Don Quixote

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Don Quixote

Don Quixote

Ballet in 3 acts with a prologue
Libretto by Marius PETIPA
Based on an episode from the novel Don Quixote de la Mancha
by Miguel de CERVANTES
Choreography by
Marius PETIPA,
Alexander GORSKY,

Running time with intervals: 2 hours 30 min

New choreographic version by Yury VASYUCHENKO, Honoured Artist of Russia
Musical Director and Conductor – Oksana LYNIV
Stage Designer – Natalia BEVZENKO-ZINKINA, Honoured Painter of Ukraine 

The Nearest Show Performers

 Cast on November 18:

  • DON QUIXOTE, an errant knight - Vyacheslav KRAVCHENKO
  • SANCHO PANZA, his squire - Mykola VORIVODIN
  • LORENZO, an innkeeper - Bohdan CHABANYUK
  • LORENZO’S WIFE - Polina Kalina
  • KITRI, their daughter - Honoured Artist of Ukraine Olena DOBRYANS’KA
  • BASILIO, a barber, in love with Kitri -  Dmitro SHARAY 
  • GAMACHE, a wealthy nobleman - Igor Sarazhinskyi
  • KITRI‘S FRIENDS - Honoured Artist of Ukraine Olga ROZHEVICH, Kristina Pavlova
  • ESPADA, a toreador - Honoured Artist of Ukraine Sergiy DOTSENKO
  • MERCEDES: Khrystyna Vetchynkina
  • A GYPSY GIRL -Kateryna Tomashek
  • THE QUEEN OF DRYADS - Victoria Berezhna

Conductor - Vitaliy Kovalchuk

About the Ballet

The world premiere: The Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, December 14, 1869
The first staging in The Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre: February, 1933
This production premiered: November 17, 2012

Published in1605, The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha is considered one of the greatest works of fiction, “the best literary work ever written”. The novel has served as a thematic source for quite a number of works in cinema, painting, theatre, musical, etc.

The two chapters of the novel that the ballet is mostly based on were first adapted for the ballet in 1740 by Franz HILVERDING inVienna, Austria. The audience has seen lots of ballet versions of the knight-errant theme for 200 years, mounted by such great ballet masters as Louis MILON, Charles-Louis DIDELOT, August BOURNONVILLE, Serge LIFAR, George BALANCHINE.

Marius PETIPA’s interpretation is considered to be academic. Working over the libretto for the production he used the chapters of the novel dedicated to the wedding of Kittery and Camacho (the got names of Kitri and Basilio in the ballet libretto). The main characters of the novel Don Quichote and Sancha Panza became secondary characters in the ballet.

Marius PETIPA ordered the music score to the ballet composer Ludwig MINKUS who was professional in the ballet theatre and followed the ballet music requirements in his work.

The world premiere of Don Quixote took place in The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow on December 14, 1869. The composer himself conducted the first performance. The production had great acclaim and was transferred to St. Petersburg later.

Marius PETIPA’s choreographic version grabbed attention of many ballet masters. However, Alexander GORSKY’s interpretation is considered the most successful. All later versions were based on GORSKY’s choreographic vision.

Odessa first saw the ballet Don Quixote in February, 1933 in the Paul VIRSKY and Nikolai BOLOTOV’s production. Three years late Michael MOISEEV put up his version of the ballet and it had a long stage life. In 1952 Vakhtang VRONSKY revived the production basing on the best academic dance traditions of PETIPA and GORSKY. Further productions comprised stylistic peculiarities and choreographic means by such ballet masters as Nikolay TREGUBOV (1966), Igor CHERNYSHOV (1970), Victor SMIRNOV-GOLOVANOV and Natalia RYZHENKO (1979).

The principal dancers starring in Don Quixote in different years were Valentina GRISHUKOVA, Vera VOLKOVA, Elvira KARAVAYEVA, Sabbira YAPPAROVA,Valery MIKHAYLOVSKY, Victor NOVITSKY.

During the years of the theatre reconstruction (1996 – 2007) the performance was not on stage. Today The Company is welcoming this choreographic masterpiece back on stage.


Don Quixote goes on and on through the pages of chivalry novels. He dreams of a life full of noble feats and glory, just like the one of the characters from his favorite books. Finally, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, his loyal sword bearer, set off to the faraway countries in search of adventures.  

Act I

A square in sunny Barcelona is full of dances and music. Young toreadors, peasants in their best outfits, young men from Cataluña are amazed with the dance of Lorenzo’s daughter, charming Kitri. She does not notice other men as her heart belongs to Basilio, a poor barber, who shortly appears in the square with a guitar in hands. Lorenzo interrupts a tender dance of two lovers, as he strongly dislikes his daughter’s beloved. The innkeeper has already promised his daughter’s hand to the wealthy nobleman Gamache.

The street party resumes. A street dancer, a stunning Mercedes and Espada, the principal toreador entertain the spectators with their dances.

Amidst the merriment Don Quixote and Sancho Panza appear in the square. Lorenzo invites the knight to his house. Taking Lorenzo for the lord of a famous castle Don Quixote agrees.

