Anchorage Symphony Orchestra
Anchorage Opera NEWS RELEASE
CONTACT: Jennifer Cargile, 907-274-8668
Anchorage Opera and Anchorage Symphony Orchestra present Candide
stage direction by Teresa K. Pond
conducted by Charles Prince
Saturday, April 7, 2018 – 8:00pm
Sunday, April 8, 2018 – 4pm
Atwood Concert Hall, ACPA

Anchorage, Alaska – March 13, 2018 – It is estimated that over 2,000 events world-wide are planned to celebrate the centennial of Leonard Bernstein. On April 7th and 8th, Anchorage Opera and the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra bring the celebration to Anchorage in a joint production of Candide. It is a story about community, faith and humanity — all the things reflected in the legendary Leonard Bernstein and his musical career. Full of soaring arias and a brilliant overture, Candide is a treat for opera, Broadway and Bernstein fans alike.

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was a composer, conductor, educator, and humanitarian who became an iconic figure in American cultural history. Regarded as the first great American conductor, he was a key figure in making symphonic orchestras relevant and sparked interest in new generations through his televised and popular “Young People’s Concerts.” Bernstein served as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic from 1958-1969 and conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra during 30 seasons. He also helped mold a generation of conductors including two very important to the upcoming Candide production. In 1988, ASO Music Director, Randall Craig Fleisher, and Candide guest conductor, Charles Prince, both studied with Bernstein at Tanglewood.

Family members have shared that Bernstein wanted most to be remembered as a composer, for it was what he cared most about. His work spanned both classical and the pop culture of Broadway. He wrote symphonies, operas, three major ballets, music for film, and contributed greatly to the Broadway musical stage with productions like West Side Story. In 1969 he received the Tony Award for Distinguished Achievement in Theater.

The Anchorage Symphony and Anchorage Opera are proud to present one of his great Broadway works, Candide. Based on the novella by Voltaire, this fast-paced, funny, and satirical, operetta finds its main character setting off with friends to find the true meaning of life. Their escapades along the way include separation, war, mistaken identity, kidnapping, murder, and a shipwreck, yet they never give up. Featuring a splendid score and audience favorites like “Glitter and Be Gay” and the radiant finale, “Make Our Garden Grow,” Candide is witty – and a little bit wacky.

ASO Music Director Randall Craig Fleischer writes, “Candide is a laugh-out-loud spoof of all things intellectual; of academia, science, philosophy, theater, etc. Some of the scenes are side-splittingly funny! Like every Broadway musical, it is also romantic, tracing the amorous journey of Candide and Cunegonde as they finally mature and discover that life is best when it’s simple, that life is about love.”

With Maestro Fleischer debuting his show, Rocktopia on Broadway in March and April, Anchorage Opera and the Anchorage Symphony welcome Charles Prince as the guest conductor of this joint production and celebration of Leonard Bernstein. With a career spanning more than two decades, Prince was the Associate Conductor of the New York Pops, and the Musical Director of the Tony-Award Winning production of James Joyce and Shaun Daveys’ The Dead while it played on Broadway, as well as in Los Angeles and Washington. In early 2017 Prince conducted the New York City Opera’s revival of Candide, directed by his father –Broadway legend, Hal Prince. Prince is participating in other centennial festivities for Leonard Bernstein with performances of Trouble in Tahiti at New York’s Symphony Space and the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood.

Principal vocalists for Candide have impressive credentials including other performances of the work. Grammy Award-nominated tenor Daniel Bates made his Anchorage Opera debut earlier this season as Ernesto in Don Pasquale and returns as the title role in Candide. Coloratuura soprano Sharleen Joynt will sing the role of Cunegonde in Anchorage as well as the Tanglewood Music Festival. Baritone Curt Olds will sing the roles of Dr. Pangloss and Voltaire – which he also performed in Arizona Opera’s Candide performances in January and February of this year. Anchorage audiences may remember Olds from his performance as Ko-Ko in Anchorage Opera’s The Mikado. Internationally-renowned Metropolitan Opera star, Victoria Livengood is a Grammy Award-winning mezzo soprano who joins the Candide cast singing the role of The Old Lady. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rachel Zatcoff, is a Broadway actress and classically trained soprano who recently made her Broadway debut as Christine in Phantom of the Opera, and in 2017, she made her New York City Opera debut in Candide directed by Hal Prince. She will perform the role of Paquette. Called “strong, lucid, direct and bang on the note” (The New York Times), Jonathan Hayes will perform the roll of Maximilian. When not performing with various operas and symphonies around North America, Hayes is also the General Director of Gold Rush Productions, Inc.,which will produce the 95th season of The Days of ’98 Show with Soapy Smith in Skagway, AK this summer. Making his Anchorage debut is Baritone Peter Kendall Clark as the Baron. Clark also performed in the New York City Opera’s 2017 sold-out Candide performances.

The Stage Director for Candide is Teresa K. Pond, Producing Artistic Director of Cyrano’s Theatre Company. Holding a BFA in Communications from Chapman University and an MFA in Directing from University of California Irvine’s prestigious Claire Trevor School of Arts, Pond has directed professionally Off-Broadway, regionally, and internationally.

Adding to the wacky “over the top” nature of Candide, Pond has been given the challenge of having all performers on stage – including the orchestra. The production includes platform staging, costumes and theatrical lighting. Pond shared, “This is a fully- staged production with orchestra. We’re going on a comical romp – a wonderful adventure and the orchestra will be part of the action. It is a crazy adventurous journey – a funny way of looking at the world and making fun of the idea that we have control of anything that happens in the world. It is a wild ride of a show, and I am super excited that everybody in the production gets to go on the ride.”

Anchorage Opera and Anchorage Symphony’s Candide, Saturday, April 7, 2018, (8pm) and Sunday, April 8, 2018 (4pm) in the Atwood Concert Hall, Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. Infrared headphones for the hearing impaired are available concert night from the House Manager on the Orchestra Level. Tickets: Adult, $52-$27; Youth, $24.75-$12.50; Senior, $46.50-$24.50 (prices include surcharges and fees). Military, student and group discounts available. To purchase tickets, visit the CenterTix Box Office at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts or or call 263-ARTS (2787), toll free at 1-877-ARTS- TIX.