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Music Text

Libretto by the composer (G)


5S,M,3A,lyrT,buffoT,lyrBar,characterBar,2B,buffoB; chorus; ballet;

Abbreviations (PDF)



This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


World Premiere
Königliche Hofoper, Berlin
Conductor: Carl Muck
Company: Königliche Hofoper Berlin


THE DUKE Lyric Tenor
THE DUCHESS High Soprano
DON CLAVIJO, the duke's chamberlain Bass
ALONZO QUIXANO, called 'Don Quixote of the Mancha' Character Baritone
MERCEDES, his niece Mezzo Soprano
SANCHO PANSA, peasant Buffo Tenor
CARRASCO, barber Lyric Baritone
TIRANTE, innkeeper Buffo Bass
MARITORNES, his daughter, and ALDONZA, waitresses Soprano, Alto
Maids in the duchess's service: FRASQUITA Soprano
ROSITA Soprano
MARIETA and JUANITA Contraltos
Time and Place

In the Mancha in the 16th century


Reading romances of chivalry has confused Don Alonzo of Quixano’s mind. While dreaming and while awake, he thinks of himself as Don Quixote, a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, who has to roam the world in order to restore virtues in an age of vice. But his highest aim is to prove himself worthy of Dulcinea of Toboso who he has envisioned in a dream. In an inn near his home, the innkeeper Tirante, whom he thinks to be the lord of a castle, dubs him a knight. Then he finds Sancho Panza, a good-hearted idiot, who wants to serve him as a squire. Don Quixote's first adventure – during which he believes he has liberated Princess Micomicona from the power of a giant, though in fact he has only chopped the wineskins of the inn to pieces – makes him aquainted with the duke. He invites the strange pair to his castle, sensing superb entertainment. Although a nasty game is played with the 'Knight of the rueful countenance', he does not lose his dignity, for he feels sure of his victories. Eventually Carrasco manages to make Don Quixote come home again, using a trick. He burns his books of chivalry which have only brought pain and disillusion on him, makes his will and dies.


Comic, Romantic, Tragic

Recommended Recording

Thomas Mohr / James Wagner / Matthias Henneberg / Michelle Breedt / Thomas Hay / Rundfunkchor Berlin / Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin / Gustav Kuhn
cpo 999 873-2

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