Noticing Kitri the noble hidalgo acclaims her as his beautiful Dulcinea, the dame of his heart, and partners her in a minuet.

Kitri and Basilio run away to stay alone. Lorenzo, Gamache and Don Quixote with his loyal sword bearer follow them. 

Act II

The set of gypsy tavern opens its doors to the Spanish rhythms. Kitri and Basilio are hiding here. The gypsy duet is performed after the clarinet’s solo; hot Andalusia dances of Espada and Mercedes follow the gypsy duet.

Lorenzo, Gamache, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza enter the tavern to the playful march. Kitri’s father wants to announce the engagement of his daughter and Gamache but Basilio acts out a scene of committing a suicide. Don Quixote begs Lorenzo to give his blessing to the union of Kitri and “dying” Basilio. Taking pity Lorenzo agrees and the young man immediately “gets back” to life. It was just a joke.

The day is breaking... A gypsy camp is in the field. The sleepy morning is ruined by the brisk gypsy dance. Don Quixote is delighted with the entertainment. The gypsies decide to play a trick with the knight. The noble hidalgo does not understand the joke and chases them away with a spear. Exhausted, Don Quixote falls asleep.

In his fantastic dream the knight gets into the Kingdom of Dryads. These creatures take turns dancing for him. At last his imagination draws an image of his beloved Dulcinea who has a strong resemblance with Kitri. 


Everything is ready for Kitri and Basilio’s wedding reception. Don Quixote gives them his blessing to the happy family life. The guests perform Spanish dances. Sensitive grand pas of two young lovers becomes the apogee of the fiesta.  

The Cast

    • DON QUIXOTE, an errant knight - Dmytro Bartosh, Vyacheslav Kravchenko, Stanislav Skrynnik
    • SANCHO PANZA, his squire - Mykola Vorivodin, Pavlo Gryts, Denys Chernyak
    • LORENZO, an innkeeper – Vadym Kruser, Bogdan Chabanyuk, Yuriy Chepil
    • LORENZO’S WIFE - Polina Kalina, Kseniya Kravchenko, Veronika Semchuk
    • KITRI, their daughter - Honored Artist of Ukraine Olena Dobryanska, Honored Artist of the Republic of Moldova Mariya Poludova, Tetyana Afanutina, Nataliya Ivasenko, Olena Kondratieva, Alina Sharay
    • BASILIO, a barber, in love with Kitri - Honored Artist of Ukraine Sergiy Dotsenko, Honored Artist of the Republic of Moldova Volodymyr Statnyy, Pavlo Gryts, Andriy Pisarev, Stanislav Skrynnik, Victor Tomashek, Denys Chernyak, Dmytro Sharay
    • GAMACHE, a wealthy nobleman - Denys Vasyliev, Igor Sarazhynskyy, Sergiy Tkachuk
    • KITRI‘S FRIENDS - Honored Artist of Ukraine Olga Rozhevich, Tetyana Afanutiana, Kateryna Bartosh, Kateryna Burdik, Oleksandra Vorobyova, Olga Vorobyova, Lyudmyla Grekova, Nataliya Ivasenko, Olena Kondratieva, Kristina Pavlova, Mariya Ryazantseva, Ganna Tutyunnyk, Alina Sharay
    • ESPADA, a toreador - Honored Artist of Ukraine Sergiy Dotsenko, Honored Artist of the Republic of Moldova Volodymyr Statnyy, Dmytro Bartosh, Dmytro Dzenik, Stanislav Skrynnik, Dmytro Sharay
    • A STREET DANCER - Tetyana Afanutiana, Kateryna Burdik, Olexandra Vorobyova, Mariya Ryazantseva, Kateryna Tomashek
    • MERCEDES - Tetyana Afanutiana, Hrystyna Vetchinkina, Ganna Stankevych, Iryna Skrynnyk, Kateryna Tomashek
    • A GYPSY GIRL - Tetyana Afanutiana, Olena Vorontsova, Kateryna Tomashek
    • THE QUEEN OF DRYADS - Victoriya Berezhna, Oleksandra Vorobyova, Olga Vorobyova, Kateryna Kalchenko, Mariya Ryazantseva, Anastasiya Chernyak, Alina Sharay
    • CUPID - Kateryna Bartosh, Nataliya Ivasenko, Olena Kondratieva, Maryna Stryzhakova, Ganna Tutyunnyk, Anastasiya Yarotska
    • JIGA – Lyudmyla Grekova, Yanina Kyselyova, Olga Pylypeyko, Anastasiya Rudneva, Stanislav Varankin, Denys Vasyliev, Mykola Vorivodin, Pavlo Gryts, Roman Kalin, Roman Lobkin, Victor Pelych, Denys Chernyak
    • BOLERO - Kseniya Kravchenko, Mariya Ryazantseva, Iryna Skrynnyk, Ganna Stankevych, Honored Artist of Ukraine Sergiy Dotsenko, Honored Artist of the Republic of Moldova Volodymyr Statnyy, Igor Sarazhynskyy, Stanislav Skrynnik, Dmytro Sharay
    • VARIATIONS - Honored Artist of Ukraine Olga Rozhevich, Oleksandra Vorobyova, Olga Vorobyova, Lyudmyla Grekova, Nataliya Ivasenko, Olena Kondratieva, Kristina Pavlova, Ganna Tutyunnyk

