Szczecin ballet premiere of Ludwig Minkus’ “Don Quixote”

Making a virtue out of necessity, the Opera in Szczecin Castle is to present its new ballet production of “Don Quixote” to the music of Ludwig Minkus and John Lanchbery, choreographed by Anna Hop, as a paid stream on 24 April 2021. The public premiere is scheduled for 26 June 2021.

In addition to the ballet “La Bayadère” by Ludwig Minkus, John Lanchbery has also adapted and set “Don Quixote”.  The British conductor and composer of Australian origin, who died in 2003, was particularly known for his ballet music works. Lanchbery based his orchestration of “Don Quixote” on the three-act original by Ludwig Minkus with a prelude by Marius Petipa. 

Inspired by his reading of numerous chivalric novels, Don Quixote sets out into the world with his faithful servant Sancho Panza to perform heroic deeds. In Barcelona, he mistakes the innkeeper Lorenzo for a powerful lord of the castle and his daughter Kitri for Dulcinea, the “lady of his heart”.  When Kitri refuses to marry the unloved Gamache and runs away with Basil, Lorenzo, Gamache and Don Quixote follow her.  Don Quixote plunges into a series of adventures and battles to “free” his Dulcinea.  In the process, he is finally defeated by the “unknown knight” Basil, who takes the “lady of his heart” away. 

Ludwig Minkus was a contemporary of Peter Tchaikovsky and wrote works in a genre to which Tchaikovsky also made world-famous contributions. Minkus, who is also found in encyclopaedias under Léon Minkus or Ludwig Alois Minkus, was an Austro-Hungarian ballet composer, conductor and teacher of Czech and Polish origin, who may be known to many today primarily for his two ballet scores, “La Bayadère” and “Don Quixote”.  Comparable to Tchaikovsky, his music is characterised above all by a rousing melodic and rhythmic style accompanying highly romantic subjects. The composer was born in Vienna on 23 March 1826, one year before Beethoven’s death, and died in the same place on 7 December 1917. 

Szczecin – Opera in the Castle                                           
Ludwig Minkus / John Lanchbery,                                          
Ballet “Don Quixote”
(Choreographer: Anna Hop)                                                 
(The premiere will be streamed for a fee)


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