Candide 2018

23-25 March 2018

Voltaire’s satirical tale of mindless optimism comes to life with Bernstein’s brilliant score. Sparkling with wit and humour, Candide is part opera, part musical and entirely irreverent, drawing on everything from European operetta to Latin American dance rhythms.

We follow our hero and his sweetheart, Cunégonde, as they journey through a mad and chaotic world populated by a seemingly endless cast of vicious, greedy, lustful and manipulative characters.

Taking on an array of roles is a versatile and brilliant New Zealand and Australian cast led by the incomparable Reg Livermore in his New Zealand debut.

Auckland Town Hall will be refashioned into “The Best of All Possible Worlds” for this new production directed by New Zealand Opera’s General Director, Stuart Maunder and designed by Tony-award winner Roger Kirk. New Zealand Opera’s Director of Music. Wyn Davies conducts.

Music by Leonard Bernstein, book by Hugh Wheeler after Voltaire, Lyrics by Richard Wilbur, with additional lyrics by Stephen
Sondheim, John La Touche, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker and Leonard Bernstein.  Orchestrations by Leonard Bernstein and Hershy Kay; Musical continuity and additional orchestrations by John Mauceri. Licensed by Hal Leonard Australia, exclusive agent for Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd.

Read the programme


“Auckland Arts Festival could not have wished for a more festive finale than Leonard Bernstein’s Candide which sparked and sparkled in Stuart Maunder’s resourceful staging at Auckland Town Hall with the soloists and company of New Zealand Opera.” – William Dart, The New Zealand Herald

“This was a fine production and kudos to all involved. Energetic, witty, and relevant to our paranoid times. And very funny.” – RNZ Concert

“Candide is bawdy, bright and sparkling – it is impossible not to fall in love with its hero and his vocally and dramatically stellar consort.” – Theatreview


Creative team

Conductor Wyn Davies
Director Stuart Maunder
Designer Roger Kirk
Lighting Designer Trudy Dalgliesh
Sound Designer Jim Atkins
Choreographer Siobhan Ginty



Candide James Benjamin Rodgers
Voltaire/Dr Pangloss Reg Livermore
Maximilian James Harrison
Cunégonde Amelia Berry
The Old Lady Jacqueline Dark
Governor/Vanderdendur Kanen Breen
Also featuring Robert Tucker & Byron Coll



Accompanied by Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

A New Zealand Opera production, presented in association with Auckland Arts Festival.

Supported By