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between us

OK, so it took a little while. Nearly 17 years, to be exact. That’s how long ago that nice Robert Spano invited me over for a meal and a conversation. And while we talked about a great many things over the course of that evening, one of them was a wondering and a wishing that we might find a project on which the Alliance and the ASO could collaborate. And here we are. I think of Candide as the cultural equivalent of the slow food movement, but slower. In those intervening years, some things have happened that make the rightness of right now unassailable. There’s the decade and a half of watching Robert’s vision, mastery and audacity at work. They inform me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude to call him partner. There’s that same amount of time spent learning the richness and depth of both Atlanta’s and the field’s musical theater artists and knowing with absolute certainty that we could create this hybrid of forms with a collective of “up-to-it-and-then-some” performing artists. And then there’s our current American moment and the slightly unnerving but altogether useful resonance it has with both the time in which Voltaire wrote his original Candide and the time in which Lillian Hellman reached out to Leonard Bernstein with this particular idea and said, famously, “Lennie, dear, this time I think I have it.” For Voltaire, the moment of conceiving his fable was created by a sense of personal, global and political chaos — a time in which the world simply wasn’t operating in the ways he had known it to operate in the past, and his previous philosophical rationales were no longer serving him. For Hellman, it was the awareness that her government was embracing a kind of scrutiny of unpopular views that was manifesting in behavior that looked a little too much like fascism for her comfort — and it seemed that creative artists were on the front line of the scrutinized. And here we are. “All in due time,” said someone. Today seems like due time. Welcome to Candide.

Susan V. Booth Jennings Hertz Artistic Director ENCORE ATLANTA | ATLANTA’S PERFORMING ARTS PUBLICATION | ENCOREATLANTA.COM

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Profile for Encore Atlanta

ALLIANCE THEATRE ENCORE :: CANDIDE (WITH THE ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA)  

Encore Atlanta is the official show program for the Fox Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Alliance Theatre and the Hertz Stage, T...

ALLIANCE THEATRE ENCORE :: CANDIDE (WITH THE ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA)  

Encore Atlanta is the official show program for the Fox Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Alliance Theatre and the Hertz Stage, T...