The Crown

The Crown
Alex as the Duke of Windsor

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


This Saturday BBC Radio 3 will broadcast a recording of ENO's "Candide" with Alex playing the roles of Voltaire, dr. Pangloss and Martin. The BBC press release gives the following information:

"From the opening bars of the overture, the scintillating score and succession of brilliant and witty numbers, Leonard Bernstein's Candide is an enthralling, breathtaking, roller-coaster of a piece. With its affectionate parodies of operatic conventions and forms, it was a personal favourite of Bernstein's and, from its 1956 première, he tinkered with it, on and off, for three decades.

Candide is based on Voltaire's savage satire on 18th-century institutions and manners, whose ridiculously optimistic dictum "All's for the best in the best of all possible worlds" is relentlessly disproved by an unending sequence of misfortunes and disasters, death and destruction.

In this controversial production, recorded at the English National Opera in July, director Robert Carsen triumphantly updates the often surreal action from 18th-century Europe to Fifties America, and beyond, revealing the dystopian reality of the American Dream. Westphalia becomes West-Failure; the Spanish Inquisition is transformed into Senator Joe McCarthy and the Ku Klux Klan; Venice is Vegas; Eldorado, Texas. And, in a move that nearly caused the cancellation of the show in Milan, Voltaire's five deposed kings become Blair, Chirac, Bush, Putin and Berlusconi.

The acclaimed cast comes from the worlds of musical theatre and opera: the multi-talented Alex Jennings plays Voltaire, Pangloss and Martin; Beverly Klein is the Old Lady; Soprano Marnie Breckenridge is a sparkling Cunegonde; and the title role is taken by leading British tenor Toby Spence. Rumon Gamba conducts them and the Chorus and Orchestra of English National Opera."

Opera On 3 – Candide
Saturday 4 October
6.00-9.30pm BBC RADIO 3

Radio 3 - Candide

Thanks again to Penny!

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