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Side view of theater at dusk with white baffles

Leonard Bernstein's Candide Opens June 29


Santa Fe Opera’s 62nd season kicks off kicks off with a company premiere

View or Print Press Release (PDF)

Candide Promotional Image

June 29, July 4, 7, 13 at 8:30 pm; July 31, August 6, 11, 14, 21, 25 at 8:00 pm

Sung in English with Opera Titles in English and Spanish.

A new Santa Fe Opera production. A company premiere.

World Premiere at the Martin Beck Theater, New York City, December 1, 1956.

This production is underwritten by deeply appreciated gifts from The Estate of Suzanne Hanson Poole, Erin & Thomas Bunkley III, and Robert & Ellen Vladem.

Music by Leonard Bernstein

Lyrics by Richard Wilbur, Stephen Sondheim, John La Touche, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker, and Leonard Bernstein

Book by Hugh Wheeler, after Voltaire

Scottish Opera – Old Vic Version

The optimistic Candide and his fiancée Cunegonde have been taught that “Everything’s for the best in this best of all possible worlds,” but their voyage through life soon begins to suggest otherwise, with separation, volcanos, earthquakes, the Spanish Inquisition, shipwrecks, prostitution, poverty, and war are among their obstacles. Finally re-united, they come to realize that “Life is neither good nor bad. Life is life, and all we know.” The Santa Fe Opera celebrates the Bernstein Centennial with its first production of this important American work after the novel by Voltaire.

Conductor: Harry Bicket

Director: Laurent Pelly

Scenic Design: Chantal Thomas

Costume Design: Laurent Pelly

Associate Costume Design: Jean-Jacques Delmotte

Lighting Design: Duane Schuler

Projection Design: 59 Productions

Chorus Master: Susanne Sheston

Dramaturg: Matthew A. Epstein

Cunegonde: Brenda Rae, soprano

Candide: Alek Shrader, tenor

Voltaire/Pangloss/ Cacambo/Martin: Kevin Burdette, bass

Old Lady: Helene Schneiderman, mezzo-soprano

Maximilian: Jarrett Ott*+, baritone

James/Captain/ Governor/Vanderdendur: Richard Troxell*+, tenor

*debut, +former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice


Additional Events Surrounding Candide

Preview Dinners

Enjoy an opera-themed dinner, including wine, at our open-air cantina on the beautifully landscaped rehearsal grounds. A speaker will offer a brief introduction to the evening’s opera during dessert. At just $70 a person, a Preview Dinner is a great way to kick off your night at the opera.

Prelude Talks

Your road map for the evening’s performance, these talks are complementary to ticket holders and are held in Stieren Orchestra Hall twice before most performances. The first talk is given two hours before the performance and the second is one hour before. Please inform us if you would like to pick up your tickets in time to attend a lecture, as we generally open the media lounge just one hour before the performance. Please note that Prelude Talks are not offered on June 29 or before the Apprentice Showcase Scenes on August 12 and 19.

Backstage Tours

Come discover how an opera production comes together. On our “behind-the-scenes” tour, you will explore many of our production and front-of-house areas. Tours for the 2018 season are offered once daily at 9:00 am, Monday through Friday: May 28, through August 24, 2018. Tours are one hour long and start at the Box Office. The cost is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (65+), and free for children and young adults up to age 22. Comfortable dress and footwear is recommended.

Ranch Tours

An extended tour of the grounds, known as the “Opera Ranch,” meets at the Box Office at 10:00 am on the following Fridays: June 29, July 27, and August 24 in 2018, and include a “Meet the Artists” presentation by one of our apprentice singers. The Ranch Tour is $10. Reservations are not required.

Opera Insider Days

A free event hosted by The Guilds of The Santa Fe Opera on Saturdays (through August 25). At 8:30 am, join us for coffee, juice, and pastries followed by a lively talk about a particular area or opera-related craft from an opera insider, and conclude with a backstage tour. For those attending with children, ask about our scavenger hunt. Reservations are not required.

The mission of The Santa Fe Opera is to advance the operatic art form by presenting ensemble performances of the highest quality in a unique setting with a varied repertory of new, rarely performed, and standard works; to ensure the excellence of opera’s future through apprentice programs for singers, technicians, and arts administrators; and to foster and enrich an understanding and appreciation of opera among a diverse public.