Based on Voltaire’s 1759 novella of the same name, Candide takes the audience on a round-the-world romp of idealistic optimism as it clashes with a series of absurdly unfortunate events. The young and naïve title character is betrothed to the Baron of Westphalia’s beautiful daughter Cunegonde, and along with the maid Paquette and Cunegonde’s brother Maximilian, they all subscribe firmly to the doctrine that has been instilled in them by their teacher Dr. Pangloss: that everything that occurs is for the best, no matter what. Their existence seems to be perfect. Throughout the course of the show, however, this doctrine is constantly called into question as Candide is, in one whirlwind act, exiled, forced into the Bulgarian army, caught up in the Spanish Inquisition, cheated out of a fabulous fortune, shipwrecked on a remote island, and generally being relentlessly torn apart from his love, Cunegonde. Featuring a splendid score by the unparalleled Leonard Bernstein and a charming book by Hugh Wheeler, Candide is a witty and wacky satire of an operetta.
Candide guide sections