Sydney Philharmonia Choirs has released further casting details for Candide, programmed in celebration of the Bernstein centenary this year.

As previously announced, tenor Alexander Lewis is Candide. Australian audiences will remember his star turn as Danilo in The Merry Widow, as well as his most recent appearance in The Nose, both for Opera Australia.

Alexander Lewis, CandideTenor Alexander Lewis

Cunegonde will be played by Annie Aitken, who last appeared in the smash hit Muriel’s Wedding for Sydney Theatre Company and Nellie Melba for Hayes Theatre. Fresh from a Broadway run of Anastasia (in which she played the Countess Lily Malevsky-Malevitch), Caroline O’Connor will appear as The Old Lady.

Tenor Kanen Breen, who appeared alongside Lewis in The Nose, will be Maximilian.

The semi-staged production, which will have two performances in September, is conducted by Sydney Philharmonia’s Music Director Brett Weymark and directed by Mitchell Butel. A collaboration with Pacific Opera and Sydney Youth Orchestras, Candide will get the 300-strong Festival Chorus treatment.

“In the 100th anniversary of Lenny’s birth, this work has to be heard,” says Weymark.

Sydney Philharmonia Choirs’ Candide is on at the Sydney Opera House September 29 – 30