Libretto by Lilian HELLMAN,
reworked by Hugh WHEELER and John WELLS
Lyrics by Richard WILBUR, John LATOUCHE, Dorothy PARKER, Lilian HELLMAN, Leonard BERNSTEIN.


  • Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège
  • Les Festivals de Wallonie
  • Palais des Beaux-Arts de Charleroi
  • Candide ASBL
  • Rotary Bruxelles-Europe.

Semi-staged version

Realised with the support of the Tax Shelter of  Belgian Federal Government – Casa Kafka Pictures Movie Tax Shelter empowered by Belfius.

Surtitle: FR

The story

Candide immerses himself in the lessons given by the philosopher Pangloss, who teaches that ours is the best of all possible worlds. Driven from the castle for having kissed Cunégonde, he embarks on a journey during which he witnesses dreadful catastrophes at each step. Overwhelmed by the misfortune of the world, Candide decides to “cultivate his garden” in a small farm that he purchases near Venice.


Candide, ou l’Optimisme is a famous philosophical tale written by Voltaire. This immensely successful work was first published in 1759 and re-published twenty times during the author’s life. The story, telling the initiatory journey of a naïve character, fully draws on the ideas of the Enlightenment where each land and character effusively represents moral, political and philosophical values, themes that did not leave conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein indifferent.

Bernstein is the author of the two most famous masterpieces of American musical theatre: Candide and West Side Story. Whilst the latter explores a version of Romeo & Juliette transposed to New York in the 1950’s, Candide transposes the French tale into a Comic Operetta in which pastiches and allusions to opera and operetta are combined with the widest possible variety of musical genres. Candide offers a fabulous voyage in which Europe is perceived from an American viewpoint in an amusingly sarcastic tone!

Introduction to performances: curtain-raisers

All the opera performances are preceded by an educational introduction open to all. They take place 30 minutes before the start of the performance, in the company of an opera specialist to provide a pertinent presentation of the work.


Candide Symphonic Orchestra & Choir :

  • Sopranos : Paula Floch, Estelle Renaud, Aurélie Castin, Milan Amélie Nyssen, Miriam Mendiola
  • Altos : Lotte Verstaen, Esther Verheye, Céleste Lejeune, Claudia Porrero, Florine God
  • Tenors : Gabriele Bonfanti, Manuel Bros-Vasquez, Alfonso Giuliani, Jonathan Vorks, Krisztian Egyed
  • Basses : Leandro Lopez Garcia, Vincent Ramlot, Cyprien Crabbé