Maximilian and is so disgusted upon learning his true gender that he decides to execute him, but later decides to sell him to a monastery instead. Candide and Maximilian argue over Curegonde and Candide stabs Maximilian. After further misadventures and becoming separated from his friends once more, Candide ends up leaving the New World and making his way back across the ocean where he is again joined by Maximilian (newly brought back to life), Paquette, and eventually even Cunegonde who has since become a prostitute in a gambling casino. Destitute, the four go to see a wise man that turns out to be Pangloss who survived the hanging. Their old teacher reveals new wisdom to the quartet that man must "work from dawn til’ dusk, in the fields, patiently learning to make his garden grow."


Comic, Romantic

Recommended Recording

Jerry Hadley, June Anderson, Adolph Green, Christa Ludwig, Nicolai Gedda, Della Jones, Kurt Ollmann, Clive Bayley, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein
Deutsche Grammophon 429 734-2

Click here to purchase this CD from Amazon


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