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With lyrical contributions from acerbic writers Richard Wilbur, John Latouche, Lillian Hellman, and a young Stephen Sondheim, 'Candide' marries raucous humour with the extraordinary genius of Leonard Bernstein.» More
(The story begins in Westphalia, at its most imposing residence, Schloss Thunder-ten- Tronck, home to the Baron and Baroness. We are introduced to Candide, the illegitimate nephew of the Baron; Cunegonde, the Baron's beautiful daughter, with whom Candide is in love; Maximilian, the Baron’s exceedingly vain son; and Paquette, their young, attractive maid.)
Act 1 No 03: Life is happiness indeed – Parade (narrator/Candide/Cunegonde/Maximilian/Paquette)
Candide: Life is happiness indeed: Mares to ride and books to read, Though of noble birth I’m not, I’m delighted with my lot.
Though I’ve no distinctive features And I’ve no official mother I love all my fellow creatures And the creatures love each other!
Cunegonde: Life is happiness indeed: I have ev’rything I need. I am rich and unattached And my beauty is unmatched.
With the rose my only rival I admit to some frustration; What a pity its survival Is of limited duration.
Maximilian: Life is absolute perfection As is true of my complexion Ev’ry time I look and see me I’m reminded life is dreamy. Although I do get tired Being endlessly admired People will go on about me How could they go on without me? (If the talk at times is vicious, That’s the Price you pay when you’re delicious.)
Life is pleasant, life is simple— Oh my god, is that a pimple? No, it’s just the odd reflection— Life and I are still perfection! I am ev’rything I need! Life is happiness indeed!
Paquette & Candide: Life is happiness indeed: Cunegonde & Candide: Horses to ride and books to read.
Paquette & Candide: Though of noble birth we’re not, We’re delighted with our lot.
Cunegonde, Paquette & Candide: We’re innocent and unambitious That’s why life is so delicious!
Maximilian (simultaneously): Life is absolute perfection As is true of my complexion Ev’ry time I look and see me I’m reminded life is dreamy. Although I do get tired Being endlessly admired People will go on about me How could they go on without me? (If the talk at times is vicious, That’s the Price you pay when you’re delicious.)
Cunegonde, Paquette & Candide: We have ev’rything we need. Life here is happiness indeed! Sheer happiness indeed!
Maximilian (simultaneously): Though it is a heavy duty To protect my awesome beauty, I have almost no objection— Life and I are still perfection! I am ev’rything I need. Life is happiness indeed!
(The young people were all happy, and they were instructed in how to be happy by the wisest of all possible philosophers and scientists, Dr Pangloss.
Act 1 No 04: The best of all possible worlds (Dr Pangloss/Maximilian/Paquette/Candide/pupils)
Let us review lesson eleven
Pangloss: Let us review lesson eleven. Pupils: Paragraph two, axiom seven.
Pangloss: Once one dismisses The rest of all possible worlds, One finds that this is The best of all possible worlds.
Pupils: Once one dismisses The rest of all possible worlds, One finds that this is The best of all possible worlds.
Pangloss: Pray, classify pigeons and camels. Maximilian: Pigeons can fly. Paquette: Camels are mammals. Pangloss: There is a reason for ev’rything under the sun. Candide: There is a season for ev’rything under the sun. Maximilian: Objection! What about Snakes?
Pangloss: Snakes. ‘Twas Snake that tempted mother Eve. Because of Snake we now believe That tho’ depraved, we can be saved From hell-fire and damnation.
Pupils: Because of Snake’s temptation.
Pangloss: If Snake had not seduced our lot, And primed us for salvation, Jehovah could not pardon all The sins that we call cardinal, Involving bed and bottle.
All: Now on to Aristotle.
Pangloss: Mankind is one. All men are brothers.
Pupils: As you’d have done, Do unto others.
Pangloss: It’s understood in This best of all possible worlds.
Maximilian: All’s for the good in This best of all possible worlds.
Candide: Objection! What about war?
Pangloss: War. Though war may seem a bloody curse, It is a blessing in reverse. When cannon roar, both rich and poor By danger are united.
Maximilian: ’Til ev’ry wrong is righted.
Pangloss: Philosophers make evident The point that I have cited: ’Tis war makes equal, As it were, The noble and the commoner; Thus war improves relations.
All: Now on to conjugations. Pangloss: Amo, amas, amat, amamus. Pupils: Amo, amas, amat, amamus.
Pangloss: Proving that this is The best of all possible worlds.
