The Seagle Music Colony's 103rd season opens Thursday at 8 p.m. with a performance of "Candide," celebrating the 100th birthday of legendary composer Leonard Bernstein.
The oldest summer vocal training program in the U.S., and also the producer of premiere opera and musical theater shows, the Seagle Music Colony will celebrate Bernstein's work with a production of "Candide" Thursday through Saturday at the Oscar Seagle Memorial Theatre at 999 Charley Hill Rd. in Schroon Lake.
Friday's performance will begin at 2 p.m., and Saturday's show will start at 8 p.m.
Based on a French satire first published in 1759 by Voltaire, "Candide" was originally written by Lillian Hellman as a straight play before Bernstein convinced her to turn it into a comic opera. It opened on Broadway in December of 1956, and while the show was a flop, the music earned rave reviews and an original cast album was made.
While nominated for five Tony Awards in 1957 - it didn't win any - a revival of the show was produced in 1974 and this time it won five Tonys, including Best Book of a Musical. Another revival in 1997 had some moderate success, earning four Tony nominations and winning one for Best Costume Design.
The opera tells the story of Candide, an illegitimate nephew of a German baron who grows up under the tutelage of the scholar Pangloss, who teaches him that this world is "the best of all possible worlds." When Pangloss catches Candide kissing his daughter, Cunegonde, the Baron expels him from the home.
Colin Campbell, a native of Medford, Oregon, will play Candide. Campbell went to school at Southern Oregon University and earned his masters at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
Jennifer Soloway of Marietta, Georgia will play Cunegonde, while others in the cast include Melaina Mills as Paquette and Dante Mireles as Maximillian.
"Julius Caesar" by Handel will take the Seagle stage July 18-21, while also on the 2018 schedule are "The Great Gatsby" (Harbison), Aug. 1-4; and "Mame" (Herman), Aug. 15-18.
Another regular feature of the Seagle Music Colonie season is Billy Goats Gruff at the Boathouse Theater and on tour throughout the Adirondacks July 10-28.
The Seagle Music Colony has also announced that it will extend its summer season into the fall with a production of a new opera, "The Falling and the Rising," that was workshopped in Schroon Lake last summer. After a preview performance in North Creek on Sept. 20, the show will open Sept. 23 at The View in Old Forge. It will also be staged at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge Sept. 29 and at the Strand Center for the Arts in Plattsburgh on Oct. 6. More dates will be announced.
The Seagle Music Colony was founded in 1915 by renowned baritone, Oscar Seagle. A popular concert performer in the first two decades of the 20th Century, Seagle had a huge hit with the World War I song, "Dear Old Pal of Mine." He opened a studio in Hague on the northwest end of Lake George in 1915, and then moved to Schroon Lake in 1922 and purchased the Brown Swan Club, now the Word of Life Inn.
WHAT: An comic opera by the Seagle Music Colony
WHERE: Oscar Seagle Memorial Theatre, 999 Charley Hill Rd., Schroon Lake
WHEN: 8 p.m tonight, 2 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday
HOW MUCH: $40-$30
MORE INFO: Visit www.seaglecolony.com or call (518) 532-7875