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Don Quixote



Grand ballet in four acts (seven scenes) with a prologue
Music Ludwig Minkus
Libretto Marius Petipa based on the novel by Miguel de Cervantes
Choreography Alexander Gorsky after Marius Petipa (gypsy and oriental dances choreographed by Nina Anisimova)
Set designers Alexander Golovin, Konstantin Korovin
Restoration of sets Mikhail Shishliannikov
Costume designer Konstantin Korovin
1902 version
Performance time: 3 hours

Synopsis

Act I – Scene One

A room in Don Quixote's house. The servants are talking about their master. They consider he has lost his reason, because he fancies he is a knight and sees imaginary enemies everywhere.

The servants believe all his vagaries to be the result of too much reading of tales of chivalry. They burn Don Quixote's books, hoping to save their master in that way.

Don Quixote enters. As usual, he is engrossed in a book. following excitedly the varying fortunes of the characters. The servants hide.

Don Quixote carefully collects the volumes that have escaped destruction, and becomes engrossed in a book again. Presently he falls asleep.

In his sleep he sees visions of knightly tournaments, he rescues a damsel in distress and wins her warm gratitude.

But the fat glutton, Sancho Panza, rushing in, breaks up his dream. Sancho has stolen a goose somewhere, and the exasperated housewives are in hot pursuit. Don Quixote, awakened by the noise, turns the angry women out of the room.

An idea comes to Don Quixote to make Sancho his squire. They will set out together in search of adventure they will defend virtue and punish all violators of the code of chivalry. Sancho Panza at first hesitates, but, in the end, consents, won over by a promise of plentiful food.

Don Quixote displays his armor and tests the strength of his helmet by striking it with his sword. But the very first blow shatters it to pieces.

This does not in the least disconcert Dun Quixote. A shaving basin may serve for a helmet! He arrays himself in his armor, and, seizing a ludicrously long spear, orders Sancho Panza to follow him.

Act I – Scene Two

In front of Lorenzo's inn, in Barcelona, a holiday crowd has gathered. Here, too, is the merry flirt, Quiteria, the daughter of the innkeeper, and her lover Basil, the barber. To tease Quiteria, he is over-attentive to her friends.

Lorenzo catches his daughter kissing Basil and forbids them ever to meet again; he won't have any penniless suitors. In vain Quiteria tells her father how much she loves Basil, Lorenzo is inexorable and turns the barber out of the house.

Camacho, a rich pompous nobleman, walks in, resplendent in his brocaded clothes. The crowd jeers at him. He has come to ask for the hand of the beautiful Quiteria. Lorenzo is happy to have so highborn a gentleman for a son-in-law, but to Quiteria the idea of marrying him is detestable. The innkeeper is shocked at his daughter's impertinent manner of behavior to Camacho.

A street dancer enters, cheered heartily by the crowd. The girl is eagerly expecting the arrival of Espada, the famous toreador. Espada makes his appearance, accompanied by other toreadors. They dance, flourishing their cloaks, enacting scenes from a bullfight.

At the appearance of an extraordinary-looking horseman, the people are struck with astonishment.

Sancho Panza blows a horn to announce the arrival of the knight- errant of La Mancha. Lorenzo welcomes the traveler courteously and invites him to have some refreshment.

The girls seize the opportunity to have a bit of run by playing tricks on the fat squire. They start a game of blind-man's-buff. After that, the poor harried Sancho becomes sport for the men who toss him up into the air.

Sancho screams for help. Don Quixote comes to his rescue, armed with a huge toasting-fork and a plate for a shield.

The knight sees Quiteria and is struck by her beauty. Was it not she who has haunted his dreams as the beautiful Dulcinea? In rapture, Don Quixote bends his knee to her and asks her to dance a minuet with him. To annoy Basil, Quiteria graciously accepts the invitation, coquettishly imitating the manners of a fine lady.

While no one is looking, Sancho steals a fried fish from the kitchen and is about to slip away, but the scullions give chase and catch the thief.

Amidst the general confusion, Quiteria and Basil slip away unobserved.

Act II – Scene One

Fleeing from Lorenzo and Camacho, the two lovers, Quiteria and Basil, wander into a gypsy camp.

The gypsies dance for their guests. A girl informs them of the approach of a queer-looking horseman, Don-Quixote. Basil and Quiteria meet him like good old friends.

The gypsies invite Don Quixote to attend a play they are about to perform. He takes what is going on upon the stage for actual facts, and rushes, sword in hand, to rescue the unhappy heroine; the improvised theatre is destroyed. The frightened actors and spectators scatter in all directions.

The turning sails of a windmill, then, catch Don Quixote's eye. They are the arms of giants! Don Quixote attacks the windmill. His clothes get caught on a sail; he is first swung up into the air, then hurled to the ground.

Quiteria and Basil attend to his injuries. They spend the rest of the night near the gypsies' caravan.

Act II – Scene Two

Don Quixote is tormented by a nightmare. In his sleep he sees a huge spider crawl out of a dark, dense forest. The knight attacks the monster boldly and overpowers its at the same moment the forest in transformed into the bright kingdom of the dryads. Among them is Quiteria who has assumed the form of Dulcinea, the queen of his heart.

Cupid presents Don Quixote to the Queen of the dryads. The nymphs are grateful to him for rescuing them from the power of the monster, and dance for their deliverer.

Act II – Scene Three

Dawn breaks, Quiteria and Basil wake up only just in time, for Lorenzo and Camacho are close upon them. The lovers flee. Don Quixote, their protector, sends Lorenzo and Camacho on a false trail.

Act III

People gather for a fiesta at an inn. Quiteria and Basil, having given the slip to Lorenzo and Camacho, have also come here to take part in the merrymaking.

The toreador and the dancer. Mercedes, enter, hailed heartily by the crowd.

The innkeeper warns Quiteria of her father's approach, Quiteria tries to escape, but her father overtakes her and drags her to Camacho to give them his parental blessing at their betrothal. Camacho kneels before Quiteria.

Basil, seeing this, stabs himself and falls to the ground. Quiteria rushes to him. She guesses at once, that be is feigning, but the sly girl begs Don Quixote to go to Lorenzo and persuade him to grant Basil's dying wish - to give them his parental blessing. Basil is sure to die Why not ease his last moments?

Camacho protests, but is driven out unceremoniously. At Don Quixote's earnest entreaty, Lorenzo blesses the lovers.

The next instant. Basil jumps to his feet and kisses the astounded Lorenzo.

The merrymaking at the inn continues for a long time.

Act IV

Lorenzo, assisted by the scullions, the maid servants and Quiteria's friends, is completing preparations for the wedding feast.

Don Quixote is the guest of honor. Lorenzo keeps wondering how Don Quixote has contrived to deceive him, to make him reject the rich suitor and let the poor barber marry his daughter.

The innkeeper, donning a suit of armor, challenges Don Quixote in jest. Don Quixote bravely takes up the challenge of the Unknown Knight, but falls to the ground the moment their swords cross.

The merrymaking goes on. The happy lovers dance for Don Quixote, to whom they owe their happiness.

Now, that his benevolent mission is completed, the knight-errant may go on his way. He rides off, amidst shouts of gratitude.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
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Kirov Opera
 
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Complete playbill of all St. Petersburg,Russia theatres, shows, concerts, etcComplete playbill of all St. Petersburg,Russia theatres, shows, concerts, etc. !
World-known music festival "The Stars of the White Nights". Artistic director - Valery Gergiev (Mariinky (Kirov) Opera and Ballet)World-known music festival "The Stars of the White Nights".
Artistic director - Valery Gergiev (Mariinky (Kirov) Opera and Ballet)

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