Overview

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New Production! Celebrate the centenary of Leonard Bernstein with this new production featuring the Michigan Opera Theatre Studio Artists! Bernstein’s funny, philosophical, quick paced take on Voltaire’s biting satire on the tragedy of human nature. Its effervescent score includes the classic songs, Make Our Garden Grow and Glitter and be Gay.

Candide
Operetta in two acts, based on the novella by Voltaire
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Lyrics by Richard Wilbur
Premiere: Brooklyn, 1973

This Production
Conducted by Daniel Black
Directed by Keturah Stickann
Sung in English with supertitle projections
Running time: About 2 1/2 hours

Artists

Michael Day

Candide

Tenor Michael Day hails from Rockford, Illinois. Past roles at MOT include Spoletta in Tosca, Pablo Picasso and F. Scott Fitzgerald in Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27, and Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro. His performance credits also include Indiana University Opera Theatre, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Utah Festival Opera. Past roles include Tamino (The Magic Flute), Arcadio (Florencia en el Amazonas), Alfred (Die Fledermaus), Padre (Man of LaMancha), Al Joad (The Grapes of Wrath), and Leo Hubbard (Regina). Michael is a two-time Metropolitan Opera National Council District Winner and winner of the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in music education and Master’s degree in vocal performance from Indiana University. This season at Michigan Opera Theatre, Michael also appeared in Eugene Onegin and will reprise the role of Al Joad in The Grapes of Wrath.

Michael Day

Candide

Cheyanne Coss

Cunegonde

Soprano Cheyanne Coss is a recent graduate of New England Conservatory, where she performed the roles of Iphigénie in Gluck’s “Iphigénie en Tauride” and Sandrina in Mozart’s “La Finta Giardiniera.” This summer, she will make her San Francisco debut in the role of Aminta in Mozart’s “Il Re Pastore” with the Merola Opera Program. Cheyanne has also performed with Chautauqua Opera, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Cheyanne has won several competitions, including First Place in the William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition, the David Daniels Young Artist Competition and second place in the FAVA Grand Concours Competition. Next season, Cheyanne will make her debut as Pamina in “The Magic Flute” with Opera Grand Rapids and Toledo Opera. As the new Michigan Opera Theatre Studio soprano, she will perform Berta in “The Barber of Seville,” Dew Fairy in “Hansel and Gretel” and Paquette in “Candide.” Cheyanne hails from Eaton Rapids, Mich. and is a proud alumna of Oakland University.

Cheyanne Coss

Cunegonde

Allen Michael Jones

The Governor

With a commanding bass voice, Allen Michael Jones has forged a career not only in opera but also as a professional voice-over and radio artist. A native of Atlanta, he received a master’s degree in voice from Georgia State University and is excited to join the Michigan Opera Theatre Studio. Previous roles include Sarastro in “Die Zauberflöte,” Balthazar in “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” Colline in “La bohème,” Don Basilio in “The Barber of Seville,” and Commendatore in “Don Giovanni.” This season Allen Michael will perform Zaretski in “Eugene Onegin” with Michigan Opera Theatre.

Allen Michael Jones

The Governor

Harry Greenleaf

Maximillian

Wixom, Mich. native Harry Greenleaf is returning to Michigan Opera Theatre as the Studio’s resident baritone. He made his debut with MOT in 2016 in the role of Top in “The Tender Land.” His credits with MOT also include Leo Stein and Man Ray in Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek’s “27,” Sciarrone in “Tosca,” Marullo in “Rigoletto,” Le Bret in “Cyrano,” Jake Wallace in “The Girl of the Golden West” and Moralès in “Carmen.” He has been a Studio Artist with the Wolf Trap Opera Company, an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera and a Young Artist with the Glimmerglass Festival. He holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and is an alumnus of the Michigan State University College of Music. This summer, Harry will reprise the role of Top in “The Tender Land” with Des Moines Metro Opera. Next season at MOT, Harry will perform Captain and cover the title role in “Eugene Onegin,” as well as perform the roles of Fiorello and Sergeant and cover Figaro in “The Barber of Seville.” He will also perform Maximillian in “Candide” and cover the father in “Hansel and Gretel.”

Harry Greenleaf

Maximillian

Katherine DeYoung

Old Lady

Mezzo-soprano Katherine DeYoung is a native of Traverse City, Mich. and is delighted to join the Michigan Opera Theatre Studio. Recently, Katherine completed her master’s degree at the University of Houston where she performed Isabella in “L’Italiana in Algeri,” Gertrude in “Romeo et Juliette,” and Elizabeth Proctor in “The Crucible.” Her favorite role performed is the title role in “Carmen” with Opera in the Ozarks. This summer, Katherine looks forward to joining Santa Fe Opera as a member of the apprentice singer program. Next season with Michigan Opera Theatre, she will perform Sandman and cover Hansel in “Hansel and Gretel,” perform Old Lady in “Candide” and cover Olga in “Eugene Onegin.” Katherine is a District Winner of the 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and is an alumna of Michigan State University.

