A charismatic and confident cast who rise beautifully to the challengeJohannes Hjorth

Only a few weeks after their main show, Eugene Onegin, CUOS are back in full force with a witty, lively and impressive operetta. This semi-staged production showcases all of Bernstein’s score with a charismatic and confident cast who rise beautifully to the challenge.

The production is made by the excellent acting across the board. The female lead, Rosalind Dobson, charms with her coquettish Cunegonde. A particular highlight was her superlative performance of the vocally acrobatic ‘Glitter and be Gay’ which had the audience spell-bound. Alongside her in the title role was Michael Bell whose solos were wistful and endearing. Candide and Cunegonde’s twisting and turning young love story was complemented by the comic scenes from Dr. Pangloss (Jonathan Pacey) and the ‘Old Lady’ (Louise Ayrton) who showed herself to be multi-talented with impressive use of heels in her acting, the successful loan of a violin and a hilarious, consistent foreign accent.

The potential of Queens’ Fitzpatrick Hall was fully realised as the large and proficient chorus fought, danced and sung, making full use of the balconies to provide the audience with a surround sound opera experience. The acoustics were perfect for the truly fantastic orchestra. From the confident opening notes to the unconducted curtain call and playoff, the orchestra excelled, superbly led by Lucy Morris. Balanced, synchronised and sweeping, the audience could really feel how much the musicians relished the challenge of Bernstein’s imaginative score.

CUOS and BATS production of Candide provides a night of great music, impressive performances and comedy. A great way to end the term! Just make sure to read the synopsis before you go.

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