Don Quixote

Maurice Ravel, Richard Strauss, Manuel de Falla, Jules Massenet

Don Quixote

 Maurice Ravel, Richard Strauss, Manuel de Falla, Jules Massenet

Premiered in Bordeaux on the 17th of september 2016.

New production of the Opéra national de Bordeaux Aquitaine.
Run time: 3h30
Opéra national de Bordeaux Aquitaine 09/17 -09/25/2016.


Artistic direction : Marc Minkowski
Director : Vincent Huguet
Choreographer : Blanca Li
Set designer : Aurélie Maestre
Lighting designer and video director : Bertrand Couderc
Costume designer : Clémence Pernoud
Assistant director : Sophie Petit
Dramaturgy : Louis Geisler
Musical preparation : Jean-Marc Fontana, Martin Tembremande
Marie Chavanel
Assistant conductor : Marc Leroy-Calatayud
Ballet : Eric Quilleré, Aurélia Schaefer


Conductors  : Paul Daniel, Pierre Dumoussaud, Marc Minkowski
Chorus master : Salvatore Caputo
Don Quichotte : Andrew Foster-Williams
Sancho Pança : Alexandre Duhamel
Dulcinée : Anna Bonitatibus
Maître Pierre/Rodriguez : Mathias Vidal
Truchement : Samuel Defaut / Clément Pottier
Pedro : Katherine Watson
Garcias : Albane Carrère
Juan : Thomas Bettinger
Deux valets : Jean-Philippe Fourcade & Luc Defaut
Violoncelle : Alexis Descharmes
Guitare : François Chappey
Danseuse étoile : Sara Renda
Premier danseur : Oleg Rogachev

Equestrian parade :
Manu Bigarnet, Anne Bertrand-Bodet, Thibault Sohm (Don Quichotte), Léonard Crameri-Fisher (Sancho Pança)

Orchestre national Bordeaux Aquitaine, Chœur de l’Opéra national de Bordeaux, Ballet de l’Opéra national de Bordeaux


Auditorium de l’Opéra National de Bordeaux :
Jacques Brel, La Quête (adaptation d’un extrait de L’homme de la Mancha de Mitch Leigh et Joe Darion)
Maurice Ravel, Don Quichotte à Dulcinée (3 chansons)
Richard Strauss, Don Quixote (poème symphonique)

Déambulation :
parade équestre et musicale.

Grand-Théâtre :
Manuel de Falla, Les Tréteaux de maître Pierre (Opéra en un acte)
Jules Massenet, Don Quichotte (Acte 1 scène 1, actes 4 et  5)

Photos : © Frédéric Desmesure © Bertrand Couderc

Note sur la mise en scène
par Vincent Huguet

To the patron saint of all the world’s stages

Don Quixote can add an exploit to the dubious list of those he achieved: to have become one of the literary characters who has inspired the greatest number of artists, and whose popularity remains undiminished. Since the late 17th century, the list of musical works devoted to the hidalgo has never ceased to grow, and each period reinvents its own Don Quixote. He has been loved as a tragicomic clown, viewed as a Christlike figure in the 19th century, and then in the 20th century as a magnificent if absurd character. Theatre loves Don Quixote, despite his poor treatment of it, when he destroys Master Pedro’s puppet theatre or attacks a troupe of actors he sees as devils. But the two are inseparable, and Don Quixote, who’ll have us take windmills for giants and lights for stars, could be the patron saint of the world’s stages. Don Quixote’s visions during his travels, his “madness” that transforms everything he sees, is precisely what is at the heart of artistic creation, and it’s what we’re looking for when we enter a theatre. We sit in the dark and want to believe. Where is the madness in that? “He is a madman, maybe, but a madman of genius!” replies Dulcinée to the jeering crowd in Massenet’s opera, which ends with Don Quixote’s evocation of “the island of dreams,” the only one that the knight errant will truly leave to Sancho, and the only that will remain after the orchestra has played the final notes. And his dreams are not as ridiculous as they may seem. The organist from Bordeaux Charles Tournemire described him splendidly as “un grand crieur d’Idéal”, “a great trumpeter of the ideal”.

Don Quixote is a multiple character, in Cervantes’s novel as in all of his dramatic and musical incarnations. The Bordeaux Opera brings together the most surprising among them, from Strauss to Ravel, Falla and Massenet; its two theatres represent the world explored by the “knight of the sorrowful figure”, a new sierra for his adventures and his quest to fight injustice and celebrate love. In Cervantes’s novel, Don Quixote is obsessed with the power of enchanters, who play with our minds and unsettle us. Here, he is in their very home, where artifice is a craft and illusion an art, where appearances and lies are always possible. This is Don Quixote in the sierra lírica.