Obituary: Soprano Barbara Cook, First Broadway Cunegonde in Bernstein’s ‘Candide,’ Dies At 89

By David Salazar

Soprano Barbara Cook has passed away at the age of 89.

Cook, best known for work on Broadway, won a Tony for “The Music Man” in 1957 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2011.

And while she dominated the musical scene, she did make some interesting appearances on the opera stage, most prominently at the Metropolitan Opera, where she appeared on two separate occasions.

The first of these took place on New Years Eve 2003 when she appeared during the third act after Tony Stevenson proposed to Stephanie Ann Sheppard. Cook performed from “On a Clear Day,” “South Pacific,” “Follies,” and “We’ll Be Together Again” with Wally Harper, who conducted and played the piano.

Three years later, on Jan. 20, 2006, she came back to the Met for “Barbara Cook at the Met.”

Cook’s breakout came in the 1956 production of Bernstein’s “Candide,” where she played Cunegonde and was renowned for her interpretation of “Glitter and Be Gay.” That was the Broadway premiere of the work.