A piercing satire about the hypocrisy of ordinary people and the ruling power
Sung in English with Swedish surtitles
Candide is a naive young man who is travelling around the world, desperately trying to understand what his teacher, Pangloss, could mean by stating that man lives in “the best of all possible worlds”. On top of it all he has lost his beloved Cunegonde, and he is prepared to do anything to get her back. How can you live an honourable life in a deeply deceitful world? Do all the great ideas really matter when both your heart and the world are on fire?
With Candide (1759), the Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire wanted his readers to become aware of the moral double standards of the day. Leonard Bernstein’s adaptation of the book for the stage premiered in 1956. Bernstein is using the distanced eye and wit of light opera in his attempt at dissecting the brutal ascent of Western civilization through war, slavery and colonialism. Ole Anders Tandberg has previously directed highly acclaimed Royal Swedish Opera productions of The Merry Widow, Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni and Nozze di Figaro. This is his playful, surreal interpretation of Bernstein’s evocative, jazzy operetta.