Libretto by Marius Petipa after the novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Choreography: Marius Petipa, Alexander Gorsky
Staging by Sergey Vikharev
Stage Designer: Vyacheslav Okunev
Première of the production: 10 June 2003
Don Quixote is a major Spanish production included into the treasury of art of ballet. Fascinating plot and compelling music, character dances with national flavour and most difficult classical compositions, flamboyant scenery and luxurious costumes will impress audience of all ages.
Don Quixote is absorbed in reading the tales of chivalry. In his imagination, fantastic images from the books turn into reality. Don Quixote’s dreaming is interrupted by the plump Sancho Panza. He helps Don Quixote to put the armor on and together they set off to perform feats in the name of the beautiful Dulcinea, the lady love Don Quixote invented.
Festive animation fills a square in Barcelona. The beautiful Kitri, a daughter of the innkeeper Lorenzo, is flirting with Basilio, the barber, who is in love with her. Finding them together, Kitri’s father chases Basilio away. Lorenzo intends Kitri to marry Gamache, a rich nobleman. But Kitri refuses to submit to her father’s will.
A procession of toreadors led by the renowned Espada arrive at the square. The toreadors act out a bull fight scene and a knife play. The street dancer, who is in love with Espada, is dancing between the knives to everyone’s admiration.
The dances are interrupted by Don Quixote’s and Sancho’s arrival. Seeing the innkeeper, Don Quixote mistakes him for the owner of a castle and greets him with respect. Lorenzo responds in like terms and invites Don Quixote into the inn. Sancho Panza stays in the square. But when some young people start to mock Sancho, Don Quixote immediately hurries to his sword-bearer’s rescue.
Seeing Kitri, Don Quixote takes her for the beautiful Dulcinea. Don Quixote kneels down before Kitri, but she runs off with Basilio. Lorenzo, Gamache, and Don Quixote with his sword-bearer set out to look for her.
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza arrive at a forest opening with windmills and a Gypsy camp. An old Gypsy, the owner of the puppet theatre, invites the guests to watch the performance. Don Quixote follows the performance with rapt attention and, forgetting it is theatre, rushes on to the stage, sword in hand, to defend those, who need his protection. He breaks down the stage, sends the puppets flying and, catching sight of the windmill, mistakes it for the evil magician, whom he has to get the better of. Grabbing a mill sail, he is first lifted into the air and then heavily falls to the ground.
Dense forest. The wounded Don Quixote and Sancho Panza settle for the night. Don Quixote see Dulcinea, surrounded by the Dryads and Cupids.
Don Quixote wakes up from his sweet dreams. Lorenzo the innkeeper together with Gamache and citizens arrive. Lorenzo is looking for his daughter Kitri.
Kitri and Basilio hide in the tavern, where sailors, ex-pirates and their girlfriends hang out. One of the guests is the famous beauty Mercedes, who is waiting for Espada. But he appears with another girl, Carmencita, who dances for him to the guitar accompaniment. Espada dances for her. The toreador is heading towards the exit but Mercedes throws him a red flower and makes him listen to her confession. The love couple reconcile, and all the guests of the tavern make merry together with the sailors, who dance a jig.
The merriment is interrupted by the arrival of Lorenzo, Gamache, and Don Quixote. Kitri’s father wishes to make an immediate announcement of the betrothal of Kitri and Gamache. But Basilio, by agreement with Kitri, commits fake suicide. Kitri sobs over the body of her sweetheart. Don Quixote, overcome by noble indignation, accuses Lorenzo of hardheartedness and, threatening him with his sword, forces him to agree to his daughter’s marriage with the barber. Basilio jumps to his feet — there is no point in him pretending to be dead any longer. Together with Kitri and her friends they start dancing. The couple thank Don Quixote for help.
Duke’s castle. Everything is ready for the wedding of Kitri and Basilio. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza arrive. They are welcomed and invited to occupy the seats of honor. Wedding celebration begins. Don Quixote and Sancho bid farewell to the guests and set off for the adventures.