Arizona Opera Celebrates Leonard Bernstein’s Centennial

Company brings premiere of composer’s ‘Candide’ to the Valley

Arizona Opera celebrates composer Leonard Bernstein’s 100th anniversary with the company premiere of Candide. Fast-paced, funny and philosophicalthis Tony award-winning Broadway show is also considered an operatic masterpiece. Based on the novella by Voltaire, the naïve Candide sets off to explore the world but is beset by an endless series of comedic disasters. With musical highlights including “Glitter and Be Gay” and “Make Your Garden Grow,” Candide affirms that the path to happiness is seldom as straight as it seems.

“Although originally created for a Broadway stage in the late 1950s, Candide was not an initial success,” says John Johnson, board chair of Arizona Opera. “However, the work has found its niche in moving to the operatic stage – an ideal platform to highlight the complexities of its music.”

Candide begins at Tucson Music Hall with two performances, Jan. 27 and Jan. 28. The show then travels to Symphony Hall in Phoenix for three performances Feb. 2 – 4.

Joseph Colaneri conducts this original Bernstein composition, with direction by Christopher Mattaliano, who led the original creation of this production with Portland Opera.

Miles Mykkanen performs the title role, with Curt Olds returning to Arizona Opera as Pangloss, Voltaire, Cacambo and Martin. Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio Artists Katrina Galka and Stephanie Sanchez sing Cunegonde and Paquette, respectively. Mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook sings the role of The Old Lady with Studio Artists Jarrett PorterAnthony Ciaramitaro and Zachary Owen performing a variety of roles. Porter sings the parts of Maximilian and Captain, Ciaramitaro sings the Governor, Vanderdendur and Ragotski, and Owen sings the roles of Max’s Attendant, 1st Officer, James, Informer #1, the Archbishop, Waitress #2, Father Bernard, Native and Sailor. Kathleen Berger rounds out the cast with the roles of Baroness, Lisbon Woman, Waitress #1, Slave and Guest.

The Arizona Opera production of Candide is sponsored by Jeannette J. Segel, The Estate of Esther E. Alcorn, Dr. Judith G. Wolf and Dr. Dorothy Lincoln-Smith. Arizona Opera’s 2017/18 season is presented by CopperPoint Insurance Companies.

Additionally, Arizona Opera is presenting its first annual American Musical Masters Series, which this year celebrates the life and legacy of Leonard Bernstein. The program will feature discussions with two of Bernstein’s children, Jamie Bernstein and Nina Bernstein. The full listing of events will be available on


Fri., Feb. 2, and Sat., Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 4, 2 p.m.

Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix

For more information/tickets, visit

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