Leonard Bernstein

An operetta in two acts. Concert version. Lyrics by Richard Wilbur. With additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, John LaTouche, Dorothy Parker, Lillian Hellman and Leonard Bernstein. Narrative text by Loriot, adapted from the satire by Voltaire and the book by Hugh Wheeler. Orchestrations by Leonard Bernstein and Hershy Kay. Musical continuity and additional orchestrations by John Mauceri

Premiere 11. May 2025

Performed in English with German and English supertitles



        Where is it, this „best of all possible worlds”? Candide, who grows up with the Baron’s offspring in tranquil Westphalia, is cast out of the castle because of his love for Cunegonde. An adventure-filled journey begins for the naive young man, which takes him around the globe from one absurd catastrophe to the next.

        Based on Voltaire’s satire „Candide ou l’optimisme“, Leonard Bernstein created a masterpiece of modern operetta about the madness of the world. In a witty and lively mixture of opera, musical and revue, he not only parodies traditional dance forms such as the gavotte, mazurka, polka and waltz, but also slyly sprinkles the score with the operatic quotations.

        Another highlight of this concert version are the sparkling and humorous interludes by Loriot, spoken by Jan Josef Liefers, well known as the opera-loving coroner from the German detective series Tatort, who is returning to his hometown for this production. A wonderfully amusing and absurd evening, brilliantly orchestrated and bursting with humour and sophistication!