Pupils: With love and kisses, The best of all possible worlds! Quod erat demonstrandum! In this best of all possible, possible worlds! Quod erat demonstrandum! Q! E! D!
Act 1 No 05: Class is dismissed – Happy instrumental (Pangloss/Candide/Cunegonde/Paquette)
(Candide is press-ganged by soldiers from the Bulgarian Army in their fight against Westphalia. He attempts to desert but is caught, and has to choose between two equally unpleasant punishments. Happily for Candide, war then breaks out,…)
(… in the midst of which the Baron and his family are at prayer…)
Chorus: Fa Re Fa Si La Sol Fa Fa, Be welcome in Westphalia! A scene of sweet simplicity, Teutonical rusticity: All hail, Westphalia!
Act 1 No 10: Candide, liberated by the battle (narrator/Candide)
(The Schloss is attacked and everybody is murdered. Cunegonde is raped—repeatedly—before being run through with a bayonet. Candide searches for her body amongst the ruins, to no avail. Despite being freed from the Army, he is now alone and starving, reduced to a life of begging. He encounters another beggar—an old man with missing fingers and a tin nose, who turns out to be Dr Pangloss, miraculously restored to life, but suffering the effects of syphilis.)
(Candide and Dr Pangloss board a ship sailing for Lisbon. During a storm, the ship splits in two and sinks, leaving the two travellers adrift. They eventually float ashore, but, at the moment of their arrival, a nearby volcano erupts, killing 30,000 people. As foreigners, Candide and Pangloss are blamed for the eruption. They are accused of being heretics, are arrested, and are brought before the Spanish Inquisition’s Grand Inquisitor at the auto-da-fé.)
Act 1 No 13: Auto-da-fé (chorus/Judges/Pangloss)
What a day
What a day, what a day, For an auto-da-fé. Let the unbelievers die! Souls in sin cannot win, Let them plead what they may, We will wring confession from them, Then we’ll go to watch ’em fry.
Spectator 1: What a day! What a treat! Did you save me a seat?
Spectator 2: In the back near the rack, But away from the heat!
Spectator 3: Though we won’t see the bones, We’ll hear most of the groans.
All three: And we’ll still get a thrill throwing stones! Spectator 4: Did you see? Spectator 5: Yes, I saw! Spectator 4: Oh, they’ve broken his jaw!
Spectator 6: Don’t we know we should go. It’s your father-in-law!
Spectator 4: Will he burn? What’s your guess? Spectator 5: I suppose he’ll confess.
Spectator 1: What a bore! I adore your new dress!
Spectators 4 & 5: It’s the usual bunch to cremate and to crunch. Spectator 4: There’s a dean. Spectator 5: And a queen. Spectator 4: And a nun with a hunch! Spectator 1: See you soon, we must dash. Spectator 3: When they’ve swept up the ash. Spectator 2: We can meet down the street and have lunch!
Chorus: It’s the usual bunch to cremate and to crunch. There’s a dean and a queen and a nun with a hunch. See you soon, we must dash. When they’ve swept up the ash, We can meet down the street and have lunch! What a day, what a day For an auto-da-fé! It’s a lovely day for drinking And for watching people fry.
Three judges: Shall we let the sinners go or try them? Inquisitor: Try them. Three judges: Are the culprits innocent or guilty? Inquisitor: Guilty. Three judges: Shall we pardon them or burn them? Inquisitor: Burn them.
Chorus: Oh! What a lovely day, what a jolly day! What a day for a holiday! He don’t mix meat and dairy. He don’t eat humble pie. So sing a miserere, And watch the bastard fry!
Three judges: Are our methods legal or illegal? Inquisitor: Legal. Three judges: Are we judges of the law or laymen? Inquisitor: Amen. Three judges: Shall we burn these vile transgressors? Inquisitor: Yes. sir!
Chorus: Oh! What a lovely day, what a jolly day! What a day for a holiday! When foreigners like this come, To criticise and spy, We sing a pax vobiscum, And hang the bastard high!
Heresy agent: My Lord, this unregenerate youth consented to listen to blasphemy!
(The young beauty comes to an arrangement with the two gentlemen, dividing her week between them. She is watched over by her chaperone, the Old Lady, but laments her constant need to ‘glitter and be gay’.)
Cunegonde: Glitter and be gay, That’s the part I play: Here I am in Paris, France. Forced to bend my soul To a sordid role, Victimised by bitter, bitter circumstance. Alas for me! Had I remained Beside my lady mother, My virtue had remained unstained Until my maiden hand was gained By some Grand Duke or other.
