Preloader Operavision
The Grange Festival
05.06.2020 at 19h00 CET
Friday, June 5, 2020 - 19:00

The Grange Festival


All is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.

Operettas | Bernstein

When young Candide's marriage offer to a baron's daughter backfires, the naïve student of optimism is hurled into an eye-opening journey around the globe, discovering the horrors of existence at every step.


Turning Voltaire’s Candide, a stinging blast against tyranny and feigned moralising, into toe-wiggling musical theatre is a crazy idea. Bernstein revised his operetta countless times before settling on the final version. The Grange Festival’s  2018 semi-staged production commemorates the composer’s 100th birthday.

Concert performance recorded on 8 July 2018. Music courtesy of Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Limited.


Sung in English. Subtitles are available in English with the option of auto-translation into over 100 other languages.

Available from
05.06.2020 at 19h00 CET

Available until
03.07.2020 at 12h00 CET

Narrator/Pangloss/MartinRichard Suart
CandideRob Houchen
CunegondeKatie Hall
MaximilianCharles Rice
Old WomanRosemary Ashe
PaquetteKitty Whately
Cacambo/Governor/Vanderdendur/1st AgentRobert Murray
ChorusThe Grange Festival Chorus
OrchestraBournemouth Symphony Orchestra

MusicLeonard Bernstein
TextRichard Wilbur
ConductorAlfonso Casado Trigo
DirectorChristopher Luscombe
Chorus MasterTom Primrose

Act I

In Westphalia, at Schloss Thunder-ten-Tronck, the ancestral home of the Baron, the Baron’s children, Cunegonde and Maximilian, along with their illegitimate cousin, Candide, and the maid, Paquette, are instructed by their tutor, Dr Pangloss, that ‘all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.’

To the Baron’s dismay, Candide and Cunegonde fall in love, and Candide is banished from Westphalia. Invading Bulgarians abduct Candide and slaughter the rest of the family, except Cunegonde, who is abducted and eventually becomes a popular prostitute.

Despite becoming the mistress of both a wealthy Jew and the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, she still loves Candide.

Candide, rescued by travelling actors, retains his faith in the teachings of Dr Pangloss, whom he encounters by chance. Candide and Dr Pangloss are arrested for their liberal philosophy and dragged off to Lisbon, where the Grand Inquisitor orders Pangloss to be hanged and Candide whipped. A kind, but eccentric Old Lady rescues him and nurses him back to health, before reuniting him with Cunegonde in Paris.

When first the wealthy Jew, and then the Cardinal Archbishop, interrupt the lovers’ reunion, Candide inadvertently kills them. Candide, Cunegonde, and the Old Lady flee Paris for Cadiz and then set sail for the New World.

Act II

Upon arrival in Montevideo, South America, Paquette and Maximilian are sold into slavery. By chance, Candide, Cunegonde and the Old Lady arrive at the same location, but Candide must flee when the Old Lady convinces him that he is being pursued for the murder of the Jew and Cardinal Archbishop. When Candide swears to marry Cunegonde, Maximilian objects and is accidentally killed by Candide as the two engage in a scuffle.

Candide then escapes into the South American jungle and stumbles upon the fabled city of El Dorado, where all is opulent and perfect. Tiring of paradise, Candide leaves, laden with sheep, gold, and gems, and heads for the Dutch colony of Surinam. There, he learns that pirates have taken Cunegonde to Venice.

Vanderdendur, a Dutch merchant, offers Candide a boat with which to rescue Cunegonde, but Candide soon discovers that the merchant’s generosity was a sham. Candide finds Cunegonde, Paquette, and the Old Lady in Venice. There, Candide uses all their remaining riches to buy the freedom of Cunegonde and Maximilian, who is not dead after all.

Now reunited, Cunegonde, Paquette, Maximilian, the Old Lady and Dr Pangloss join Candide as he decides to follow his new creed. With his ragtag ‘family’, he will settle down to a simple farm life and ‘make our garden grow.’