candide

I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one’s very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?
—  Candide by Voltaire
I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one’s very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?
—  Voltaire, Candide.
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Musical theatre Operetta songs appreciation:
Glitter And Be Gay (Candide) performed by Kristin Chenoweth (video)

(Wiki: This aria poses some difficulties. Technically, it is among the most fiendishly challenging coloratura soprano arias. If sung as written throughout, there are three high E-flats, two staccato and one sustained; there are also numerous uses of high C and D-flat. Some of the florid passages are very intricate, calling for marksmanship of the highest order. Theatrically, it demands an elaborate comic staging, in which Cunegonde adorns herself with jewellery while singing and dancing around the stage (much as does Marguerite in the “Jewel Song” of Gounod’s Faust), and has a satirical quality that is a challenge to perform.)

Observe how bravely I conceal
The dreadful, dreadful shame I feel
Ha ha ha ha!

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The test for any Cunegonde is inevitably the big coloratura number, Glitter and Be Gay, and it is one that Scarlett Strallen passes with banners flying: she wittily turns the high notes into a mark of Cunegonde’s rapacity as she avidly seizes on jewels, tiaras and even shards of an overhanging chandelier. Fra Fee, of Northern Irish origin, also brings to Candide a fresh face, a strong voice and the right reckless faith in the world’s goodness.

Michael BillingtonThe Guardian [x]