January 18, 2011

Stephen Lord to Make NEC Debut Conducting Bernstein’s Candide, Feb. 28 in Jordan Hall

New Artistic Director of Opera Studies Leads Student-Professional Cast in Semi-staged Production

Ron Raines, Broadway and TV star, Appears as Pangloss

Although no stranger to Boston, Stephen Lord will conduct his first NEC opera performance, February 28 in a semi-staged production of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide in NEC’s Jordan Hall.  Lord was appointed Artistic Director of Opera Studies last spring as part of NEC President Tony Woodcock’s program to take opera at NEC to a new level of eminence.  Mezzo-soprano Luretta Bybee, who has been a member of the voice faculty since 2004, was named Executive Director and Chair of Opera at the same time.  Bybee will sing the role of the Old Lady in the combined student-professional cast.  Sean Curran is the stage director.

Formerly Music Director of Boston Lyric Opera, Lord was identified by Opera News as one of the “25 Most Powerful Voices in Opera.” Currently music director of Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and a much-in-demand guest conductor at companies like English National Opera, San Francisco Opera and Chicago Lyric Opera, Lord will oversee all aspects of the opera training program and, beginning in 2011-12, conduct one mainstage production a year. 

Performing the role of Pangloss/Voltaire in Candide is Ron Raines, a regular singing actor on Broadway and a long-running character (Albert Spaulding) on the CBS-TV daytime drama, The Guiding LightRaines, who has sung with the New York City Opera in The Merry Widow and La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein, has also appeared as Gaylord Ravenal in the Broadway revival of Showboat, has played leading roles in virtually every major American musical and operetta including South Pacific, Annie, Kismet, Sayonara, Kiss Me Kate, The King and I, Naughty Marietta, Brigadoon, Rose Marie, Oklahoma!, Carousel, Side by Side by Sondheim, Follies, and Man of La Mancha. The production will also feature NEC soprano Jennifer Caraluzzi ’11 M.M., the winner of the 2010 Jenny Lind Competition for coloratura sopranos, in the role of Cunegonde.    Michael Richard Kuhn will sing the role of Candide; David Tafone is Maximilian, Emily Brand is Paquette, Marquis Fuse is the Captain, Thomas Suber is the Governor.

First performed on Broadway in 1956, Candide was inspired by Voltaire’s satirical novella from 1759. The plot follows the picaresque adventures of the young and callow Candide and his progressive disillusionment in “this best of all possible worlds.” Although the operetta has a troublesome book, it has continued to fascinate and charm performers and audiences. Richard Dyer, writing in the Boston Globe in 2003, enumerated its virtues: “a great score by Leonard Bernstein, a series of affectionate tributes to every kind of theatrical music he had loved in his 37 omnivorous years...also elegantly felicitous lyrics by Richard Wilbur and assorted others.”

Candide will be performed Monday, February. 28 at 8 p.m.  Tickets are $20;  Students and Seniors $16; WGBH members 2-for-1 with I.D.

For further information, check the NEC Website or call the NEC Concert Line at 617-585-1122.  NEC’s Jordan Hall, Brown Hall, Williams Hall and the Keller Room are located at 30 Gainsborough St., corner of Huntington Ave. Pierce Hall is located at 241 St. Botolph St. between Gainsborough and Mass Ave.


Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 720 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral music students from around the world.  Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars.  Its alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide.  Nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC trained musicians and faculty.

The oldest independent school of music in the United States, NEC was founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee. Its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions.  On the college level, it features training in classical, jazz, Contemporary Improvisation, world and early music. Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Collaboration Programs, it provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, adults, and seniors.  Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes—thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music and jazz.

NEC presents more than 600 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, 106-year old, beautifully restored concert hall.  These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz and opera scenes.  Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston.

NEC is co-founder and educational partner of From the Top, a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by National Public Radio and is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States.

Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
Public Relations Manager
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115