Katherine DeYoung

Old Lady

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Synopsis

Act 1

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 snubbed by the Baroness and bullied by her son Maximilian. Paquette, a very accommodating serving girl, also lives in the castle. However, Candide is in love with Cunegonde, the Baroness’s daughter as Maximilian, Candide, Cunegonde 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”). The philosopher asks his four students to summarize what they have learned (“Universal Good”). When Cunegonde spies Dr. Pangloss being physically intimate with Paquette, he explains it away as being a “physical experiment” and she decides to share the “experiment” with Candide. Professing their love to each other at a park, Candide and Cunegonde dream of what married life would look like (“Oh, Happy We”). The Baron, however, is angered at what Candide has done to Cunegonde, 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 shanghaied by and into the Bulgar Army, which plots to “liberate” all of Westphalia. His escape attempt fails, and is recaptured by the Army. The Bulgar Army attacks Schloss Thunder-ten-Tronck and in the castle the Baron’s family prays as the chorus joins in (“Westphalia”). However, the Baron, the Baroness, Maximilian, Paquette, Pangloss and (after being repeatedly ravished by the Bulgar Army) Cunegonde are all killed in the attack (“Battle Music”). Candide returns to the castle’s ruins and searches for Cunegonde (“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 the disaster, arrested as heretics and publicly tortured by order of the Grand Inquisitor. Pangloss is hanged and Candide is flogged (“Auto-da-Fé”). Candide eventually ends up in Paris, France, where Cunegonde shares her favors (on different mutually-agreed-upon days of the week) with wealthy Jew Don Issachar and the city’s Cardinal Archbishop (“The Paris Waltz”). She contemplates what she has done to survive while in Paris (“Glitter and Be Gay”). Candide finds Cunegonde and reunites with her (“You Were Dead, You Know”). However, the Old Lady, Cunegonde’s companion, forewarns Cunegonde and Candide of Issachar and the Archbishop’s arrival. Candide inadvertently kills both of them by stabbing them with a sword.

The three flee to Cadiz, Spain with Cunegonde’s jewels, where the Old Lady tells Candide and Cunegonde about her past. The jewels are stolen and the Old Lady offers to sing for their dinner (“I Am Easily Assimilated”). The French police arrive, intending to arrest Candide for murdering Don Issachar and the Archbishop. Accepting an offer to fight for the Jesuits in South America, Candide decides to take Cunegonde and the Old Lady to the New World, and the three begin their journey on a ship (“Quartet Finale”).

Act 2

In Montevideo, Uruguay, Maximilian 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 and sells him to a priest. Meanwhile, Candide, Cunegonde and the Old Lady also arrive in Montevideo, where the Governor falls in love with Cunegonde (“My Love”). The Old Lady convinces Cunegonde that her marriage to the governor will support her financially (“We Are Women”). Candide soon befriends Cacambo and accepts him as his valet. Convinced by the Old Lady that the police are still after Candide for the Archbishop’s murder, Candide and Cacambo flee Montevideo and 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 Cunegonde, 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, Cunegonde and the Old Lady discuss the miseries shared by the upper classes while the Governor doesn’t want to hear their complaints (“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 Cunegonde, Candide decides to leave. The locals think him foolish, but offer to help, giving him some of the town’s golden sheep and constructing 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 Cunegonde, 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 lost while harvesting sugar-cane, 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 drowns as a result. After reuniting with his golden sheep, Candide is picked up by a galley, meeting five deposed kings. The galley is rowed by slaves, including 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 Cunegonde. Maximilian, revived once again, is now the corrupt Prefect of Police and the town’s leader. Paquette is now the town’s reigning prostitute. Cunegonde and the Old Lady are employed to encourage the gamblers (“What’s the Use?”). Pangloss celebrates a victory after winning roulette and spends his money on the other ladies (“The Venice Gavotte”). Candide, however, masked for the Carnival, is accosted by Cunegonde and the Old Lady (both of whom are also masked), who try to swindle him out of his money. During the exchange, all the masks come off and they are horrified to recognize each other. Seeing what Cunegonde has become, Candide’s image of and belief in her is shattered (“Nothing More Than This”). Candide does not speak for several days; with what little money they have left, they purchase a small farm outside Venice and the chorus says that life is just life and paradise is nothing (“Universal Good”). Candide finally speaks and resolves to marry Cunegonde (“Make Our Garden Grow”).

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