Staging and choreography: Nacho Duato
Stage Designer: Jaffar Chalabi
Costume Designer: Angelina Atlagic
Lighting Designer: Brad Fields
Musical director of the production: Pavel Sorokin
Hidalgo of La Mancha
ballet in three acts
music by Ludwig Minkus
Premiere of the production: 14 October 2022
Artistic Director of the Mikhailovsky Ballet Nacho Duato in his production “Hidalgo of La Mancha” brought the plot as close as possible to the famous novel by Cervantes and presented a new image of Spain — in the choreography, costumes and stage design of the production.
The plot of the new production is set in La Mancha, the homeland of Don Quixote. The inhabitants of La Mancha have a very specific way of dressing, dancing and even behaving — quite unlike what we have seen in any typical “Don Quixote” around the world.
Inspired by the canvases of the Spanish artist Julio Romero de Torres, stage designer Jaffar Chalabi recreated authentic Castilian landscapes on the stage. Designer Angelina Atlagic in her costumes paid tribute to the Spanish fashion of the 16th century.
Nacho Duato reinvented the folk scenes of the ballet and carefully treated the classical episodes. One of the main surprises for the audience was the interpretation of Sancho Panza, who became an important character. The eternal plot has received a new life, and the great hidalgo of La Mancha continues his way on the ballet stage.
In a village of La Mancha, there lives a noble gentleman who spends all his free time reading books of chivalry. One day, it occurs to him that he should make a knight-errant of himself, roaming the world over in full armour in quest of adventures, righting every kind of wrong and exposing himself to peril and danger. He makes up his mind to call himself Don Quixote, furbishes his armour and hits the trail together with his squire named Sancho Panza.
In the nearby village, they come across preparations for a wedding: Lorenzo the innkeeper has arranged a match for his daughter, Quiteria the fair, with Camacho the rich. Nevertheless, Basilio the poor, who has loved Quiteria since childhood, is sure that the beauty’s heart belongs to him and knows that he will find a way to solve the problem. Realizing that the wedding of Quiteria and Camacho cannot be avoided, the young lovers escape, and Camacho sets off to find them.
Quiteria and Basilio hide in a tavern. The furious Camacho finds them: Quiteria will become his wife! Basilio is unable to get over this: he plunges a knife into his heart. The priest tells the young man to implore God’s pardon for his sins; to which Basilio replies that he is determined not to confess unless Quiteria first gives him her hand in marriage, for that happiness would compose his mind and give him courage to make his confession.
Don Quixote hearing the wounded man’s entreaty convinces Lorenzo that it would be as much to Camacho’s honour to receive Quiteria as the widow of the brave Basilio as if he received her direct from her father. However, after the engagement, Basilio immediately “comes back to life”.
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza pass a gypsy camp. The knight takes the gypsies for evil wizards and the windmills for giants and starts a battle.
Exhausted Don Quixote and Sancho Panza continue their way. The knight thinks that forest around them is full of strange and frightful creatures. In his dream, Don Quixote sees his beloved lady, the beautiful Dulcinea, surrounded by dryads. Moreover, Cupid, who accompanies her, looks very familiar...
It’s the wedding day of Quiteria and Basilio. Don Quixote is one of the most important guests at the feast.