The Clarence Brown Theatre and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra will collaborate on a production of Leonard Bernstein’s operetta “Candide” next year. The production is funded by a grant from the Roy Cockrum Foundation.
Directed by Calvin MacLean, and conducted by Aram Demirjian, the performances will be Aug. 29-Sept. 16, 2018, on the main stage of the Clarence Brown Theatre at UT, according to a press release.
The production of “Candide” marks the third recent collaboration between the CBT and KSO. Earlier presentations included “Amadeus” (2010) and “Sweeney Todd” (2012). In Bernstein’s musical derived from Voltaire, a young man wanders “the best of all possible worlds” only to find war, destruction and loss. Separated from his beloved, Candide’s hard-won survival ends in a joyous reconciliation.
“We’ve been helping theaters all over the country make their dreams come true,” said Roy Cockrum, a theater enthusiast who started his foundation with proceeds from winning the Powerball Lottery in 2014 on a ticket he purchased in Knoxville.
“The grant … makes it possible for the Clarence Brown Theatre to collaborate with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra on a project we have dreamed about for many years,” said MacLean.
“Leonard Bernstein is the most indispensable figure in the history of American concert music, and it brings us great joy to be able to celebrate his legacy through the performance of ‘Candide,’ one of his most distinctive and enduring masterworks. The more our local artistic institutions work together, the stronger our community will be, and we could not be more grateful to The Roy Cockrum Foundation for supporting this renewed collaboration,” said Demirjian.
Tickets will be available with subscription renewals in February 2018 to Clarence Brown Theatre and Knoxville Symphony Orchestra subscribers and to the general public in the summer of 2018.