Producing staff

Ballet Masters and Ballet Mistresses:
Natalia BARYSHEVA, People’s Artist of Ukraine,
Olena BARANOVSKA, People’s Artist of Ukraine,
Michael PETUKHOV, People’s Artist of Ukraine,
Nina STOYAN, Honoured Artist of Ukraine,
Yury KARLIN, Honoured Artist of Ukraine

Anastasia MARUSHKO,

Ballet Manager – Harry SEVOYAN, Honoured Artist of Ukraine
Assistant Choreographer – Maya MAMLEYEVA
Stage Manager – Natalya GRIGOR, Honoured Art Worker of Ukraine
Backstage Director – Victor YANCHUK
Lighting Designer – Vyacheslav USHERENKO
Chief Stage-setter – Viktor MELESHKO
Makeup Artists – Olena VASYLCHUK, Yevgenia GALENKO

Principal Conductor – Alexandru SAMOILĂ
Pricipal Stage Director - Oksana TARANENKO

About Ludwig Minkus

Ludwig MINKUS (1826 – 1917) was an Austrian composer, a violin virtuoso and conductor of Czech origin who dedicated his talent to ballet music. 

MINKUS’s gift to music emerged early. By the age of four he started taking private lessons in the violin at the Music Friends Society in Vienna. The boy made his public début at the age of eight.

In 1846 Minkus left for Paris where he gave regular concerts. His first five pieces for the violin were published in the same year. It did not take long for Minkus to get the position of the first violinist in The Royal Opera of Vienna.

However, MINKUS became really famous as a violin virtuoso and composer only in Russia where he emigrated in early 1850s. Due to his ability to work hard and his talent Ludwig MINKUS made a breath-taking career from the position of a conductor of the prince Nikolai YUSUPOV Serf orchestra to the post of Professor of Moscow Conservatory in The Violin Class.

MINKUS debuted in Russia as a ballet composer in 1863 with the ballet The Flame of Love, or The Salamander. After the premiere of Don Quixote in Marius PETIPA’s production MINKUS took the place of the first ballet composer in the Board of Imperial Theatres. Minkus created 16 ballets in collaboration with Marius PETIPA. Two of them, namely La Bayadère and Don Quixote, became the most popular.

Light music, full of rich, lively melodies and having uncomplicated, regularly phrased rhythmic and orchestral structure, is the secret of long life of the MINKUS’s ballets that are cherished on the best stages of the world nowadays.

About Marius Petipa

Marius PETIPA (1818 – 1910) was a choreographer, ballet dancer and a teacher. People often call the second half of the 19th century ballet art “Petipa’s epoch”. It is not by chance as he brought to life lots of ballet productions that influenced the development of the ballet art. Most PETIPA’s ballets are still on stages of the world theatres.

The talent and genius of the Frenchman Marius PETIPA thrived in Russia where he was invited in 1847. PETIPA stayed in St. Petersburg till the end of his long life where he worked first as a ballet dancer and then in 1862 he became a ballet master.

The list of PETIPA’s ballets contains up to seventy (!) titles. The dances for operas and diverse performances would make the list much longer. The most renowned ballets are Paquita, Don Quixote, La Bayadère, Coppélia, The Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphida, The Swan Lake, Raymonda.

The choreographer put together the system of rules for the Academic ballet dance and made music one of the main characters in ballet. The ballet art has been developing; new names and trends have emerged but Marius PETIPA’s choreography has remained a model that fascinates the audience with its perfection up to now.

About Alexander Gorsky

Alexander GORSKY (1871 – 1924) is known as a ballet dancer, Russian ballet choreographer and a controversial reformer for the ballet art.

Upon graduation from the Imperial Ballet School where he was taught by Marius PETIPA and Nikolay VOLKOV he joined the Mariinsky Ballet Company and soon was promoted to solo dancers. He performed principal parts in the ballets by Pyotr TCHAIKOVSKY (The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker) and by Alexander GLAZUNOV (Raymonda, The Seasons, The Trial of Damis). The very first GORSKY’s production, Clarinda, Queen of the Mountain Fairies, had great acclaim after its premiere in 1889. Soon afterwards he was invited to The Bolshoi Theatre to choreograph The Sleeping Beauty by Pyotr TCHAIKOVSKY. GORSKY joined the theatre and worked there as a ballet master till the end of his life.

The premiere of Don Quixote (1900) in GORSKY’s version divided critics, audience and the performers. Using principles of direction in The Arts Theatre and the ballet master Lev IVANOV’s achievements GORSKY changed traditional academism of the classical ballet bringing into it elements of folk dance. He also changed libretto of the ballet so it could be closer the CERVANTES’s novel.

The young generation of the Bolshoi Theatre and that of the Savva MAMONTOV’s private opera supported GORSKY. Kontantin KOROVIN and Alexander GOLOVIN who created new sets and costumes for the production, liked GORSKY’s version a lot. GORSKY’s Don Quixote has been alive on the stages of many theatres for more than a hundred years.