I find it really interesting that this operetta actually failed quite hard initially. In fact, Lillian Hellman, who wrote the libretto used by the operetta, had planned the production to be a play instead. Bernstein persuaded her to make the change. The operetta met a good deal of criticism for being "too serious," not at all in keeping with Voltaire's original mood. Since then, the operetta has seen several major revisions and revivals. The most notable change is probably to the libretto, which has been rewritten to more accurately fit Voltaire's original text.
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