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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y.  – The Glimmerglass Festival opened the last of its four productions on Sunday with Bernstein’s take on Candide. As philosophical as it is satirical, the production transports Voltaire’s novella and its Enlightenment-era ideas to the stage, and features classic tunes such as “The Best of All Possible Worlds,” “Glitter and Be Gay” and “Make our Garden Grow.”


Director Francesca Zambello’s new period production examines wars waged between nations and classes. Zambello joins forces with conductor Joseph Colaneri in this co-production with Opéra National de Bordeaux and Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse.


“Leonard Bernstein was one of the most gifted and erudite musicians of our time, and his love of literature and wry comedy are exuberantly combined in Candide,” Colaneri said. “I am always touched by the life-affirming themes and lessons of this effervescent and witty score that ring true from Voltaire’s 18th century right down to the present day.”


Candide features former Young Artist Andrew Stenson in the title role. Stenson made his Glimmerglass debut in The Tender Land and has since appeared in Carmen and Later the Same Evening. The role of Cunégonde is performed by Kathryn Lewek, who made her Metropolitan Opera debut last season as Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute. Marietta Simpson sings the role of The Old Lady. Simpson’s expressive voice has led her to performances at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, as well as roles such as Queenie in Houston Grand Opera’s Show Boat.


James Noone returns to govern scenic design alongside Helen Hayes Award-nominated costume designer Jennifer Moeller. Candide is choreographed by Eric Sean Fogel. Mark McCullough designs lighting.


Candide will run in repertory with Verdi’s Macbeth, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Vivaldi’s Cato in Utica. The mainstage productions will be complemented by concerts, lectures, backstage tours and question-and-answer sessions with the creative teams.
For more information on the 2015 Glimmerglass Festival and performance dates and times, call the Box Office at (607) 547-2255 or visit



The Glimmerglass Festival

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