Candide, leonard bernstein
How Leonard Bersnstein mastered a critical show of the United States society?
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
Leonard Bernstein was born in Massachussets in a Jewish family, and was one of the most famous directors in the world:
He conducted the biggest orchestras in the world, like the New York Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, Boston, Berlin, etc. He was also a specialst of Mahler's music, and all his interpretations were a huge successes.
Leonard Bernstein was also a composer, he reinvented a genre: the musical
His most famous success ever was West Side Story, which was a real revolution at the creation.
He was recognized as a musical reference, and never yielded to conformism.
The creation of Candide
Candide is a musical based on the novella of the same name by Voltaire (1758), which satirized the fashionable philosophies of the XVIIIth century, especially aiming at the Catholic church, the inquisition of which routinely tortured and killed heretics.
In 1953, the renowned playwright Lillian Hellman offered Bernstein to adapt Candide as a musical with her.
Candide premiered in 1956, and fared poorly at first.
In the decades that followed, Candide underwent many revisions, most radically with Hugh Wheeler's new libretto in 1973, which was more farcical.
In 1989 Bernstein himself decided to re-examine it, once more, a few months before his death. « Glitter and Be Gay », the most well-known theme of this piece, was added, and also the character of Voltaire himself who was a kind of mediator between the audience and this parodic black comedy.
Leonard Bernstein applied Candid's optimism: he accepted to make changes to fulfil his ultimate goal.
From 1989, they were still modifications in almost every performance.
As a hero, Candide is perhaps destined to never find his perfect form and fuction,each new production has, in a sense, been a world premiere.
The topic: optimism