Musical theater nuts tend to be somewhat passionate about Man of LaMancha, the 1965 hit Broadway musical about Don Quixote based on the original classic work, by Cervantes, that spawned an album’s worth of hits including “The Impossible Dream”. Opera nuts are equally rapturous about Jules Massenet’s 1910 five act opera, Don Quichotte (aka Don Quixote) which premieres this Saturday, February 26 at Seattle Opera’s McCaw Hall with an outstanding international cast that includes John Relyea as Quixote, Eduardo Chama as Sancho, and Malgorzata Walewska as Dulcinea headlining the “Gold” cast, and Nicolas Cavallier, Richard Bernstein, and Daniela Sindram heading up the “Silver” cast. Internationally renowned conductor Carlo Montanaro makes his Seattle Opera debut leading the divine Seattle Opera orchestra, with stage direction by Linda Brovsky, who made her Seattle Opera debut in 1990 with Donizetti’s Fille du régiment.
I think most of us are at least a little aware of the plot of Don Quixote, if not from Man of LaMancha, then from the Mr Magoo cartoon, (if you’re old enough to remember Mr Magoo!) The timeless tale of the aged Don Quixote, in his comically bittersweet pursuit of the lovely Dulcinea with the aid of his trusty sidekick Sancho Panza in a series of comic misadventures is well known and beloved, but Massenet’s take on the classic, tweaks the story with subtle changes, (Dulcinea is not a lowly serving wench in the opera) and a more romantic view of the proceedings. The Spanish set story is sung in French, with English titles for the Franco-Impaired.
Don Quixote opens Saturday, February 26 in the first of eight performances which conclude Sunday, March 12. For tickets and more information, visit the Seattle Opera website…also, keep in mind the vastly popular The Magic Flute by Mozart is the NEXT main stage production at Seattle Opera which opens May 7. One of the most beloved operas in the world, the best tickets for “Flute” could go quickly. That production will also feature a “LGBT Night” on Friday, May 20, 2011.
Check both operas OUT!