Ah, ’twas not to be; Harsh necessity Brought me to this gilded cage. Born to higher things, Here I droop my wings, Ah! Singing of a sorrow nothing can assuage.
And yet of course, I rather like to revel, ha ha! I have no strong objection to champagne, ha ha! My wardrobe is expensive as the devil, ha ha! Perhaps it is ignoble to complain …
Enough, enough, of being basely tearful! I’ll show my noble stuff By being bright and cheerful! Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! (repeated)
Pearls and ruby rings … Ah, how can worldly things Take the place of honour lost? Can they compensate For my fallen state, Purchased as they were at such an awful cost? Bracelets … lavallieres … Can they dry my tears? Can they blind my eyes to shame? Can the brightest brooch Shield me from reproach? Can the purest diamond purify my name?
And yet, of course, these trinkets are endearing, ha ha! I’m oh so glad my sapphire is a star, ha ha! I rather like a twenty-carat earring, ha ha! If I’m not pure, at least my jewels are!
Enough, enough! I’ll take their diamond necklace, And show my noble stuff By being gay and reckless! Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! (repeated)
Observe how bravely I conceal The dreadful, dreadful shame I feel. Ha ha ha ha! (repeated)
Act 1 No 17: Suddenly, Candide rushes in – You were dead, you know (narrator/Candide/Cunegonde)
(Arriving coincidentally, Candide is astonished to discover that the mysterious beauty is none other than his lost love, Cunegonde …)
Candide: Oh. Is it true? Cunegonde! Cunegonde! Cunegonde!
Cunegonde: Oh. Is it you? Candide! Candide! Can…
Candide: Oh. Is it true? Cunegonde! Oh, my love, dear love!
Cunegonde: Oh. Is it you? Candide! Dear, my love!
Candide: Dearest, how can this be so? You were dead, you know. You were shot and bayonetted, too.
Cunegonde: That is very true. Ah, but love will find a way.
Candide: Then what did you do?
Cunegonde: We’ll go into that another day. Now let’s talk of you. You are looking very well. Weren’t you clever, dear, to survive?
Candide: I’ve a sorry tale to tell; I escaped more dead than alive.
Cunegonde: Love of mine, where did you go? Candide: Oh, I wandered to and fro … Cunegonde: Oh, what torture, oh, what pain … Candide: Holland, Portugal and Spain … Cunegonde: Ah, what torture … Candide: Holland, Portu-… Cunegonde: Ah, what torture …
Candide: I would do it all again To find you at last!
Candide & Cunegonde: Reunited after so much pain; But the pain is past. We are one again! We are one at last! One again, one at last!
Act 1 No 18: Quick madame, the Jew – Entrance of the Jew – Entrance of the Archbishop – Travel to the stables (narrator/Candide/Cunegonde/Old Lady/Don Issachar/Archbishop)
(Their happy reunion is interrupted by the Old Lady, warning them of the arrival of the Jew and the Archbishop. Candide accidentally kills them both, whereupon he, Cunegonde and the Old Lady escape to Cadiz, taking with them all of Cunegonde’s jewels.)
(After safely crossing the border, the Old Lady tells them her astonishingly ‘colourful’ life-story: her privileged upbringing, betrothal to an Italian prince, capture and rape by Barbary pirates, survival of civil war in North Africa, and the loss of one of her buttocks…)
Act 1 No 19: Barcarolle (Old Lady/narrator/Candide/Cunegonde)
(Sadly, none of the Old Lady’s targets has any money. But, providentially, Candide is approached and offered a commission fighting for the Jesuits in Montevideo, South America. Taking Cunegonde and the Old Lady with him, he embarks for the New World, as Act One ends optimistically.)
Act 1 No 22: Quartet finale (narrator/Candide/Cunegonde/Old Lady/Captain/chorus)
Candide: Once again we must be gone, Moving onward to the New World! Shall our hopes be answered there? Is that land so good and fair?
Cunegonde: In that land across the sea, When our quest at last is ended Then all our fortunes shall be mended: We shall dwell there, free of ev’ry care, happy we!
Old Lady: Stripped though we are Of our possessions, my dear, We shall go far Through our professions, my dear. If this New World Has plenty of gallants, We’ll right our balance Using our talents, my dear.
Captain: Go now and save Montevideo, Candide! Faithful and brave, Go on your way, O Candide! You must deter The heathen invader, Drive out the raider, Like a crusader, Candide.
