WNO Set to Celebrate Bernstein Centennial With ‘Candide’

By David Salazar

The Washington National Opera is preparing to finish off its 2017-18 season, celebrating Leonard Bernstein’s centennial anniversary with his “opera” “Candide.”

The run kicks off on May 6, 2018, at the Kennedy Center Opera House.

The celebration is set to feature an all-star cast that includes tenor Alek Shrader in his WNO debut. He will take on the title role opposite Kathryn Lewek as his lover Cunegonde. Lewek, of course, has made waves for years for her interpretation of the Queen of the Night in “The Magic Flute.” This run of performances will give audiences a chance to see her in a new role.

The production will also feature Denyce Graves as the old woman, Wynn Harmon as both Voltaire and Dr. Pangloss, and Fredrick Ballentine, among others.

The production will be directed by WNO artistic director Francesca Zambello. Nicole Paiement will conduct. There will be a total of nine performances of the opera, ending on May 26.