LIBRETTO: Marius Petipa, Victor Smirnov-Golovanov
VERSION AND DIRECTION: Victor Smirnov-Golovanov
CHOREOGRAPHY: Marius Petipa, Kasyan Goleizovsky, Alexander Gorsky, Rostislav Zakharov, Victor Smirnov-Golovanov
DESIGNER: Elizaveta Dvorkina
COSTUMES: Elizaveta Dvorkina
RUNNING TIMES: ACT 1: 50 minutes; ACT 2: 40 minutes;
Inspired by reading stories of chivalrous knights and romance, Don Quixote, a knight-errant from La Mancha, wearing his armor and equipped with a long spear, sets out with his squire Sancho Panza on adventurous travels to defend virtue and uphold chivalry.
The crowd gathering in the village square is in holiday mood and Kitri, the innkeeper’s daughter, is flirting with the town barber, Basil, who is in love with her. Kitri’s father, Lorenzo is opposed to the match as the barber is penniless, and plans for her to marry Gamash, a pompous but wealthy nobleman. The crowd greets the arrival of a street dancer who is with the famous toreador Espada, and they start to dance when they are interrupted by the arrival of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Don Quixote mistakes the innkeeper for an important nobleman and treats him with great respect. He is invited into the inn to take refreshment. The dancing in the square continues and Kitri and Basil join in. The crowd cheer Kitri’s dance and as the Don catches sight of her he mistakes her for the fair Dulcinea, a beautiful maiden who has haunted his dreams. He asks her to dance and in his imagination is transported to the Kingdom of the Dryads.
Don Quixote is surrounded by beautiful Dryads. Cupid and the Queen of the Dryads present him to Kitri – who has assumed the form of his beloved Dulcinea – and he swears eternal love and faithfulness to her. Sancho Panza interrupts Don Quixote’s dream and the Dryads disappear. Excitement continues in the square.
Don Quixote is still lost in his dreams and falls asleep. He is found by a band of gypsies who lead him to his faithful companion, Sancho Panza.
As evening falls in the town square, Basil and Kitri’s friends come to her father’s inn. Basil makes fun of Lorenzo and Don Quixote and then pretends to stab himself. He begs as his dying wish that Lorenzo blesses the union with Kitri and Don Quixote persuades Lorenzo to agree. After all, since the barber is about to die, what harm can it do? However Basil immediately jumps to his feet – miraculously restored to life, and the crown resumes its merrymaking. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza leave the town to seek further adventures.