The Australian Ballet

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Don Quixote


Cast and Synopsis

Based on the iconic 1973 film.

Total running time - 2h 40m
Interval 1 - 25 minutes
Interval 2 - 25 minutes


The House of Don Quixote


Don Quixote, an eccentric yet noble old gentleman, sits at his desk reading tales of brave knights and beautiful ladies. Falling asleep, he dreams he is the successor of the medieval knight-errant, and envisages his Dulcinea, the lady of his dreams in distress and vows to protect her. His fantasy ends abruptly with the return of his servant Sancho Panza, being chased by maids from whom he has stolen a chicken. But Don Quixote quickly resumes his thoughts of Dulcinea and promotes Sancho Panza to the position of his squire. Together they set out in search of chivalrous adventure.


Scene I

The Port of Barcelona

Kitri is searching the crowded port for her lover Basilio, a gallant but poor young barber. They meet happily in the square but her father, the innkeeper Lorenzo, tries to force her to marry Gamache, as he is a rich nobleman. The townsfolk's merrymaking is interrupted by the arrival of Don Quixote and Sancho Panzo. Lorenzo offers the old knight hospitality at his inn, but Sancho Panza suffers some rough teasing from the crowd until his master rescues him. Watching Kitri dancing with Basilio, Don Quixote becomes entranced by her beauty and believes that she is Dulcinea, the lady of his dreams; he invites her to dance with him. The port becomes congested as the townsfolk dance, and in the confusion, Kitri and Basilio run away together to get married. Lorenzo and Gamache set out in pursuit, followed by Don Quixote with his squire, all of whom are bent on setting wrongs to right.


Scene I

The Plain of Montiel

Kitri and Basilio search for shelter in a secluded spot under a windmill where they unwittingly stumble into a Romani camp. Pleading for help, the Romani agree to hide them from Lorenzo and Gamache, who are set to arrive at any moment. Kitri and Basilio plot with the Romani to deceive Don Quixote and set him against Lorenzo and Gamache. But the plans go astray when Don Quixote is distracted by the windmills, which he mistakes for monsters. He attacks them, but with unhappy results. The lovers escape during the commotion with Lorenzo and Gamache in hot pursuit.

Scene II

Dulcinea's Garden

Half-unconscious from his injuries, Don Quixote imagines that he has been transported to a magic garden. As a reward for his valour and faithfulness, the Queen of the Dryads brings to him the grateful Dulcinea and he declares his love for her. His dream world fades and Don Quixote continues his quest for the lady of his visions.


Scene I

A Tavern Outside of Town

Kitri and Basilio are celebrating their reunion with their friends when they are discovered by Lorenzo and Gamache, who are still being followed Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Lorenzo is determined to marry his daughter to the wealthy Gamache. In desperation, Kitri and Basilio decide to try playing one last trick. Basilio pretends to stab himself in jealous despair, while Kitri implores Don Quixote for help. Convinced that Basilio is really dying and remembering his vow, Don Quixote forces Lorenzo to bless the lovers' union, allowing them to be wed. Infuriated by this, Gamache challenges Don Quixote to a duel but is defeated. With Lorenzo's blessing, Basilio makes a miraculous recovery. Having succeeded in their scheme, Kitri and Basilio are married and the lovers are joined by their friends in a celebration of their union. Don Quixote, having succeeded in righting a wrong, realises that he needs to continue with his quest. Valiantly he sets out once more to perform deeds of chivalry worthy of his beloved Dulcinea.

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