Candide, by Leonard Bernstein, 21st 22nd 23rd February 2008
Based on Voltaire's satirical novel, this opera is set in the 18th century, its main thrust being that despite all evidence to the contrary, life will always come right in the end. Tra La.
Candide, played by Rupert Drury, spends his life searching for his lost love, Cunegonde, performed by Hannah Lockwood. Blissfully undaunted by battles, bigotry and natural disasters, the huge cast of eccentric characters includes the part of philosopher Dr. Pangloss, undertaken by Peter Redfern, who, in his other role as the narrator, Voltaire, has the added task of keeping the audience up to speed with the plot.
The multifarious scenes, skillfuly staged by director Graham Billing, are breathtaking in their pace and ingenuity, and there are plenty of musical fireworks for both orchestra and singers.
This may be your only chance to see this impressive opera, performed as usual with great gusto by Bath's only group dedicated to grand opera in all its variety. You are guaranteed fine singing from the principals and soul-stirring moments from the talented chorus, all kept on their toes under the experienced thumb of musical director Peter Blackwood.
Come aboard with the Company for an evening of much mischief, mayhem - and great music. You don't know the tunes? You'll be humming them all the way home. And be ready for the exquisite finale - 'Make our garden grow' with its tear-prompting, timeless message for us all.
Place: The Wroughton Theatre, King Edward's School
Dates: 21st, 22nd, 23rd February 2008
Tickets: £15 (student concession) from Bath Festivals Box Office on 01225 463362, or from members.