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Bernstein's 'Candide,' a McCarthy-era comic opera, reflects 'undercurrent of pushing ahead in spite

American composer, conductor and pianist Leonard Bernstein conducting, circa 1975. (Erich Auerbach/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
American composer, conductor and pianist Leonard Bernstein conducting, circa 1975. (Erich Auerbach/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Got congressional hearings on your mind, with Jan. 6 hearings underway and historians recalling the Watergate hearings nearly 50 years ago?

Here & Now’s classical music critic Fran Hoepfner joins host Robin Young to discuss how Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist hearings in 1954 inspired Leonard Bernstein’s 1956 comic opera “Candide,” about an idealistic young man’s clash with harsh reality.

Watch on YouTube.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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