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Main Stage

19 April
2024 | Friday
Don Quixote (ballet in 3 acts)
Ballet in 3 acts
Artists Credits
Choreographic version
Alexei Fadeyechev
New choreographic version
Ballet company
Yelena Zaytseva, Costume Designer
Damir Ismagilov, Lighting Designer
Pavel Sorokin, Musical Director
Pavel Sorokin, Musical Director
Premiere of this production: 14 Dec 1869

The performance has 2 intermissions
Running time: 3 hours

Major revival of the ballet took place on 2 February 2016.

The legendary don Quixote returns to Historical the Bolshoi theatre. Created in 1869 by Marius Petipa specially for the Moscow troupe, famous character dances and pantomime life, in 1900 "Don Quixote" has found a second wind in the hands of enthusiastic innovator Alexander Gorsky, whose production became classic. It shone many generations of artists Great, and don Quixote is considered the main the Moscow ballet, carefully preserved monument. Since 1900 making of "Don Quixote" is much more than just the scenery and costumes, it is an artistic Manifesto era. Home Historical stage "Don Quixote" will be back with a new look, designed by Valery Levental.

Levental’s Paradoxes

Re-introduction of Don Quixote to the Bolshoi Theater was the last project implemented by a renowned stage designer Valery Levental (1938—2015). The name of Levental is almost synonymous to the word «theater». All his works are so wonderfully theatrical, it’s hard to believe that artist studied at a cinematography institute instead of studying theater.

Levental debuted in Ermolova Moscow Theater and Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater in drama and opera the same year, and soon he began his collaboration with the Bolshoi Theater. His first work in Boshoi is dated 1965. In 1988, Levental became the theater’s art director, while still working in drama theater.

Mr. Levental was a long-term friend of actor Oleg Efremov. Their friendship produced several well-known Moscow Art Theatre performances of Chekhov: Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters, The Seagull. Another staging of The Seagull, but in the ballet form, was created in collaboration with Maya Plisetskaya and Rodion Shedrin.

Mr. Levental’s art was often full of paradox. He would achieve realism in opera and ballet and sometimes astonish the audience with opera-like pomp in drama. His sketches stored at the Bolshoi Museum are a precious reminder of a wonderful era.


Don Quixote, having read his fill of romances about knights and chivalry, decides to set off on his travels in order to achieve great feats, which will bring glory to his name. As his sword-bearer, he chooses the loyal Sancho Panza, a man of sober outlook who is not prone to dreams.

Act I

In Barcelona there is festive anima­tion in the air. Kitri, daughter of the innkeeper, is flirting with Basilio, the barber, who is in love with her. Finding them together Lorenzo, Kitri’s father, chases Basilio away: the barber is no fit match for his daughter. Lorenzo intends Kitri to marry Gamache, a rich noble­man. Kitri refuses outright to submit to her father’s will.

At the height of the merry-making, Don Quixote appears in the square, accompanied by his sword bearer, Sancho Panza. Catching sight of the innkeeper, Don Quixote mistakes him for the owner of a knight’s castle and greets him with respect. Lorenzo responds in like terms and invites Don Quixote into the inn. Sancho Panza is left 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 thinks she is the beautiful Dulcinea whom he has seen in his dreams and chosen as ‘the lady of his heart’. But Kitri disappears. She has run off with Basilio. Lorenzo, Gamache and Don Quixote set out to look for her.

Act II

Scene 1
Kitri and Basilio are hiding in a tavern. Here they are found by Lorenzo, Gamache and Don Quixote. Lorenzo wishes to make an immediate announce­ment of the betrothal of Kitri and Gamache. But Basilio, by agreement with Kitri, pretends to take his life. Kitri sobs over the body of her sweetheart. Don Quixote overcоme 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 am longer.

Scene 2
In the glade by the windmills is a sprawling gipsy encampment. Here too is a puppet theatre. Don Quixote and Sancho soon appear on the scene. The owner of the puppet theatre invites Don Quixote to watch a show. 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 windmills, mistakes them for evil magicians whom he has to get the better of. Grabbing a mill sail, he is first lifted into the air and then falls to the ground.

Scene 3
The wounded Don Quixote and Sancho Panza find themselves in a forest. To Don Quixote, the forest seems to be full of monsters and giants. Sancho Panza settles Don Quixote down to sleep, while he runs off for help. In his dreams, Don Quixote sees Dulcinea, ‘the lady of his heart’, surrounded by Dryads and fairies Sancho Panza comes back with the Duke and Duchess who have been hunting in the forest. He begs them to help the dreaming Don Quixote. The Duke and Duchess invite the wandering knight to visit them m their castle.


The Duke’s castle. All is ready for the reception of Don Quixote.
Having heard from Sancho Panza the happy story of Kitri and Basilio’s love, the Duke and Duchess have kindly agreed to allow them to hold their wedding in the castle. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are invited to occupy the seats of honor. A solemn procession files past. Catching sight of Kitri, Don Quixote again mis­takes her for ‘the lady of his reveries’. But the Duke and Sancho Panza manage to persuade him that she is the very same innkeeper’s daughter whom he helped to unite with Basilio, her sweetheart.
The festivities continue. All thank the va­liant knight and his faithful sword-bearer.

Main Stage 1 Teatralnaya ploschad (1 Theatre Square), Moscow, Russia
New Stage Bol'shaya Dmitrovka Street, 4/2, Moscow, Russia
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