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Bernstein's Candide

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Friday, May 7 at 8PM on 93.9 FM and
Online at

» View a slideshow
of scenes from the Candide dress rehearsal and gala performance

Information available at (212) 875-5656 or

WNYC, New York Public Radio will broadcast live the New York Philharmonic's first production of Candide, with some rarely-heard songs. Since its original 1956 Broadway production, Leonard Bernstein's sparkling Candide has become a uniquely enduring, engaging and provocative work of music theatre. It will be heard nationally on NPR's World of Opera program later this summer.

Thomas Allen, Kristin Chenoweth, Paul Groves and Patti
LaponeBernstein protégée Marin Alsop will conduct the performances, whose cast members are drawn equally from the classical and musical-theater worlds: soprano Kristin Chenoweth (Cunegonde); actress-singer Patti LuPone (The Old Lady); tenor Paul Groves (Candide); baritone Sir Thomas Allen (Pangloss/Martin); vocalist Janine LaManna (Paquette); vocalist Jeff Blumenkrantz (Maximilian); tenor Stanford Olsen (Vanderdendur/Ragotski); and others, including the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Joseph Flummerfelt, director; and the Juilliard Undergraduate Workshop, Edward Berkeley, director.  Broadway actor-director Lonny Price will semi-stage the musical, as he did for the Philharmonic's critically-acclaimed, semi-staged production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in 2000.

Marin Alsop photo by Grant LeightonDuring the intermission, WNYC's Margaret Juntwait will be joined by conductor Marin Alsop and members of the cast to shed light on their choices for this production of Candide. As part of the broadcast, WNYC's Sara Fishko will explore the history of Candide with lyricist Richard Wilbur and Barbara Cook, the original Cunegonde, among others.
» Listen to Sara Fishko's Candide on Studio 360

Other special WNYC Candide programming
WNYC's host George Preston will celebrate Leonard Bernstein's work as a composer for the theater in the hour leading up to the live broadcast.

Evening Music with David Garland will feature recorded highlights from Candide in the days preceding.

WNYC's Soundcheck with John Schaefer, will also cover this highly anticipated production.

Marin Alsop and Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood, 1989About Marin Alsop
New York native Marin Alsop, former music director of the Long Island Philharmonic and the Eugene Orchestra, is principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Named by Gramophone magazine as its 2003 Artist of the Year, she is also music director laureate of the Colorado Symphony, and since 1991 she has been music director of the Cabrillo Festival in Santa Cruz, Calif. Alsop studied with Bernstein at Tanglewood, and shares his deep familiarity with American popular music.

About Candide
Candide, based on Voltaire's deft, comic novel of 1759, follows the travails of a ceaselessly optimistic hero in a series of wild adventures and astonishing coincidences.  The musical has achieved canonical status in musical theater and has become a favorite of opera houses and theater companies alike.

Not long after the show's original Broadway run, Bernstein's vibrant overture to Candide quickly became a stand-alone orchestral showpiece. At a memorial concert following Bernstein's death in 1990, Philharmonic musicians performed it without a conductor as a moving tribute to the Orchestra's Laureate Conductor. This tradition has continued: to date, the Philharmonic has performed the overture 19 times without a conductor.

Links and resources:
» Bernstein's Candide with the New York Philharmonic
» Program notes on the New York Philharmonic's website
» "The Maestro is a Woman," by Marion Lignana Rosenberg
» Marin Alsop's website
» Marin Alsop's "Artist of the Year" interview on WNYC at the Soundcheck archives
» More information about Candide on
» Barbara Cook's website