Old Lady: I was in a funk, My confidence was failing. I was feeling sunk, But once again I’m sailing! I was depressed and my spirits were failing, All’s for the best now because we are sailing, sailing! Ah!
Cunegonde: Farewell, Old World! Ah, farewell, Old World! Ah!
Candide: Shall my hopes for the first time Be answered in that New World? Oh, farewell, Old World, farewell! Ah!
Captain: Yes, go, Candide. Do as I say: On your way, O Candide! Yes go! Ah!
Pangloss: As if one hemisphere were any better than the other.
Candide: In that land across the sea, When our quest at last is ended, All our fortunes shall be mended.
Cunegonde: Though we’re deprived Of our possessions, my dear, We have survived Through our professions, my dear. If the New World Has plenty of gallants,
Old Lady: Ah, I was in a funk, My confidence was failing, I was feeling sunk, But once again I’m sailing! Sailing! Sailing!
Captain: Go now and save Montevideo, Candide! Faithful and brave, Go on your way, O Candide! You must deter The heathen invader!
Cunegonde & Chorus: Farewell to the old! Farewell to the old! We’re bound for the realms of gold!
Old Lady: My heart’s full of hope! My heart’s full of hope! I’m sure we can cope, my dear!
Captain: With many a deed, With many a deed! With many a deed, Candide!
Candide & Chorus: Farewell to distress! Farewell to distress! All hail, to our happiness.
Act 2 No 01: Universal good (chorus)
We have learned, and understood
(With the action moving to South America, we find Maximilian and Paquette in Montevideo, both dressed as slave-girls, having been miraculously restored to life. They are part of a slave-auction, which is being overseen by the region’s hot-blooded Governor, Don Fernando d’Ibarra y Figueroa y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y Souza. By happy coincidence, but unknown to them, Candide, Cunegonde and the Old Lady also arrive in the city.)
(They are introduced to the Governor, who takes a shine to Cunegonde and proposes to her.)
(Cunegonde and the Old Lady discuss their conquest of the Governor, while Candide, in order to escape from a magistrate with a warrant for his arrest, flees into the jungle. The ladies celebrate their femininity.)
(Candide, travelling through the jungle, stumbles upon the encampment of Jesuits for whom he was commissioned to fight. He discovers Maximilian and Paquette are part of the brethren, and informs them that Cunegonde is alive and well, and that he intends to marry her. Maximilian, once again, is outraged at this, and Candide accidentally stabs him to death, fleeing into the jungle.)
Maximilian & Chorus: Alleluia.
(Candide and Paquette escape during the night, heading deeper into the jungle. They come across an abandoned boat, and take a trip down-river, eventually emerging into a strange land surrounded by unscaleable mountains. It is more beautiful than Westphalia: the streets are covered with gold dust and precious stones; there is no hint of poverty, greed, envy, nor hatred; and the inhabitants are kind and gentle. It is a Panglossian paradise, but Candide is without Cunegonde and Paquette grows tired of the same daily routine…)
Act 2 No 07: Introduction to Eldorado – Sheep song (narrator/Candide/Paquette/Two sheep/chorus)
Sheep: Ev’ry sky is blue and sunny, Ev’ry face you see is glad. There’s no greed or need for money
First Sheep: Or a synonym for baaaad!
Paquette: Here each man is each man’s brother, Here the cows give golden cream, Ev’ry day is like the other: If we don’t leave soon, I’ll scream!
(Despite being perplexed at Candide’s wish to leave their paradise, the kind people of Eldorado construct a machine that will enable Candide, Paquette and their jewel-laden sheep to make their way over the unscaleable mountains, back through the jungle, and across other extreme terrains. Candide has some regret about leaving behind the paradise of Eldorado.)
Act 2 No 08: The ballad of Eldorado (Candide/chorus)
Candide: Up a seashell mountain, Across a primrose sea, To a jungle fountain High up in a tree; Then down a primrose mountain, Across a seashell sea, To a land of happy people, Just and kind and bold and free.
Chorus: To Eldorado, to Eldorado.
Candide: They bathe each dawn in a golden lake, Em’ralds hang up on the vine. All is there for all to take, Food and God and books and wine. They have no words for fear and greed, For lies and war, revenge and rage. They sing and dance and think and read. They live in peace and die of age.
Chorus: In Eldorado, in Eldorado.
