New-to-Chicago Production Don Quichotte

By Jules Massenet

  • Language - Performed in French with projected English translations
  • Running Time - 2 hours 30 minutes including 1 intermission

More than half a century before Man of La Mancha, Massenet brought Cervantes’s universally beloved dreamer Don Quixote to the operatic stage. Inspired by the greatest of all Spanish novels, Don Quichotte is the story of an eccentric idealist and self-proclaimed knight errant who tilts at windmills and fights for the honor of his lady Dulcinée. The opera combines Massenet’s fabulously atmospheric music with his own matchless theatrical flair to conjure a Spain that abounds with energy and spirit, beauty, and hope. Legendary bass Ferruccio Furlanetto bringing this signature role to vivid life with Sir Andrew Davis conducting in a production that is as gorgeous to see as it is to hear.

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This production of Don Quichotte was presented at Lyric November 19 – December 7, 2016. View our calendar to see what's currently on stage.

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Don Quichotte

by Jules Massenet

Recording by EMI – Van Dam, Bergonza, Fondary, Rivenq, cond. Plasson. Courtesy Warner Classics.

"Alza, alza!...Quand la femme a vingt ans"
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“Regarde!...Géant, géant, monstrueux cavalier”
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Don Quichotte

by Jules Massenet

Commentary by Sir Andrew Davis in collaboration with Jack Zimmerman
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Don Quichotte Synopsis

In a small Spanish town a beautiful young woman, Dulcinée, is wooed by many men, but she hopes to meet a noble knight. The aging Don Quichotte and his servant, Sancho Pança, arrive in the town. Enchanted by Dulcinée, Quichotte offers to serve her. She asks him to bring back a necklace that bandits stole from her. Along the way, he mistakes windmills for giants interfering with his quest and battles against them. Meeting the bandits, he touches their hearts and they gladly give back the necklace. Quichotte returns it to Dulcinée, who laughs at his proposal of marriage but later admits that she feels unworthy of Quichotte’s devotion. On a mountain path Quichotte is resting as Sancho comforts him. He dies thinking of Dulcinée.

PLACE: In and around a small town in Spain.

Program Book

Go inside this production of Don Quichotte with engaging articles, notes from the director, a complete plot synopsis, artist bios, and more.

View Digital Program Book

Meet The Artists

Ferruccio Furlanetto

Don Quichotte

Clementine Margaine


Nicola Alaimo


Sir Andrew Davis


Matthew Ozawa


Ralph Funicello

Set Designer

Missy West

Costume Designer

Michael Black

Chorus Master

Production Sponsors

Don Quichotte is a production of San Diego Opera.

Photo: Todd Rosenberg