In between liturgies this afternoon, I enjoyed the Iowa State production of Candide. I was familiar with the overture, which was very competently done by a 32-piece orchestra that played from the rear of the stage. Leonard Bernstein’s music for the songs, I was far less acquainted with. One of the poets I studied in high school, Richard Wilbur, was responsible for some/most of the lyrics. I read a bit online about the operetta after I saw it, but it didn’t give me much useful information.

I’m not necessarily a fan of Bernstein, but I really enjoyed the music today. Better than I remember West Side Story. The story, perhaps, is not quite as good. Three hours is a long rambling journey. It was creatively set with costumes and minimal props (tables and chairs, pretty much), but the production team did quite well with the material.

I knew a handful of students singing and playing in the orchestra. It was very cool to see them in their element.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to Candide

  1. John Mack says:

    Leonard Bernstein was a client and friend of my aunt, back in the era when the Manhattan media elite were moderate Republicans and the intellectual and artistic elite were economic progressives, in full support of the New Deal and Civil Rights (and many were clients of my aunt). But both groups conducted themselves courteously. The Republican media, like Time Magazine, has a huge national influence and that influence was toward civility and moderation. Bennet Cerf’s Book of the Month Club also had a huge national influence, moderately liberal. Those days of respectful exploration of issues and a sense of national unity are gone. And so-called Christians and Catholics are to blame for much of the divisiveness and destruction of civil life.

    Thanks for talking about a cultural event both uplifting and thoughtful.

  2. Jimmy Mac says:

    I first saw Candide in New York in the late 1970s and it has always been a favorite.

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