Candide: They gave me home, they called me friend, They taught me how to live in grace. Seasons passed without an end In that sweet and blessed place. But I grew sad and could not stay; Without my love my heart grew cold, So they sadly sent me on my way With gracious gifts of gems and gold.
Chorus: From Eldorado, from Eldorado.
Candide: ‘Goodbye,’ they said, ‘We pray you May safely cross the sea.’ ‘Go,’ they said, ‘And may you Find your bride to be.’ Then past the jungle fountain, Along a silver shore, I’ve come by sea and mountain, To be with my love once more.
Chorus: From Eldorado, from Eldorado.
Act 2 No 09: Having arrived in Surinam (narrator/Candide/Cunegonde/Old Lady/Vanderdendur/Paquette/sheep)
(Arriving in Surinam, Candide learns of the Governor’s willingness to sell Cunegonde and the Old Lady. Unfortunately, the boat carrying them to an exchange is attacked by pirates. Cunegonde and the Old Lady are captured and taken to Venice. Fortuitously, a Dutch merchant appears, offering Candide and Paquette passage to Venice in return for their sheep. The people of Surinam gather to wish them a safe journey.)
Chorus: Bon voyage, dear fellow, Dear benefactor of your fellow man! May good luck attend you. Do come again and see us when you can.
Vanderdendur: Oh, but I’m bad. Oh, but I’m bad, Playing such a very dirty trick on such a fine lad! I’m a low cad, I’m a low cad; Always when I do this sort of thing it makes me so sad, Ever so sad! Oh, but I’m bad! Ever so bad!
Vanderdendur: I’m so rich that my life is an utter bore; There is just not a thing that I need. My desires are as dry as an apple core, And my only emotion is greed. Which is why though I’ve nothing to spend it for, I have swindled this gold from Candidididididididididididi-dide, Poor Candide! But I never would swindle the humble poor, For you can’t get a turnip to bleed. When you swindle the rich you get so much more, Which is why I have swindled Candide. Oh dear, I fear He’s going down, he’s going to drown! Ah, poor Candide!
Chorus: Bon voyage, dear stranger, Hope that the crossing will not prove too grim. You seem to be in danger. But we expect that you know how to swim.
Vanderdendur: What a dumb goat, what a dumb goat, Handing me a fortune for a perfect wreck of a boat. Never did float, never did float. This is going to make a most amusing anecdote. Never did float, wreck of a boat. What a dumb goat!
(Of course, the ship sinks, but Candide and Paquette are saved by a passing galley. By some miracle, they eventually make it to Venice, where it is Carnival time. A masked ball is in progress at the Casino, where Cunegonde and the Old Lady are working for the evil Prince Ragotski, using their feminine wiles on the gamblers. The Old Lady, Ragotski, the Prefect of Police (actually Maximilian, once again miraculously restored to life) and a Crook all bemoan the way money seems to flow in an endless cycle.)
Act 2 No 12: What's the use (Old Lady/Prince Ragotski/Prefect/Crook/chorus)
Chorus: Life is neither good nor bad. Life is life, and all we know. Good and bad and joy and woe are woven fine, Are woven fine. All the travels we have made, All the evils we have known, Even paradise itself, Are nothing now, are nothing now.
(Candide and Cunegonde have been changed by their experiences. Candide asks Cunegonde to marry him.)
Act 2 No 16: Make our garden grow (Candide/Cunegonde/Old Lady/Paquette/Governor/Maximilian/Dr Pangloss/chorus)
Candide: You’ve been a fool and so have I, But come and be my wife, And let us try before we die To make some sense of life.
We’re neither pure nor wise nor good; We’ll do the best we know. We’ll build our house, and chop our wood, And make our garden grow, And make our garden grow.
Cunegonde: I thought the world was sugarcake, For so our master said; But now I’ll teach my hands to bake Our loaf of daily bread.
Cunegonde & Candide: We’re neither pure nor wise nor good; We’ll do the best we know. We’ll build our house, and chop our wood, And make our garden grow, And make our garden grow.
Cunegonde, Old Lady, Paquette, Candide, Governor, Maximilian & Pangloss: Let dreamers dream what worlds they please, Those Edens can’t be found. The sweetest flow’rs, the fairest trees, Are grown in solid ground.
Cunegonde, Old Lady, Paquette, Candide, Governor, Maximilian, Pangloss & Chorus: We’re neither pure nor wise nor good; We’ll do the best we know. We’ll build our house, and chop our wood, And make our garden grow, And make our garden grow.