January 19, 2006
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—The Amherst College Department of Music will present a fully staged 50th anniversary production of the 1956 Broadway hit Candide, with songs by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Amherst College alumnus and former U.S. Poet Laureate Richard Wilbur ’42 at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2, and Friday, Feb. 3, and at 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4, in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. General admission is $5, but the show is free to Amherst College students. Reservations are recommended; e-mail candide@amherst.edu .

Candide, based on the sardonic 1759 Voltaire novella, features a title character who struggles to remain an “eternal optimist” as he traverses the globe and suffers calamities and misfortunes in search of his childhood sweetheart, Cunegonde.

The Amherst College production, the third annual musical staged as part of the college’s January Interterm, will present the 1989 Scottish Opera production, which reflects Bernstein’s final thoughts on the score, with libretto by Hugh Wheeler and additional lyrics by Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Lillian Hellman and others.

The Five College student cast is directed by New York City Opera director A. Scott Parry, with musical direction by Mark Lane Swanson and Rob Lane ’05, technical direction and lighting design by Ed Ahern and choreography by Zoe Block. Parry also conceived the sets and costumes for this production. As in last year’s popular La Cage aux Folles, the Amherst College Orchestra will be in the pit. This production is funded by the Amherst College Department of Music, the Association of Amherst Students and the Office of Student Activities.